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LJI, Week 14 (Write Off): Spring Onions

It was, for me, the first sign that the damp and cold had finally lost its hold on us.  Daffodills and crocuses are notoriously obstreperous about spring showing up late and do their thing anyway.  Violets--especially the white ones with centers bleeding into deep blue--have been known to go on fool's errands and suffer for their trust in the false rays of the sun.

Spring onions, on the other hand, tell the truth.

That first bite is pungent truth:  work will pick up again.  It won't matter as much that we turned off the heat two months ago.  Maybe this is the year I'll get crowned the May Queen in the school pageant and get to get dressed up as Our Lady instead of being stuck as a handmaiden because I'm the tallest girl in the class.

Probably not, but the flood of green in my mouth is a promise that I am almost ready to put away my cheap acrylic pretending to be wool tights for the rest of the school year.  Being Mary for a few hours pales in comparison with days of my legs freed to the wind and the sun.  As long as I am appropriately modest.

"Don't eat that.  It's a weed."

I'm guessing suggesting that spring onions pulled out of the yard (which may or may not have been seasoned with piss from the feral cats in the alley) is a superior snack to locusts and honey will not end well for me.

Modest.  What does that even mean?  "Cover your knees, Alicia Marie!"

Why?  They're scarred up and a bit ugly, but I'm the doubledutch champion of St. Mary's.  My knees help me survive.

The scars from hitting the blacktop and getting back up help.  Especially when the sunshiny yellow tile in the guest bathroom is digging into my knees.  I don't cry.  I don't bleed.

Not there, at least.

"It's probably poisonous!  You know they've been spraying around here!"

My smile might have betrayed me, had she paid attention  for once.  Instead she slaps me.

It's a new start.  I want to shout it at the grownups who trail ahead of me, who think new starts only happen in the cold and dark and damp, in the turning of a year fueled by alcohol and fights.  Not in the taste and the warm and the green and the vial deep in the pocket of my skirt.

"Alicia Marie!  Spit that out!  That's bad for you!"

Of course it is.  Hope always is, isn't it?

There are worse things, of course.

"I'll just go fix y'all's drinks."

The glass is slick and cool between my fingers as I toy with it on the way home.

Some things are much, much worse than hope.  One is the trust that the one you have kicked to the ground will never stand up that one last time.

Hope tastes like a spring onion and arrives everywhere.  That trust...well, that tastes like something else entirely.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
i_17bingo
Apr. 15th, 2017 11:02 pm (UTC)
I like Alicia Marie. She's got a lot of stubborn spirit. And her desire to be May Queen means that she's got a certain amount of girlishness in her.
mac_arthur_park
Apr. 22nd, 2017 02:57 am (UTC)
I can speak on pretty good authority that the stubbornness and girlishness runs about 60-40.
spikesgirl58
Apr. 16th, 2017 10:58 am (UTC)
What a great entry. You are right there with Bradbury when it comes to weaving tales. I was right there with you.
mac_arthur_park
Apr. 22nd, 2017 02:57 am (UTC)
That may be the most amazing compliment I've ever gotten. Thank you.
spikesgirl58
Apr. 22nd, 2017 05:26 pm (UTC)
You are very welcome! :D
beeker121
Apr. 16th, 2017 11:06 pm (UTC)
There's an undertone of darkness here that I find myself shying away from, wanting everything to be hopeful for a jump-roping May Queen girl.
rswndrlst
Apr. 16th, 2017 11:17 pm (UTC)

Violets--especially the white ones with centers bleeding into deep blue--have been known to go on fool's errands and suffer for their trust in the false rays of the sun.


This line, there is something here that is  shadowed by the talk of hope (the flowers wilting in a late frost betrayed by trusting the sun) makes me also worry about the underlying darkness (and what might be in that vial!) but already rooting for her 


great job!



Edited at 2017-04-16 11:19 pm (UTC)
tonithegreat
Apr. 17th, 2017 04:28 am (UTC)
Oh ouch. This is so beautifully woven, but also painfully, identifiably, dark.
mac_arthur_park
Apr. 22nd, 2017 02:58 am (UTC)
Thank you.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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mac_arthur_park
The fucking YARN FAIRY!

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