Once upon a time, humans understood the
words spoken by the forest. They could easily slip from their native
tongues into, say, the language of the grasses, which, outside of a
few dialectic differences, is mainly the same. Humans could speak
with the trees and the orchids, even the bees, who, naturally, spoke
several languages, the bees' main employ being the hand-delivery of
messages to the forest vegetation.
It came to pass, as these things do,
that the humans believed they no longer needed the forest: They began
to shape it to their desires.
Whole languages disappeared as the
forest constricted. Lilies hung their heads. The bees stopped Sunday
deliveries. Maples toed underground pipes.
Eventually the humans stopped speaking
entirely to the forest, all except Willheim, the last remaining
And so it was the bees who brought the
news of the birth of Edmunda to the woods. Edmunda: daughter of
Tatjana, granddaughter of Alois. The blood of royalty coursed through
the child's veins: She was destined to sit upon a throne of gold.
But the blood of the woodfolk ran
through Edmunda as well, a simple misstep in Tatjana's judgement,
according to the servants, who gossiped like bees while they polished
the silver and plucked the goose for dinner. Suddenly intoxicated by
the scent of wild roses, scent being a language all its own, Tatjana
had taken up with Willheim.
Tatjana's mother was furious: Royalty
does not mix with men of the forest. Willheim was dragged into the
executioner's chambers, Tatjana sobbing on the other side of the
oaken door, while the maple planted outside, in a token nod to the
forest, looked on in silent sorrow.
The months passed. Spring turned to
summer and then fall.
Tatjana gave birth.
The tree whispered a message to the
bees, who flew low, carrying the word to each blade of grass: A new
woodchild had been born.
The child's throne would not be gold,
Edmunda would sit upon a throne of
Kelly Garriott Waite on Google+
Labels: flash fiction, Trifecta Writing Challenge