Seedling Star


After dinner, Grandmother shoos Billy and Grandfather out to the garden. Billy lies upon his stomach studying the cracks in the earth, watching an ant take stock of its surroundings, legs and antennae feeling...studying...committing the way to memory. Three feet away, Grandfather hoes between his tomato plants.

They pass an hour in silence. The air cools. The sun nestles into the horizon. Billy blinks and widens his eyes. The stars leap into the sky like popping corn. Grandfather reaches out, then balls his fist. "Quick, child. Dig a hole."

Billy jumps to his feet and grabs a stick.

Grandfather kneels and opens his hand over the hole Billy has scratched into the dirt. "A seedling star is a wondrous thing."


"Stars don't grow, Grandfather."

"Plant anything in this soil, it'll grow." Grandfather pats down the earth and rises to his feet.

"Grandfather planted a star," Billy tells Grandmother later.

"Have you taken your pills, Daniel?" She opens a bottle; shakes out three white pills onto his palm.

"Magic beans." Grandfather winks.

"Memory pills." Grandmother returns the bottle to the windowsill.

After the house falls silent and still, Billy tiptoes to the kitchen. His hand reaches and retreats, reaches and retreats, like the ebb and flow of the ocean as it tries to determine whether it's coming or going and what it stands for and why, in fact, it even exists. Deliberate now, the boy wraps his hand around the bottle and runs to the garden, spilling out the pills like stars.

In July, Billy brings Grandfather an ear of corn, a silky strand still clinging to that thin space between rows. "Eat, Grandfather," the boy says. "I grew you a memory."

But by now, Grandfather has forgotten how to eat, has forgotten, indeed, that corn is corn.

Billy cries himself to sleep with the waste and guilt undeserved for a progression as inexplicable as waves upon the sand and the sea turtles that find their way home by the light of the moon.


This was written for this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge. The word was deliberate.


Labels: ,

Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Seedling Star

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Seedling Star


After dinner, Grandmother shoos Billy and Grandfather out to the garden. Billy lies upon his stomach studying the cracks in the earth, watching an ant take stock of its surroundings, legs and antennae feeling...studying...committing the way to memory. Three feet away, Grandfather hoes between his tomato plants.

They pass an hour in silence. The air cools. The sun nestles into the horizon. Billy blinks and widens his eyes. The stars leap into the sky like popping corn. Grandfather reaches out, then balls his fist. "Quick, child. Dig a hole."

Billy jumps to his feet and grabs a stick.

Grandfather kneels and opens his hand over the hole Billy has scratched into the dirt. "A seedling star is a wondrous thing."


"Stars don't grow, Grandfather."

"Plant anything in this soil, it'll grow." Grandfather pats down the earth and rises to his feet.

"Grandfather planted a star," Billy tells Grandmother later.

"Have you taken your pills, Daniel?" She opens a bottle; shakes out three white pills onto his palm.

"Magic beans." Grandfather winks.

"Memory pills." Grandmother returns the bottle to the windowsill.

After the house falls silent and still, Billy tiptoes to the kitchen. His hand reaches and retreats, reaches and retreats, like the ebb and flow of the ocean as it tries to determine whether it's coming or going and what it stands for and why, in fact, it even exists. Deliberate now, the boy wraps his hand around the bottle and runs to the garden, spilling out the pills like stars.

In July, Billy brings Grandfather an ear of corn, a silky strand still clinging to that thin space between rows. "Eat, Grandfather," the boy says. "I grew you a memory."

But by now, Grandfather has forgotten how to eat, has forgotten, indeed, that corn is corn.

Billy cries himself to sleep with the waste and guilt undeserved for a progression as inexplicable as waves upon the sand and the sea turtles that find their way home by the light of the moon.


This was written for this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge. The word was deliberate.


Labels: ,

40 Comments:

At May 14, 2013 at 7:32 AM , Anonymous Lisa D.B. Taylor said...

Beautiful. So touching and true. The idea of a "seedling star" is genius. Loved this.

 
At May 14, 2013 at 8:04 AM , Anonymous Rossandra White said...

So very sad and touching and wonderful.

 
At May 14, 2013 at 8:07 AM , Blogger christina said...

oh wow. so sad. fabulous writing and storytelling.

 
At May 14, 2013 at 9:22 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thank you, Christina! I enjoyed your piece for this week.

 
At May 14, 2013 at 9:22 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thanks, Rossandra!

 
At May 14, 2013 at 9:22 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thanks, Lisa - I loved your latest piece.

 
At May 14, 2013 at 9:30 AM , Anonymous injaynesworld said...

