Fantasy Fiction

As the sun lowered under the hill the TV turned on the main national channel whilst all the family waited for the show to begin and for the supper to be served. They sat in the dining room despite the table under the outside porch was a better option for a summer dinner, at least to me. My neighbors had different preferences. I did not know them personally, but from the spot I used to seat I could observe their behavior and forming an opinion about them. I never was an outgoing neither I did not enjoy moving from a place to another, even when the distance was less than a meter. I was rooted in one place, my sweat spot from where I could peer at everything and everybody, if I wished, whilst remaining invisible to the others. They used to move a lot, not only from chair to chair but also from a room to another impairing the comfort of the observation from my steady spot. The only Not-Moving-Thing in the neighbor’s house was the TV. This is why I got knowing my neighbors from the evening shows and series they used to watch. 

The spot I used to seat -and not moving from- had the summer sky as a roof and wild grass as a floor. I lived outdoor; no need for me to go out. I lived by myself, enjoying the unobtrusive and discreet presence of a few others living in my area and who also found peace and freedom in the quietness of the wheat field. I was not alone; none of us was, despite we barely talked to each other.

She popped up from the neighbors’ TV flat screen when I saw her. The pink robe wrapping the slim body made her looking like a princess. Maybe she was, as the crown-shaped-hair topping her fabulous head suggested. She was not the only one, among a dozen of cuties who might have been her sisters. She was the most beautiful, bowing to people clapping at her brightness under the spotlight. “Wow,” I talked to myself. “It must be hard to stand in a such crowded place, all eyes and lights on you,” I said staring at her. She did not seem to be bothered by the situation; actually she looked delighted, until the oldest of the neighbors decided it was time to go to sleep and turned the TV off. It was when the crickets started rubbing their front wings together, opening their chirping concert under the moonlight. A bunch of fireflies joined the venue in that summer outdoor show. “She might like it,” I talked to myself again, secretly hoping for her to be with me and for that night to finish soon, so that another one would start; to see her one more time on the neighbors ‘TV.

The sun lowered again, this time melting into the line merging the hill and the red-orange sky. Another day spent in the field keeping insects away from the wheat. Nothing personal against insects; it  was my job.

The TV was on, and on went my heart. In the silence of the field I could hear the neighbors fighting for the possession of the remote control. A big affair, because who got it gained the power to choose the channel and the program to watch. A big affair to me, hoping for the youngest daughter to win; she would switch to the main national channel, where the evening show was about to start. News-Soap Operas, Soap Operas- News was the agony I had to suffer until the youngest daughter took the command.

There she was, among her sisters. Under the spotlight and among the clapping sound of hundreds of hands. A piano was playing on the stage, making her flying from one corner to another smiling at the other dancers, chatting and flattering here and there among people. Another evening, another social event for her; another quiet evening for me.

Crickets and fireflies did not bother me, neither some occasional night bat did, while crossing the field. I had been sharing that place with them since ages, knowing each other by sight and yet knowing each other deeply. If I had to talk to one of them -or even worst, to all of them at once- I would run out of energy at the only thought. Yet I liked them, despite in the daylight I had to keep them away from the wheat, but that was my job. Besides insects and little wild animals the field was crossed by people as well, and often they addressed to me and invited me for a drink. I always declined, sometimes feeling my refusal was sounding rude to them; that was not my intention, it was just that I liked to stay where I was, rooted in my sweet spot.

Days and evenings ran fast, so did the evening show on TV featuring the princess in her pink robe surrounded by people attending parties and events.

The sun was high and the air was getting warmer. I sat at my usual spot in the middle of the wheat corn, dampening my foot into a stream of water running from a spring on the hill. Two Panama hats appeared from the distance moving across the field. They got closer enough to reveal two young lady’s faces peering from under them. One of the ladies was pulling something or someone from her hand, ‘a toddler,’ I thought. They approached the stream of water looking for some refreshment, not noticing me; the sun blinded their eyes. Only the toddler saw me.

