Saturday, 21 June 2014

Heartwood by Ingrid Jendrzejewski

She could feel the orchard growing under her feet, new wood pushing up between her toes, threatening to ruin the carpet and upend the coffee table.  

Already, two seasons had passed since he uprooted and took the Lotus with him.  She hadn’t expected that.  She’d thought they were on a trajectory that included a house with a garden and, perhaps, a little bean of their own.  Once he’d bolted and winter arrived, she became dormant and etiolated, hardly moving from the shade of the sofa. She felt as though she’d lost her leaves.

Then, in spring, the floorboards started bursting forth with rows of saplings, green and eager, seeking out the light of the incandescent sun fixed to the living room ceiling.  By the time she, in her stillness, noticed them, they were pencil-thick and clutching their pregnant buds before them like little fists.  She could feel the room around her waking up, and she wondered if she, too, might now be ready for some sort of tropism.

She surveyed her burgeoning empire, her new growth.  Yes, she thought, movement might now be possible.  However, she must go slowly; it was still early in the season. Trunks were tender and branches frail.  If, come autumn, she wanted to harvest fruit, she must, for the time being, be very careful where she trod.

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