I'm taking a little break on this one and sharing with you a fiction/fantasy story I wrote from a writing prompt for my writers group. One day I may write a follow up to it, what do you think?
Flora to Fauna
Penelope hurried along the path leading to her favorite spot in the park where everything seemed just a little different. Finding the hidden break in the hedges she brushed the fluttering petals off her face, inhaling the sweetness of lilacs and lilies as she entered the cool dimness of the garden. Birds twittered and squirrels chittered as she made her way around the huge animals sculpted out of bushes there. The work of elves and fairies, she thought as she considered each one in turn. Passing by the llama, lamb, cow and lion she stopped, tipping her head back to get the full effect of the elephant. “You’re my favorite” she whispered as she sat with her back against an ancient oak nearby. Pulling a sandwich from her bag she sighed in contentment and opened her book of poetry. After some time the effects of the quiet garden and heat of the midday sun leaking through the gently waving leaves overcame her and she fell into a deep contented sleep, her chin resting on her chest.
“When daylight turns to darkness
There’s a nighttime in the noon
No sun shines down upon us
And neither so the moon
Then flora becomes fauna
And the fauna cry in fear
That is when the world will know
The One in charge is near.”
Penelope stirred and lazily opened one eye to murky light. “Who said that?” she mumbled, still not quite comprehending the changed conditions. A bumble bee hovered in front of her. “Did you say that? I couldn’t quite hear you if you did. Who’s Flora and why is it dark? Who’s in charge?” Regaining some of her senses she waited for the bee to reply. “You heard me,” the reply was almost too soft for her to catch the answer. “Think about it, as you watch all that happens around you.” “Who are you?” she asked the bee, “and what am I to watch?” “You’re full of questions, be patient little one.” He said, and added as he flew off, “I am Bob.” As she watched him zip away she heard a ripping sound, almost like Velcro when it’s torn apart, only thunderously louder. The ground around her began to shake and the tree trembled behind her. She looked about her through the greenish dim light terrified with the realization her topiary friends were galloping about, bumping into each other. The elephant stood in front of her, loose roots hanging off its legs spewing little balls of dirt as it shook them as one would do after standing in one position too long. Wide eyed and trembling Penelope looked up into the creature’s eyes which emitted an odd brown glow as it commandingly intoned, “Since you have always shown me kindness I will carry you on my back to keep you safe during the uprising. Climb up my trunk and settle yourself securely, and hang on to my ears.” The child, though shaking in her shoes, obeyed and did as she was told. From her vantage point on top of the behemoth she could see that all the trees shivered and the topiary animals were spreading out through the park. People ran and screamed in horror as loose roots and dirt pellets rained down, for when they tore free of the earth they also gained size. As her mount picked up speed she began to relax and take in the pandemonium. Panicked birds flew in screeching circles after being disturbed from their roosts by trembling trees. She saw dogs and cats huddling together behind boulders or running neck and neck for the nearest building’s entrance in competition with people, squirrels, and every other animal in the area. All were whimpering in fear and just when she thought she couldn’t stand to see any more she heard buzzing and felt something land on her shoulder. “How are you dear?” Bob inquired barely audible. “Are you starting to understand?” Penelope, still looking at the masses crowded and trembling in the buildings entrances, sighed and murmured, “You are the One in charge.” “Yes,” he purred, “You are perceptive, my dear. The topiary witness many crimes against nature as they stand their silent watch. Everyone must begin to change their ways and care for the Earth and all life forms, plant and animal alike. Nature out of control is a fearsome thing and hopefully this display will stay with them so they begin to change their ways. Now, time for you to rise, rise, rise!” His voice got louder as Penelope began to float up, and then down, down, down. The sounds of chaos became fainter and further away as she wafted as a leaf on a gentle summer breeze back to the base of the ancient oak.
“Penelope!” she heard through a drowsy haze, “There you are dear, wake up! Goodness, you must have been tired. I’ve been calling you for five minutes! Didn’t you hear me? I had to come all the way in here to get you. The picnic is over; it’s time we went home.” Standing up and picking up her bag she walked alongside her mother, turning to look at her friend the elephant as they passed. “Mommy, I had such a dream!” “You can tell me all about it on the way home, Penelope; your dreams are always so exciting.” As they made their way through the park, a bumble bee trailed behind.