It’s difficult now to remember the time before. Before war, before I knew the evil that humans can inflict–when my worries consisted merely of studying and passing exams. I was determined to prove that I was as brilliant as any man, smarter, in fact. But that day, the dandelion sun glowed, white seed clouds drifted in the azure sky, and reflections floated languidly on the river. Laura begged me to join the rest of the group for a picnic, and I’d agreed, even as she threatened me with the admonition, “and bring no book, for this one day, we’ll give to idleness.” How young and carefree we were, lolling on the grass like the figures in an Impressionist painting, but all clothed. Or mostly.
Laura, Keith, John—all of them gone, victims of war. And I’m left, still searching for answers.
A flash fiction piece for dVerse, Monday where Ingrid asks us to use the lines:
“And bring no book, for this one day
We’ll give to idleness”
— William Wordsworth, “Lines Written at a Small Distance from my House”
My spy series doesn’t seem to follow any order, but we’ll just say this is a part of it.
I couldn’t resist adding these photos from Grounds for Sculpture that recreate Edouard Manet’s “Le Dejeuner sur l’herbe” (1863).