“Hello, finally we meet! I’ve seen you staring at me all these past evenings. If you want to invite me for a dinner and dancing, I’m coming!”

The toddler, ehm not a toddler she was, winked at me twice while I was unable to say something. Only I managed to blush, getting redder than I usually was. It was her, the princess I saw on TV, wearing her pink dress.

When the evening came and the sunset called the neighbors to another dinner watching TV, I could not stop thinking of her, of how beautiful she was and of how stupid I might have looked to her. Taking her out? Oh no no. Dancing and eating among other people? Oh no no. Rather to spend the rest of the life rooted in the wheat field, dreaming of her.

Footsteps trampled on the wild grass and a voice yelled against all those crickets which did not shut up. The yang Panama hat lady was in the wheat field again, as if looking for something she might have lost during her morning stroll. My heart was about to blast and when I saw her it did. Approaching to my spot the lady was pulling her from one hand, not noticing me. She did notice me, oh if she did.

“I thought better to pick you up. Are you ready?” The princess in her pink robe asked me.

“Uh, ready for what?”-

“For our soiree. I’ve booked a table at the coolest disco in town. Get ready, sweetheart.”

Disco? Oh no no. “May I invite you for a dinner at my place? We will have more chances to talk and knowing each other,” I only-God-knows-how managed to say.

“Your place? Why not? I will meet your friends as well! Cool! Let me reach out to my friends too, we will have so much fun! I’ m so excited.”

Many people in one place at the same moment? Oh no no. “I meant only me and you,” I only-God-knows-how managed to say. “There is a concert starting soon. I can make a drink for you.”

She said YES. The princess from TV just said YES. It would be something new for her, she said. Worth to try.

A large flat stone was laid as the most royal table. Two corollas held a fresh made cocktail among their petals. I wore my usual green suit; she was in her amazing pink robe. The conversation went on under the starry sky. She talked the most and he listened the most, mesmerized by her stories about the coolest parties and TV shows; about how she liked socializing and attending whatever party and social event; about how she was always invited and how she always accepted. She did not ask anything about me, thanks God, this would have been embarrassing, but if she had I got prepared for a speech about the shooting stars I had seen in my life and about my neighbors and crickets and fireflies. But she did not ask.

“I’m Rose, by the way. You can call me Rosy. What is your name?” Her only question came just when the crickets decided to open their concerts, so I am not sure she could hear that my name was Poppy -but she could call me Pop- and that my job was to keep insects away from the wheat field I was rooted to.

The melody played by the crickets must have pleased her very much, because for a couple of seconds she did not say any word. Silence. She was thinking. About telling me ‘hey Poppy Pop, I’m enjoying your company. I find you interesting and I love so much your red hair. I might be glad to go out with you again.’

Her pinky lips started to move, opening like blossoming petals of rose. What came out of them made me feel in a way I never felt before: ashamed. And guilty. Ashamed of myself, of my introversion that freed me from others when I was alone but caged me in an invisible prison when I was with others. Guilty for being the way I was; for enjoying my quiet time by watching the starry sky and feeling connected to it and to my neighbors and to crickets and fireflies. She said what she said, missing the crowdy party where she was supposed to be that night instead of being with me. Missing the moment framing her under the spotlight, when the birthday lady would grab her among her arms carefully, not to be stung by her thorns. Among dozens of roses not too much different than she was, Rose Rosy said what she said before leaning towards me; ‘to kiss me,’ I thought and secretly hoped. She came so close that one of her thorns pierced my green suit and broke my heart when her talkative and always excited mouth could say what she said: “I’m never going out with you again.”  

July 27, 2021 11:38

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Uta L.
15:34 Aug 06, 2021

This sounds like a very intriguing story. However, I have some difficulty understanding it because of the grammar. If you are open to it, I could go into more detail and maybe explain a bit.


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Alice Richardson
06:35 Aug 02, 2021

A delightful story.


18:02 Aug 02, 2021

Thank you, Alice.


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