There is magic and beauty laced all through this piece. I wish I had some "Kelly" pills. :)

 
At May 14, 2013 at 10:54 AM , Blogger Monica Devine said...

Imaginative and engaging...what a cool story!

 
At May 14, 2013 at 11:19 AM , Blogger November Rain - k~ said...

Kelly, you weave magick into your words. There is such a soulful breath that comes from you and pours into your characters that each story I have read leaves a mark on my heart. This was a fantastic story, captured, shared and enjoyed by this reader.

 
At May 14, 2013 at 12:58 PM , Blogger Elisabeth Kinsey said...

Wow - I wasn't ready for the end. So sad. So well written.

 
At May 14, 2013 at 1:00 PM , Blogger Tara R. said...

This was so touching. And so true to life. I can imagine a young boy trying to do this for his beloved grandfather. Beautifully written.

 
At May 14, 2013 at 3:27 PM , Anonymous My Inner Chick said...

Pure Magic! X

 
At May 15, 2013 at 7:42 AM , OpenID jannatwrites said...

I love the innocence of a child's mind. The seedling star is a sweet bit of magic. Beautiful how he tried to plant a memory, but such aching sadness when nothing could help his grandpa.

 
At May 15, 2013 at 6:37 PM , Blogger Lance said...

I like the juxapositions of midnsets and POVS of the situation. "memory pills?" I need those now

I loved the craft and word choices, Kel. well done

 
At May 15, 2013 at 8:39 PM , Blogger Draug said...

I love the idea of growing stars. Lovely piece.

 
At May 15, 2013 at 9:09 PM , Anonymous steph said...

Spilling the pills out like stars.. I grew you a memory.. the love of a child for his grandfather. Touching, Kelly. Lovely.

 
At May 16, 2013 at 3:37 AM , Blogger Thomas Marlowe said...

That made me sad in all the right ways - the grandfather gave the child such happy and magical memories, and kept none for himself.

 
At May 16, 2013 at 7:21 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thanks so much, Jayne.

 
At May 16, 2013 at 7:22 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thanks, Monica.

 
At May 16, 2013 at 7:22 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thanks always, K, for your constant support.

 
At May 16, 2013 at 7:22 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

I wasn't ready either, Elizabeth - Not sure where that ending came from.

 
At May 16, 2013 at 7:22 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thanks, Tara!

 
At May 16, 2013 at 7:23 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thanks for reading!

 
At May 16, 2013 at 7:23 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

I like his innocence too - I think he's just on the cusp and his grandfather's loss of memory destroyed it.

 
At May 16, 2013 at 7:23 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thanks, Lance.

 
At May 16, 2013 at 7:24 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

I like that idea, too. Thanks Draug!

 
At May 16, 2013 at 7:24 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thanks, Steph. I really enjoyed your piece for this week's Trifecta.

 
At May 16, 2013 at 7:24 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thanks so much! Your piece was amazing this week!

 
At May 16, 2013 at 8:08 AM , Blogger Bj√∂rn said...

A lovely and sad piece. of magic not working.... Very readable and some lovely

 
At May 16, 2013 at 4:23 PM , Blogger Suzanne said...

This is such a beautiful piece. Such a creative way to tell such a sad story. Just lovely.

 
At May 16, 2013 at 4:32 PM , Blogger Valerie said...

Lucky is the child who has a grandpa like this-a gorgeous, magical, simply wonderful piece of writing Kelly!!

 
At May 16, 2013 at 10:02 PM , Blogger Trifecta said...

You do know how to spin a lovely yarn.

 
At May 17, 2013 at 4:44 AM , Blogger kymm said...

This is such a sweet story, Kelly, with lots of gorgeous bits. Seeding stars and harvesting memories; the sea, its influence and inhabitants. Loved it.

 
At May 17, 2013 at 5:04 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thanks so much!

 
At May 17, 2013 at 5:04 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thank you, Suzanne.

 
At May 17, 2013 at 5:05 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thanks for reading and commenting, Valerie.

 
At May 17, 2013 at 5:07 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thanks - Still not sure I used the word correctly - This was a tough one!

 
At May 17, 2013 at 5:08 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thanks, Kymm. I really enjoyed your piece as well. Do you have pictures of that apartment? And I really wanted to know where your MIL is from.

 
At May 17, 2013 at 6:22 AM , Blogger The Gal Herself said...

Loving grandparents can fill our lives with magic, and you captured that, as well as the pain of their loss. "Seeding stars" is a wonderful thought! Makes your universal story so credible and unique.

 
At May 18, 2013 at 4:52 AM , Blogger Ambalika Handoo said...

A moving piece ,i do want to know things from grandmother's perspective also .:)

 

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