The maple leaf stops them. Its veiny palm invites examination, as peach and pale green cross shades. Autumn does this to maple leaves; scorns their attempts to cling onto their tree of birth, strikes them down, flattens their flame. And then, somebody finds the leaf, finds charm in its crown-like edges, its slight resemblance to thorns.
The smoke is oppressive, dangerous. Cassandra watches it curl around the armchair and already she can imagine its source – a long cigarette, dangling from the pursed lips of a grey-faced man. Every wrinkle is part of a complex pattern. She has traced paths through that face, has seen it close to her own, close enough to the feel the cool flame of his breath.
As a starfish, I am pointy, shiny and spirited, with a zest for water. The tank allows me to see out into the world without taking part. I can float and watch and wait. The only problem occurs when a handler introduces me to a child.
She likes to sit right among the roses. She doesn’t mind the thorns, doesn’t fear them. They are only part of a rose, just as human prickles and niggles are part of their skin. Naturally, the petals draw her eye and her favour, like soft tissue, wrapped around a gift. The shade of pink is so light, she imagines its glide against her cheek, while the yellow is defiantly spring-like, late into the season.
Owl eyes are the deepest. They draw you in, when you don’t want to be drawn. When you want to sit still and mind your own business, stay lost in your own thoughts. This owl was curious. I saw it in his red-rust flecks. He wasn’t about to blink. Then again, neither was I.
The birds tick time outside my door. I count the seconds, the colours. Such small lives. The bluetits and coaltits are the everyday ordinaries. If they were human they would wear a suit and tie, hold on to their jobs for dear life.
The tractor scores bright lines in the field. Four bales of silage already loom, great barrel-shadows with a sheen of their own.
This Flash Fiction piece features a character from Welsh mythology, called Blodeuwedd. In ‘The Mabinogion’, Blodeuwedd is conjured up by magicians, Math and Gwydion, to be a wife for Lleu, who is also a magician and a warrior.