While not everyone on planet earth experiences spring the same time of year, seasons and its renewal is universally understood. The cycles of life and death and continuation is holistic. One does not occur without the other.
Thus it is not surprising that a prompting of spring leads writers down divergent paths no matter how peaches and cream the challenge might be. The imagination has many possibilities to consider and the writer has many expressions of life to explore.
The following stories are based on the May 6, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that is a snapshot of spring.
Warmth of Spring by Charli Mills
In bare feet and faded peaches and cream house-coat, Ramona basked under the apple tree. Dark aroma floated from her coffee mug, mingling with sweet apple blossoms. Morning sun warmed her cheeks the way Vic’s hand felt when he rested it on her thigh, snugged to him on the bench seat of their truck. They drove in her dreams last night, young and ready for spring calves. Ramona frowned. No cattle lulled in the pastures; just the truck with both doors open and parked aslant. She shook her head. She’d have to talk to the twins about joy-riding again.
In the Apple Tree by Charli Mills
The twins watched Mama from the tops of apple tree blossoms. A buzz of mason bees tickled their feet. They held each other unseen in a pose of entwined arms like partner yoga. One giggled to the other, thoughts passing no louder than the hum of pollination:
What do we know of yoga?
Remember when Mama signed up for a class in town?
Yeah, yeah! And she fell over mid downward dog?
A breeze reached down and caught Mama like a tendril of hair across her face. Feel our touch, they both thought. We love you, Mama.
Currency Exchange by Jeanne Lombardo
He sat in the chair, vigilant, funereal.
“The taxi’s below,” she said. “I’ll call when I get there tomorrow.”
He didn’t rise. She gathered the last bags and closed the door behind her.
Freedom revved in her chest, maintained its thrum through traffic and customs. On the plane she exhaled into a blissful inaccessibility. Not even his voice could intrude now. Already he seemed far away.
She deplaned at Narita, boarded the island hopper to Kyushu. On the descent, she peered out the window. April sunlight glinting on the Inland Sea was a newly minted coin, just for her spending.
The Misted Hills by Merlin Ambrosius
The Misted Hills … sounds so mysterious, doesn’t it? What would you expect out of an environment named thus? Since I took to travelling, I now realise that I could almost exclusively be describing somewhere in coastal Wales. With its vertebral mountains and hidden coves, nowhere is ever far from the high, damp places. Yet, in the late spring, my home is so spectacularly beautiful: apple and cherry blossom, pink and fragrant, falls in flurries as new air breezes in, creating petal-strewn pathways to mountains from which one can perfectly view the setting of the newly arisen sun-god.
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not by Georgia Bell
The sidewalk was cool, cold even, but I sat down anyway, hoping he wouldn’t be too long. The air was damp and I could smell what was growing, even if I couldn’t see it yet. Reaching for a dandelion, I counted each tiny petal as I ripped it from the comfort and cluster of the stem. I told myself that he’d be here by the time I’d reached 50. Then 75.
An hour later a stack of wilted stems were heaped beside me as I heard my mother’s voice.
“He said he’s sorry, sweetheart. He’ll see you next week.”
Spring Rains by Mercy.James.
She stood, leaning on the deck railing, surveying the acreage. Everything was struggling – a hard push after a winter never-ending, not overloaded with snowfalls, but stretches of cold, bitter enough to leave a hard taste in one’s mouth.
Little rain had fallen this spring – everything a beige-grey color – death lingering, its wispy clasp holding fast. Sprouts battled to break free of the earth – the trees struggled. Buds were slow to show, swelling in rosette fashion, deciduous fought harder than evergreens.
Warm rain – it was needed – badly. She wondered why her tears hadn’t been enough to drench – ushering in life.
New Things Growing by Paula Moyer
Jean planted the bulbs in late October, just days before she and Bill closed on the house. The tenant, not happy at all about vacating, still agreed to let her plant.
Jean stuck the hyacinths, crocuses, and iris tubers in the ground as directed: each hole dug, bone meal spooned in, each bulb or tuber inserted and covered. Flower beds watered. Whole thing then covered with hay that made her sneeze.
Months later, Jean pulled off the hay, saw the first brave crocuses pushing up purple heads.
When she stood up, something in her abdomen fluttered.
The first kick.
Spring by Norah Colvin
“Gone is the gloom!”
Mother duck waits
For her babies to hatch.
Here they come now
The first of the batch
So cute and cuddly
All covered in fluff
Eager and ready
To show off their stuff
“Patience!“ quacks mother
“There’s no need to rush.”
“One more is coming.
Stand back. Please don’t crush.”
With one final crack
Last one’s out of his shell
“I’m proud of you babies.
