Harald Slott-Møller . “Spring”[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Every day, just before twilight, Susie arrives, blond curls adored with flowers, and feet bare, no matter the season. She appears silently and sits by the water. The birds come and go in a noisy chatter, but she doesn’t talk back to them. She sits quietly. This is typical. She was always a pensive child. But folks often remarked that when Susie did smile, her face lit up in such a way that all around her smiled back.
The chirps and trills of the birds, the whir of insects, and the soft lapping of the water create a harmony of nature. There are no human sounds. Long ago, the area was vibrant, alive with fishermen and farmers, artists and craftspeople, lovers and families–and joy. Some say it was disease, a plague that destroyed this world; others say it was the men who came with whips and chains. But does it matter? That life vanished hundreds of years ago. And Susie no longer smiles.
Still, she comes and sits by the water, as though waiting for something. What does Susie’s gaze reveal? Is it hope or warning? Ask the few who have glimpsed her sitting there in the gloaming. Ask, if you can find them.
This story is in response to Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge using this painting by Harald Slott-Møller. I pretty much ignored spring and the prompt words.