Cradled in the palms of a young man was a nest of interwoven brown twigs, the bowl filled to the brim with tiny eggs the color of spring. Buttery yellow, pastel pink, hazy purple, soft white. All speckled with little red dots, minuscule dribbles of blood. The clack as they jostled against each other promised thick, hard shells, filled with gooey, spicy delight. My stomach twisted at the memory of overindulgence.
We stood together in a faded barn loft, where the boy had just pulled the nest down from among the rafters. Straw so old it had gone to white littered the wood floor and fine dust wandered away through the open loft doors. The eggs almost glowed with color by comparison with our drab surroundings.
As if in offering, the boy held the nest out to me. “Take these.”
Though desire arced through me, I raised my hands as if to ward him off. “Why do you want me to have them?”
“They’re my secrets,” he said. “I need you to hold onto them. Don’t you want to know?”
My mouth watered with the heady scent of sugar wafting up from the eggs. I swallowed. “If I take these,” I warned, “I will devour them.”
As his eyes widened, he hugged the bundle of eggs a little closer to his chest. “Why would you do that?”
I slipped my hands into my pockets, resisting temptation. “Don’t be so willing to give your secrets out,” I growled. “No one can protect them like you.”
The boy’s head bowed. “I’d still risk it,” he whispered. “To be known.”
“You know yourself,” I replied. Though he flinched, I pressed on. “Secrets are dangerous and therefore delicious. Be careful who you feed.”
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Little Blue Marble 2022: Warmer Worlds
Featuring “I Hope This Email Does Not Find You!”
The last eight years have been the warmest on record.
Little Blue Marble‘s anthology of speculative climate fiction and poetry from an international slate of authors mourns and hopes in equal measure for the fate of our world and its ecosystems.
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6 thoughts on “The Hopeful Wanderer – To Be Known”
Fantastic piece of flash fiction. Really enjoyed it.
Thank you! When I finished writing this piece, I thought, ‘It’s weird and I like it.’ Glad someone else does too!
Definitely! Thought it was really unusual and written superbly!
Must admit, as soon as I saw the picture it reminded me of Easter candies, so I might have something in common with you. . .
By the way, I know sometimes these wind up in the Spam, so I just want to make sure that you caught that I nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award. https://wordsonkey.wordpress.com/2020/07/01/sunshine-blogger-award/ If you already knew that, then you can edit this part out.
I think in the pic those probably are candies. Fun fact: I’m allergic to peanut butter and these are full them. I got really sick from eating one as a kid, but it was so tasty!
Thank you for the reminder. I did see the nomination and fully plan to participate. I really appreciate the nomination. You should know I just nominated you for a different blogger award, but the post won’t go up until Tuesday. I’ll link you when it’s posted!
Haha, I was wondering if they really were. Interesting how much we can sometimes sacrifice for a heavenly taste. 😂
Okay, just making sure. I’ve heard that it sometimes gets misplaced in Spam, like I said.
Oh! Thank you so much, that will only be my second! I’m very honored ❤ Keep up your AMAZING flash fiction