June [a character sketch]

[22 May 2019]


The warm air floats by gently carried by a cool undercurrent and the scent of water.

She sits there, eyes closed, shoulders dropped, face glowing and shaded by her wide-brimmed straw hat she bought years ago from the shop down the street. She breathes in. The air fills her lungs with the smell of moss and dampness and sunlight.

She breathes out and props her arms behind her, fingernails digging into the earth and the earth creeping under her fingertips. Her hair loose and tangled and catching sticky on the back of her neck; her legs stretched out like a canvas for the sun to paint darker shades.

A sudden gust of wind appears and snatches her hat whoosh off her head. She looks behind her and stretches her arm backward to catch it and leans and leans and leans and brushes it with the tip of her fingers but it is snatched out of her reach and she falls backward, held in a bower of cool earth and grass.

She lies there for a while. Eyes closed. Watching the shape of the clouds passing over her eyelids.

She breathes in. And laughs.

The sun hangs low in the sky. Blues turning to reds and golds and purples.

She smiles and gathers up her things:
A blanket, red and white checks
A bottle of green tea, now warm
A set of china and plastic forks and knives, cleaned off in the water.

She throws the crust of the sandwich to the ducks nearby and packs up the rest in her wicker picnic basket, grabs her cane, straightens up, and walks towards her car, stopping by the plum tree where the last of the incense has burned down. She stands there for a long time. She smiles. Happy birthday, she says softly. Then she bends down, picks up the portrait, blows the dust and dirt off, and sticks it in her picnic basket on top of the china and the plastic forks and knives before making her way into the car and driving off into the deepening night.

9 responses to “June [a character sketch]”

  1. NZain avatar

    A lovely lovely character sketch. Goosebumps here 🙂 totally relatable.
    Sweet picture.💞

    1. Nathan AM Smith avatar

      Thank you!! <3 <3 <3

      1. NZain avatar

        I’m loving watching how your characters come to life!

        1. Nathan AM Smith avatar

          It is fun to dream them into reality!

          1. NZain avatar

            Well you certainly have a way of doing just this. 🙂

  2. orkidedatter avatar

    vividly written.
    You caught me from the first word
    and it is so lovely.
    I love that plum tree, it is something magical with it in a little girl eyes…. and I can still imagine it as an adult. Thank you Nathan for sharing.
    I wish you a wonderful day❤️

    1. Nathan AM Smith avatar

      Thank you!!!!! I’m glad you liked it! I love plum trees so much 🙂

      1. orkidedatter avatar

        Always, my friend😊

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