Volume 4 Number 4


Autumn 2006

After the Fall

by Bill West

Naked you stand at the study window and sway. You feel the touch of the sun's last rays as they sweep through bars of cloud. You would sigh at the sun's passing, if you could still breathe.

Below the window is the garden where you fell from grace. You followed the young gardener through the rhododendrons, flicked apple pips and berries at him, cooed like a dove from the shade. You were enchanted by his green eyes, his easy smile, and twisting hair. You were rolled on the lawn, spiked and watered until your flesh opened to him like desert under rain.

Later you bloomed; green tips burst through your skin and rippled across your belly and thighs. Your breasts swayed like windblown mounds, your mouth, ears, and eyes clogged with roots.

Mute by the window, you welcome the steady tread of leather shoes towards you. Your father's gentle hand guides you beside the floor lamp behind his reading chair. You stand demure, arms crossed beneath the lampshade, grateful for the bulb's feeble glow. The chair shifts and a heavy book is taken from the table. A breeze from the window causes your body to rustle. You know the words he is reading, "All flesh is as grass, and all its glory as the flower of grass. The grass has withered and its flower has fallen."

Words, like crystal water sprinkled. You need to drink.

Bio: Bill West lives in Shropshire (England) and is Group Host to the Write Words Flash Fiction Writers' Group, and member of the Bridgnorth Writers' Group and I*D Writers' Group. His work has appeared on Flashshots, at Somewhat.org, The Lampshade, Quictiononline, Barfing Frog, FlashQuake, MYTHOLOG, Heavy Glow and in Thirteen Magazine.