A Wasteland

So I’ve been working on a short story. In total I’m aiming for about 2,000 words (I think). I never really let anyone read my writing so this is a bit of a first for me. I suppose I had a bit of a carpe diem moment. Let me know what you think of it so far!

a wasteland

The field is Autumn. Before you right now is the true definition of the word, all wrapped up in orange leaves, tied with grass.

Looking around yourself you notice the emptiness of it all. The dry, rural landscape that extends as far as the eye can see. A small part of you wonders if the whole world looks like this, one vast ginger ocean undulating in the breeze. The stems talk to each other in rustled whispers. You wonder what they are saying.

It hasn’t always been like this, just a few months ago the whole place had been vibrant and alive. Fresh crops had been dug: carrots, potatoes, red onions and parsnips. Then there were the herbs too; new sprigs of rosemary had adorned your roast chicken. You used to walk in the gardens, pausing to sketch the forget-me-nots and hydrangeas. Starlings used to flutter in and out of the birdbath splashing water onto the freshly cut grass.

Now it’s a wasteland. The drought has killed everything. You can’t imagine there’s anything living out there anymore. The field has the appearance of being burnt, as if the whole lot at some point went up in flames. The scorched earth is hard beneath your bare feet. It may be desolate but it’s still beautiful to you. You remember the life that was once there.

You look to the side. The sun is setting in the west. It sinks below the creosoted fence, the last rays shining through between the slats. They are mild, like the soft shine of the sunrise through the nursery blinds in the morning. The clouds have turned pink, but like watercolours they blend effortlessly. Thin wisps swirl intricately together.

Running your hand through the dead grass slices your translucent skin. When you examine your palm you notice little paper-cut lines have appeared whiter than your skin. Thrusting the hand back into your pocket, you follow the winding gravel path back to the cottage. You come to the row of wild roses, standing stern against the flat grey wall, leering at you with ruffled faces. Bending down you scoop up a handful of rich, tobacco-coloured soil and let it crumble through your fingers. It’s still damp from last night’s rain. It was the first rain in weeks but somehow the roses have survived the entire summer. Perhaps they are magic roses. The white ones are your favourite, so bright and pure. You heard once that white roses symbolise everlasting love, whereas red roses signify a short passionate affair. You can’t remember where you heard it and you’re not sure you even fully grasp the concept of love but the thought of something lasting forever comforts you.

The wind picks up and blows your hair across your face. You breathe in a mixture of coconut shampoo and rose petals. Rising from your crouched position you know you need to return home. Lily will be waiting for you.


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