Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Old Orchard

Here is my 2nd entry in the Autumnal Equinox Project at Café Writing:

Option Four: Fiction
Write a flash-fic, scene, or short story involving either standing in an orchard.

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THE OLD ORCHARD


Standing in the orchard, I feel the rough peeling bark of the ancient apple tree. Years of neglect have left the once fruitful tree with tangles of overgrown branches, shooting suckers and sparse apples limply hanging like castaways. Where had the time gone? When was the last time I felt the warmth of my muscles tending the orchard?

Time has passed, and not been gentle with the years. I've grown older, but am now the last of my line. What will happen to this dying land? Who will care once I'm gone?


Slowly bending down, I pick a shriveled apple up from the tangle of weeds at the base of the tree. Half green, half red, except for the shrinkage, a perfect specimen of the once vibrant tree. No worm holes, no bug bites, just shriveled skin - it matches my hands and the lines on my face.

I slip the fruit into my apron pocket and with the assistance of my trusty walking stick, I head back to the house. I pass pear trees and plum trees and peaches long gone. "They are dying as well," I think as a tear slides down my cheek.

This is the end of the line, no one else cares. Standing in the middle of my beloved orchard, my heart is breaking. There is no reason to go on, there is no one to miss me. Am I to end up like the abandoned fruit of my orchard?

4 comments:

Vinz aka Vinu said...

nicely penned down..!!

:)

Janet said...

oh, that's just sooo sad!!!

paisley said...

i live on a rather old property,, and the peach tree is so withered and sparse.. i feel as if it would be kinder to put her out of her misery,, but each year she produces a few token pieces of fruit,, and i wonder if that is not her sign that she is old but far from finished....

this was a lovely piece.....

MissMeliss said...

Oh, so poignant. Beautiful, and vivid, but still...

Thank you.