The girl was told to sit in the garden and she sat there. She kept on waiting even if she knew that she was waiting for nothing.
The garden had turned familiar to the girl, all those days of waiting has at least done that.
The grass was just a little overgrown and on it sat several little bugs. Different kinds of flowers poked their head from here and there and adorable butterflies circled them. Even the beetles and bees were abundant enough to be spotted within a minute. Every corner of the garden buzzed with life, the flowers were that magnificent, and they celebrated the air with their lovely scent.
Of course, the kingdom was famous across seas for its flowers, beautiful, gorgeous, magnificent flowers. So, it wasn’t a surprise that the princess’s garden was decorated with them.
The girl sat there, enwrapped in the dream. She knew that as long as she had to wait there, she would do it, happily. However, she also needed results. She needed to change her dreams into reality. A maid came to the girl and told her that the council was busy that day too and went away as fast as she came. The girl sighed and turned, brushing her left hand through the delicate flowers, disturbing a few butterflies.
She was a butterfly,
And she wanted, needed, to fly.
Though however hard she tried,
She just couldn’t make it,
And didn’t know why.
So everyone thought that,
She would stop striving soon.
But is what everyone thinks
The branches split into more branches and on each branch were bundles of flowers. The number of flowers outnumbered the number of leaves in the lush bushes. The petals were perfectly arranged in intricate patterns and brighter, better, colours danced in the wind. The perfume was also sweeter, stronger, wafting through the air. The scene was as beautiful as an illusion.
The girl closed her eyes and walked faster, it was a nightmare to her, and she had to get out of it, that’s why she hoped that the letter would find success. Like most people, she dreamed of getting out of her nightmares.
Of course, the kingdom was famous across seas for its flowers, beautiful, lasting, cheap flowers. So, it wasn’t a surprise that they used hectares of land just for cultivating them.
This beauty was not an illusion; it had a price. Moreover, it had to be kept that way. So, they took away chaos from there, they took away life. No bugs or bees or butterflies came to the flowers. No weeds interrupted them. There was just silence, and no life. That just increased the beauty, of a glance. Nevertheless, taking away life, created a new series of chaos, a new type of life. One that was different and looked different, way different.
The girl got out of the gardens as fast as she could, and met less bearable sights. The houses nearest to the gardens belonged to the people who worked there, who had to work there. Their families had the privilege to enter the nearby gardens, pluck a few flowers and breathe in their scents. Little girls adorned their flowing hair with the wonders they’ve picked. Boys found the place quite perfect for their bizarre games. They laughed and played until their life changed. The place was not poverty stricken, even the poorest in the kingdom had healthy meals. However, that did not stop the children’s bodies from going scrawny and scaly.
The first things which got affected were the butterflies. Everyone found it weird that the butterflies were disappearing from a place filled with flowers, when it started a long time ago. The girl found it weird too, that her favourite things to chase, then, were disappearing. She could recall the last butterfly she had seen in the place, years and years ago. It was struggling to fly and it could not reach anymore than a certain height. The problem was its wings, asymmetrical wings. One of them was big and beautiful but the other looked squashed, smaller, ugly.
The girl sighed, not even butterflies with asymmetrical wings could be found now.
After the butterflies, went the frequent snakes, the bees disappeared soon after and the beekeepers were devastated. The frogs disappeared, then mongooses and then jackals. Then, it hit the humans, they didn’t dessert the place smartly like the other animals, they didn’t even understand what was happening.
Nevertheless, they understood that their lives were being changed, that they were being changed. That every coming day made them look more different, made life harder. That every new child born amongst them was sentenced to something grave.
And then, some did run away, but the others had no choice, they had to stay.
The girl had been affected too, but not as severely as the ones who were born after it all started.
The girl looked at her right hand, split in the middle, grown out as two portions, with a pair of fingers in each, more like a claw than a hand. But it had been a hand, and the girl could remember a time in which she thought that the droplets falling from the sky was rain, which fell at the same time, every day, every spring.
She had just been cursed with an unusable hand when her younger brother, who never listened to their mother when she told not to stand in the rain, died while his skin rotted away. When her cousin who was born two years after that couldn’t live more than a month because of his deformed head and limbs.
