Family Feud

The little one fled to the garden, it was becoming a daily offense,

A battle was on the horizons and the last thing she wanted was to get sucked in.

The flowers became her better, she could almost hear them whisper.

A trumpeting cricket led the assault, joined by cicadas and the ticking of a distant sprinkler system.

The precious little soul danced through the thick leaves letting her hand drift over their cool shaded surfaces to calm the nerves that had begun to build.

Oh, how we’ve missed you,

Don’t be silly I was only just here,

to us it felt an eternity, your beauty is unlike any other we’ve seen,  

Give us a turn! In came a breeze, tickling the belly of the surrounding trees,

She began giggling at the silly pictures she was seeing, they can only be daydreams,

Tell us why you’re leaking child?

The little one whipped her eyes, surprised at the question, no one else seemed to care.

She kicked at the ground, “Life isn’t fair…”

Tell me what you mean? I can hardly conceive? 

She could hear the battle escalating.

Pay attention to me! The wind blew more violently, come see my roses? 

“I’m not supposed to go so far in…”

She looked back toward the war zone as if any minute the warplane may come her way.

Oh come on, they also tell you to listen to them when they’re speaking…

She listened to the voices rumbling over top of each other.

“and yet, They never listen…” She finished smartly.

She still hesitated, remembering all of the right things they’d said.

They have also told you not to snoop, or listen in on private conversations… 

The voice on the breeze whispered more urgently.

“Okay,” she whispered conspiratorially,

Allowing the voice on the breeze to lead her more deeply.

Into the garden, she went, past the white fence between the daisies and ivy-laced archways…

the glossy leaves brushed against her face as she made her way to the giant fountain,

Suddenly the battle raging beyond the glass window frames was nowhere to be heard,

See isn’t it beautiful, come with me, let’s look at all of the wonderful things.

The trees took up a chorus, each whispering their own version of the same melody,

The little girl followed the inklings, find roses, find daisies, water lilies?

She imagined the fountain she’d played at with her father so often,

The Lucky Pennies… She looked back through the private garden,

to where the house was standing beyond the thickets and lushly decorative greenery,

She imagined the warring silhouettes, they will never notice I’m gone, the inkling prompted.

Do I risk it? She looked forward, toward the edge of the grove,

what is it that will make you feel alive? A little voice prompted.

“These pennies are magical honey,” Her father echoed from a distant memory.

“Make a wish, and then toss it in between the lilies and whatever you ask for will come true!” Thunder started rumbling as a solution to the battling began manifesting,

Three cents formed at the bottom of the massive fountain, three pennies I’d made wishes only for me… no wonder nothing was happening. 

That’s selfish, The brave little bird balled her fists, I’ll take them back and retract the first, and use the wishes on each of them, she counted them out on her pudgy little fingers,

Three, one for mommy, one for daddy, and me… It fits Perfectly!! she thought excitedly…

Suddenly it was the only thing that made sense.

The little titan on a mission didn’t even notice the rain drops… Maybe wait little one, wait for someone.

Her eyes were suddenly bigger than her frame, the pond surrounding the fountain was full of clouds reflecting from above, it isn’t so deep see? The little voice pushed urgently.

At the edge and for just a moment, the little birds’ eyes were drawn to the ledge of concrete standing nearly as tall as she, see you don’t even have to swim for them, just bend down… The voice cooed, these pennies will make everything better…

The trees and the flowers called to her from all directions, doing their best to bring her back from her internal conversation,

Hurry get them! The wind whipped frantically through the branches stirring the old oaks standing at the edge of the house.

Her parents arguing hadn’t let up yet as the Oak rapped frantically wherever its branches could reach. Quiet as a mouse, Quiet is the house, too quiet where’s the mouse! Your treasure is sinking, your treasure is sinking, the oak beat its branches relentlessly.

“There’s another! You said three months ago you’d trim that stupid things branches!” The message went missed for a moment longer.

On the other side of the property, the little bird hopped up next to the turbulent surface riddled in lily traps whose unseen bindings extended from the bottom, keeping them from moving with the waves,

She peeked over the rim and looked in finding three pennies right where she’d left them. it’s meant to be. 

Now remember,” Her father’s voice echoed. “You have to spin around three times before you drop it in.” She struggled to pull herself to the cold concrete brim through a flash of distant lightning.

Little dimples began forming through the windblown water surface where more of the same fell from the sky to join in.

As if drawn one of the silhouettes stepped to the window in time to receive a front row view to a parent’s worst nightmare,

The moment when their little one leaves this world before them, even worse is the feeling that it could have been prevented. A gasp left his mouth in a gurgle, as he watched his little girl turn in three clumsy circles before slipping on the rain-slicked marbling and fall into the “FOUNTAIN!” He screamed without another word, rushing from the middle of their feud, as she echoed “I’m not through talking to you,” he was already out the door by the time the chilling feeling of quiet filled her too, my baby…

“SWEETIE? Where are you? Mary?!”

The Oak lamented from behind the pane, as the clouds unleashed their sad torrents of rain, 

She watched from the window as her husband dove in, retrieving the tiny limp form of their daughter before unleashing a blood-curdling scream and following after.

Together they tried to bring her back to no avail until the blue and red flashing lights and sirens called for her, blue and pale there was no resuscitating. From that moment on, things could have changed, they could have come together to heal from the pain, fulfilling the wish their daughter was fishing for, but instead, they separated, passing guilt like a dinner plate, hiding behind shaming the others name.

This marks the moment pain cracked the family facade welcoming insanity into their bloodline like a coat of arms.

 

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