Thursday, October 29, 2015

At First, I was Afraid

  My name is Rose Reeve the Third, and this is the one-hundred and thirty-first day of my exile. At first, I was afraid. Of my gift, of the world, of these wild places I now call home. This is no longer the case. I discovered my gift while tending my garden after a long day's work. My petunias had been wilting, not enough sun I think. I reached out to them, and when I touched them, they sprang back to life. Their colour returned, and even though they were out of season, they began to bloom. I knew instantly that this was not some metaphorical green thumb, but the real thing.
Now, I have always been an avid gardener. I've put as many hours into flower beds as many have into their jobs. Despite my best efforts, many varieties of plants simply don't grow on this planet. Now that I had this ability, I had the confidence to plant seeds I would have otherwise saved for future generations. Lily and Morning Glory, Lotus and Orchid, my little flower garden had more colours than all the rest of the settlement. That was when I noticed side effects. I could smell the flowers at a distance, and more richly than ever before. I could tell what neighbors were cooking from the street, and even recognize them without sight. Again I was afraid, but there seemed to be no harm in it.
Soon, my neighbors began to suspect something had changed. I was reorganizing the flowers around how they smelled, creating a discordant mix of colours. To the ungifted, it seemed like I might be slipping. So, fearing for my health, they began to pay closer attention to my behavior, and so discovered my gift. I was turned over to the Overseer, Fred did not hesitate to exile me, even for all my social standing. Some would say he wanted my power as Judge of the town, but I think he was really just afraid and trying to maintain control of the world around him.

Now I am in the wilds. At first, I was afraid. Now, I have turned these untamed wilds into a fresh garden, giving me all the food and shelter I have ever needed. Still, I find myself gravitating towards the settlement from time to time, as I did today, and I saw the most particular sight. A boy, no more than fifteen, was exiled from the settlement as I was. Christopher Williams, the Overseer called him in his most pompous voice, a boy with an unnatural power. I know that there were others before me; the captain and many others left of their own volition, and I have seen many more beside. He was the first I saw so young, so afraid. I have lain out a path for him now: fruit that can be eaten, berries that can be picked. Soon, I will help you to see your gifts a strength; soon I will help you to say as I have. At first, I was afraid.
   Author's Note:  I wrote this as part of a series of short fiction stories about a year ago, and must apologize for only now uploading them.  

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