The girl had seen protests, strikes and riots. Successful ones too. But their successes were short lived. Spring was here again and the potions had to be used to stop the leaf hoppers from destroying the plants and for the flowers to improve. Of course, the flowers were important, more than all the people in the three villages surrounding the garden.
The potions were not sprinkled from the flying carts anymore; the villagers had at least stopped the poison rain. Though, the potions were still used, and it used powerful magic, which would spread and cause the dreaded consequences. Who didn’t know that powerful magic held hidden dangers?, and who knew that those dangers would be this dire?
The girl recoiled and sighed. Every child alive, in her village had either bulging eyes, withered skin or a twisted limb. The girl lived in the same village, and even she could not help but flinch. And so the name they had put for the villages was perfect, The Villages of Hell, what a wonderful name, however what other name could be put to the villages in which lived people who looked like creatures from myths?
And of course, the people who defied the rules set by the central alchemists, just so that some flowers would end up pretty, were not accused of anything, they were angels from heaven.
The kingdom was famous across seas for its flowers, beautiful, gorgeous, magnificent flowers. So, it wasn’t a surprise that it would do anything for its magnificent flowers.
She was a butterfly,
And she needed to fly,
But she could only reach a height,
And then she would fall back down.
Her heart was set,
But her tries were quite feeble.
As her wings were not symmetrical.
So everyone thought,
As the always do,
That she had no more hope.
But is what everyone thinks
The girl lowered her head to her desk. Her work for the day had been finished. She had written more letters for sorcerers, asking for the clarifications of the reactions the potions had. She had to have evidences if she had to stop the poisons; magic, barely left evidences.
The girl remembered about the special letter she had sent that day, the letter was sure to find results, someone in the castle had to have a heart.
The girl also had studied the potions more. She knew that she was killing herself by working with unstable magic but the villages counted on her. It was her promises which kept them calm. And the girl was sure that she would never quit, she would never stop hoping, and then, she was sure to find results.
Then her dreams would fly.
She was a butterfly,
And she wanted to fly.
But however hard she strived,
She couldn’t reach higher,
She couldn’t correct her wings.
So, everyone thought
That she would never win,
But is what everyone thinks,
And like that the days had went on...
The large windows were open and wondrous butterflies waltzed in trough it. They landed lightly on the books and the table before fluttering out of the room.
The princess loved butterflies but after her mother’s sad departure there was no time her to be childish. So she reached out and grabbed another outdated letter off the pile. Most of the pile was just marriage requests; the princess felt rather dreary. The princess tore open another envelop carelessly, pulled out the parchment and read.
Someone, from The Villages of Hell, needed the palace’s help for stopping the usage of the pesticide potions used in the gardens. More boring than marriage requests. However, the last line had struck the princess.
“Would you like a butterfly any less because it had asymmetrical wings?”
The princess coul—
A maid entered knocked on the door.
The princess sighed.
“Just say it, no need of salutations.”
“The Villages of Hell are rioting an—”
“Why is that?”
“A new wave of deaths have occur—”
“Some of their current representatives have died, including a young la—”
“This matter shall be consulted by my father, the honourable king, now you may leave.”
The maid left.
And the princess turned back to her desk, and noticed something else in the cover of the letter she had been reading. Butterfly wings, asymmetrical butterfly wings. One of them was big and beautiful but the other looked squashed, smaller, ugly. The princess was jolted back to the question which faced her.
She stood up and walked to her window, taking the wings with her.
She pleased the butterfly wings carefully on the windowsill and gazed at the butterflies dancing in her garden. When she had turned away, her answer to the question, was formed.
A butterfly without perfect wings would never be more than insignificant to her.
A gust of wind caught the wings,
It carried it down ever so slowly
Fluttering down and down.
They spiralled and flew,
In their own ways, until,
They hit the ground.
But nobody noticed the fall,
As it had made no sound.
And they were just asymmetrical wings,
So, everyone thought that,
They were different, hideous,
And never more than insignificant.
But is what everyone thinks,...
Authors note; very loosely based on real events in relation to Endosulfan use.