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Flowers From the Earth

“Earth laughs in flowers.”

Willow couldn’t remember the last time she’d read Emerson, only that she’d once heard Giles sniff a bit when discussing the Transcendentalists with Ms. Calendar and that after that, insecure as she was, she’d shoved her leather bound Collected Works behind some other books on her shelf and, no, she had never retrieved it.

But the memory of that one phrase suddenly flashed on the screen of her mind as she sat alone and lonely in a field far from home, and she blinked twice, surprised at the timing of her recollection and more than a little scornful of Emerson’s naiveté. After all, she’d recently had a very intimate connection with the Earth and it wasn’t laughing; not at all. Still… the words reminded her of the girl she’d once been, shining bright with belief in a world that was genuinely good at heart in spite of all the evidence each day offered her to the contrary.

Where had she gone? Was she still there somewhere or had the bullet which had obliterated Tara (love, hope, humanity) also slaughtered everything Tara had once taken into her heart?

Had Willow slain that girl herself with hands buried deep in darkest magic and stained with Warren’s blood?

The vision of Tara’s body melded with the horrible corpse of her skinless killer and the pain pierced her to the bone – just as it did hundreds of times a day. Every step she took reminded her that she’d sought to eradicate every inch of the earth beneath her feet. Had she broken faith so horribly with the world she’d once loved so well that all it would offer her now was continued breath and eternal guilt?

She placed her hand on the soft green grass of this English ground and… there was a bloom.

No, Earth didn’t laugh in flowers… but it forgave in them.

The End.
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