Photo © Daniele Montagna, via Google Photosphere
When I saw the Mla bush on fire, I was elated. Last time, I was too young to remember. My Nda has seen it reborn six times. Every dry-day she told the stories, me imagining each one.
The season was wrong. But as Nda says, the Mla is life, and life does what it will.
We settled in for the evening to watch the cycle.
By the third night, when it still burned, the elders’ whispers turned fearful. We kept praying, keening louder.
Finally the flames died.
Nobody breathed, waiting. Then a bud poked through the ashes, unfurling rainbow leaves. By dusk it was taller than any other. Why?
Nda frowned. “It is the last.”
My heart stopped. Who will we be without the Mla? I kept quiet. To ask of fate invites it.
Instead I studied the bloom, engraving its story on my heart. That, at least, will survive.
Word count: 150. Written for this week’s What Pegman Saw challenge. Big thanks to Josh and Karen for hosting! This week, Pegman takes us to Vientiane, Laos. I found the image I used at Buddha Park. Click on the link above to see what imagines other writers found that inspired their stories — and of course, feel free to join in and write one yourself!
This is one where I cut it from 260 words to 150, cutting two whole characters and (necessarily) much of the description and plot. I’m not super happy with it, but I hope it still makes sense.
To all my American readers, I hope you have an extra day off work for Labor Day weekend and are enjoying yourself!