Flora is the Roman goddess of Spring
In the middle of the village, there is a field.
In the field, the proud stems of grass are losing their summer splendour. Their seed heads are spent. The flowers’ sweet hues have have been replaced by fading yellows of fallen leaves. The splashes of colour are still there, now a sign of decay instead of growth.
Flora stood in that field, her once fine dress faded and tattered. The smell of damp and rot was carried on the chilly breeze. Above her, the sky was filled with thick, grey clouds. There was no-one else to be seen for miles around. The rain that was forecast was set to be bombastic; the world was readying itself for lashing sheets of heavy malevolent drops. Nobody wanted to go out in tha sort of weather.
Flora was out in it, anticipating the whip and the tearing of the storm. She was ready to be covered in the fallen orange fire-bomb leaves. She was ready for the boughs of proud oaks to tumble and to prostrate themselves on the earth around her. As a rumble sounded in the distance, Flora craved the hot jabs of electricity when the storm found time to fire lightning at her.
She had decided she had no worth.
She had nothing to stay for.
The people would not miss her.
She was so intent upon the storm’s progress that she missed the old man approaching.
“You need to get indoors,” he said. His gruff voice stated what to him was nothing other than a simple fact.
“I must wait for the storm, I am spent,” she replied.
As her head bent and she allowed her spine to curve, so he caught her.
“Let me take you home. The missus will know what to do to help. We’ll look after you.”
Gently, he eased her into walking again. They began to cross the field, leaving her isolated spot far behind. There was no need for words, just simple care and love. The red-brick houses drew closer, huddling together in the face of the storm. In the windows, curtains twitched and the occupants looked out anxiously. Their eyes followed the old man as he helped Flora along the path.
Behind the two people, an improbable patch of sunlight appeared on the grass. In the pale, golden glow, dewdrops caught the light. They sparkled, a momentary glimmer before falling to the ground, pushed by the impatient wind. The clouds prevailed after the brief interlude of brightness. But not before hope had been sown, exactly on the spot where Flora had been standing.
My collection of short stories, ‘Long Walks on Short Paths’, will be released on Kindle on 27th October. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Long-Walks-Short-Paths-Anthology-ebook/dp/B0BHJM23VV/ref=zg_bsnr_4542740031_sccl_2/257-1309404-6645857?pd_rd_i=B0BHJM23VV&psc=1