The Meadow's Insight

Submitted into Contest #86 in response to: Write a story where flowers play a central role.... view prompt

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Fiction Romance Fantasy

This one is another about a character in a book I'm currently writing. Hope you enjoy!


Blades of grass danced to the wind’s song, tickling Aldred’s ankles in a not unpleasant way. The meadow somehow always held it’s dazzling beauty, even when the winter came and the flowers died. But in spring it was so vibrant, so alive, he could almost feel it’s personality filling him with love. It was that, or the image of perfection that walked alongside him, a radiant smile gracing her features, dimples on her rosy cheeks and a small button nose sitting between the lot. Her eyes were closed against the sun’s caress as she twirled around between the poppies and marigolds, sweet laugh tinkling alongside the orchestra of birds.

He knew she kept her eyes closed to imagine the field they were in whilst sampling the orange hues of warm light that the sun gave her eyelids. Watching her for a moment, entranced, he began to thank Ezimat that he’d put her in this world and fated him to meet her. His wife. His Lorelai.

Right on cue, her eyes burst open. He knew then that it wasn’t the meadow he could feel the love from, it was that gaze. Fiery and playful, her chocolate eyes locked with his own piercing blue, and sparks flew. He took her hands and they spun in the grass, both laughing at the stupidity of the scene. Though he loved her dearly, more than anything he could possibly imagine, they never had been the love sick couple. Especially not the couple who spin in the meadow like the love stories in the plays that the masses begged to see. So though he wanted to clasp those hands forever, he leant back slightly and released her, letting the speed and her atrocious balance do the rest of the work for him. She careered off into the poppies, falling flat on her back, though lightly. He would never forgive himself if he caused her any pain, intended or otherwise.

No hesitation, he leapt on to his own back at the side of her in an explosion of dandelion seeds, instantly emitting a sneeze as they attacked his airways. Lorelai was scowling at him good naturedly as he landed, but couldn’t keep a straight face at his sneezing fit and so descended into laughter once more.

“Next time you could at least pretend to care if I was dying” he accused as his puffy red eyes stopped watering. Hay fever in the spring was the bane of their relationship. Lorelai loved the meadows and forests, he hated them; so naturally they spent a lot of time in the meadows and forests.

“Oh don’t be so dramatic my love, you’re the one that dove into them not the other way around” she replied airily, swatting another dandelion towards his face playfully. He blew the seeds straight back in her direction and they settled on her hair. Rolling her eyes, she settled back in to the grass without brushing them off, sighing in contentment as her head nestled amongst the petals. They lay there for a while, fingers intertwined and watching the birds toiling to build their nests. Aldred was acutely aware of her other hand, which traced circles repeatedly on his forearm, rising higher up until it eventually cupped his face.

He turned, almost too willingly, and looked once again in to her eyes, this time seeing a fierce hunger in them as she used that other hand to drag his lips to hers, crushing herself against him. Dandelions forgotten, they tore of each others clothes in savage abandonment, no words needed as his hands traced over her body, caressing between her thighs. She bit his lip and moaned, then the rest was a blur. 

After, she lay with her head against his chest as the breeze kissed the sweat off their bodies. He’d thought the steady rhythm of his breathing had sent her to sleep, but after a while she sighed and lifted herself up, propping her elbows under her chin and watching him. Since they still hadn’t re-dressed, he was just as content to watch her. He began to think there was a chance for another round of passion, knowing himself more than ready, when she spoke.

“You’ll have to make amends with Alnor, you know” she said, eyes losing all of their playfulness and a grave look entering, looking unusual on her face. Aldred’s stomach lurched as he heard his son’s name mentioned, for some reason seeming out of place coming from her mouth. Alnor? His son? He could see Lorelai getting angry and did his best to take the quizzical look off his face, wracking his brain to think of what he had to make amends for with a two year old boy. Suddenly, the sky darkened, the sun darting to it’s hiding place behind an unnatural black cloud with startling speed. He felt a small drop of rain land on his forehead as he glanced up in shock to the skies, just as they opened and engulfed the meadow in a torrent of rain. Rolling over, he tried to reach the pile of clothes and cover them both in a futile attempt to get dry, but the clothes were gone.

He brushed his hands through the grass, frantically trying to find them but knowing somehow that they were not there, that they were never really there.

Lorelai’s voice interrupted his search, the now pleading tone causing him to spin around in alarm, looking for danger. His wife was now a few paces away, soaked to the bone and shivering in the now harsh wind, reaching for him in desperation as the once beautiful meadow expanded, more and more empty grassland placing itself between him and the love of his life.

“Lorelai!” he screamed, knowing his heart couldn’t take this, not again.

“Make amends my love. Makes amends” she called back in a surprisingly soft voice that carried on the wind despite the crash of thunder overhead. He watched helplessly as his wife drifted slowly away, sad smile on her face like he’d seen a thousand times before; knowing it was useless but still doing his best to reach her, battling against the hurricane and roaring his defiance.

“Amends.”

A colossal thunderclap hit the sky, wrenching Aldred Sain from his paradise turned nightmare back in to the land of the waking. Rain battered the tent above him and the half open door flap leapt around in the gale, clapping against the mud loudly. He could hear men muttering in the tents beside him, though outside it was still pitch black, barely past midnight. It took him a while to register why the flap was open, but when he did the dream came crashing back and his stomach dropped to the floor. Alnor. They’d argued badly, he’d struck him. Things hadn’t been the best between them since the start of the raid, and when Alnor crossed that line, when he’d mentioned Lorelai, he’d just snapped.

Standing from his bedroll, dejected and stooped, he tied the tent with practiced hands that could only come from the legion. The memory had haunted his dreams for almost two decades, ever since he’d taken the post as the General of the Annarites, but never before had it been so vivid, so real. Sometimes, it ended happily, as the true memory did. Sometimes it ended too early. But this was the first time she had been ripped away from him, and the wound was savage. It was like she had been taken from him all over again, such was the pain. He could tell from the concerned murmurs around him that he’d screamed her name in his sleep; the men had known Lorelai, loved her as they’d loved a sister, as they loved their General. But he couldn’t bring himself to care. Body shaking with sobs, he collapsed back on to his bedroll, fingernails biting in to his palms as he tried to take away the pain by inflicting more. 

The storm continued to bellow it’s fury across the skies, whilst on the ground, Aldred Sain wept at what he had lost.


March 25, 2021 21:59

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4 comments

KED KED
15:46 May 25, 2021

Hold onnnnnnn what?? Here I was enjoying a lovely spring moment, then bam! Nope. None for you. Is this part of a larger story here on Reedsy or on your own that you're writing?? Well done either way!!

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R. B. Leyland
18:14 May 25, 2021

I apologise 😂 It's actually part of the book I'm writing, Aldred is the general in that. Kinda explored his backstory in this and it helped in my writing a lot. Glad you liked :D

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KED KED
18:25 May 25, 2021

Nice! Sounds like it'll be quite intense! :)

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R. B. Leyland
19:53 May 25, 2021

I hope so! I was gunna keep doing backstories for my characters but one didn't get approved because of it, so I had to stop :(

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