You’ve all done so well.”
Mother duck smiles
As they waddle in line
She knows that each duckling’s
Own time will be fine.
Spring Is Here! by Ruth Irwin
Her face was lit with sparkling eyes and a beaming smile. She walked lightly with a spring in her step, almost skipping. It was good to be outdoors again with the warmth of the sun and the scent of the sweet jasmine blossoms enveloping her being.
Gone was the heaviness and darkness of winter. The wretched cold that chilled to the bone despite layers and layers of clothing and blankets. The short daylight hours that seemed to crush her soul.
Birds chirping provided the uplifting music that carried her along to a season of renewal, growth and new beginnings.
Spring Howls by Rebecca Patajac
Colours bombarded his senses. Everywhere the spring sun reached, blooms thrived.
He caught yelps and a myriad of birdsong drifting on the crisp winds as he ran.
Green shoots pushed through snow still clinging to the base of trees; branches hanging as shields against the warm sun.
Ducking his head as he wove through the forest, his ears swivelled, searching. His hair bristled as he spotted the clearing. Taking a breath, he leapt and landed in a furry heap with another.
Thick paws clashed and fangs nipped as wet snouts and rumbling howls mingled.
A Couple of Sneezes and Gratitude by Ruchira Khanna
Annie was rubbing her nose briskly with her gloved hand as the other paw was digging the soil and aerating it.
Aha! Much better.
With watery eyes, but a broad smile she continued playing with the dirt and securely placed the roots of a plant while bringing the grime together.
With an arch, she watered the plant gently and hummed a lullaby as if welcoming the new life she rooted recently.
After repeating the above scenario few times.
She appreciated all the flowerpots from a distance cause once life will bloom, will be worth all the sneezes.
Is Spring Real If One Cannot Experience It? by Ula Humienik
Winter turned to verdant multi-colored spring, but Jodi didn’t notice. In Cilian’s long absence, her heart carried the icy cold, dullness of winter. The sunshine beckoned and lilacs gave off a fragrance so sweet and rich. Jodi stayed in bed, her hair unwashed.
While Cilian studied the tropical Hoatzin bird in the Amazon, she couldn’t remember her purpose. Life had left her the day he boarded the plane for South America. His letters provided the only hope for the end of everlasting winter. Jodi, as Persephone, would walk the Earth again, all hoped.
Everything changed when Jodi met Holly.
Running by Sarah Unsicker
The air was thick as Kate stepped off the airplane in Atlanta. She hadn’t contemplated her next steps until the cab driver said, “Where to, ma’am?”.
Kate hesitated. “Are there peach orchards nearby?”
The drive to the closest orchard was longer than the plane ride. After the taxi drove away, she closed her eyes and inhaled. The scent of peaches and honey. The buzz of bees and the feel of peach fuzz.
When the sun set, Kate was drowsy from peach syrup. She sat on warm grass, finally grounded. In the morning, she knew she could go home again.
Spring by Kalpana Solsi
The buds had burst spreading the petals and displaying the coloured hues of Nature. The red, white, yellow, burnt orange and white seem to jostle for space among the soft green leaves.
The bees flirting with each shy flower were pampered. The Sun rays seems to spread its golden quilt on each bounty. The Earth seems to be satiated with mirth and abundance.
The impatient toes of the stream danced and bounced from one rock to another splashing foam on the moss.
Diana inhaled and her lungs filled with fragrance.
Her frayed nerves calmed.
Spring is in the air…….
Spring by Irene Waters
Like an arrow I cut through the water, my cheeks puffed as I negotiated the need to exhale. I expelled tiny bubbles, rejoicing in the cool velvety texture of the fluid I travelled through. My outstretched hands touched the bottom and I flipped, momentarily giving my feet a surface on which to push, sending myself flying to the top. Surfacing I laughed with pure joy. My father watched. “Can I do it again. Please.”
“Okay. This time use the board. Three bounces.”
The spring-board groaned as thrice I jumped, then flew up through the air. My exhilaration was complete.
The Album by Sarah Brentyn
She stared at the empty album, wondering again what kind of flower decorated the cover before her mind tried to find the word for the color then thought about the emptiness again.
Round and round like the seasons. In and out and back again. Peach. It was peach, that hue. Pink. And the flower, a rose. Or carnation. Daisy. The emptiness. Pink. Flowers. Like spring. With things that are alive trying to sprout from things that look dead.
The album was closed but she knew they took the fading photos—black and white memories she was starting to lose.
Renewal by Geoff Le Pard
Mary saw the gynaecologist. ‘I’m worried about your weight, Mrs North. It’s fluctuating a lot.’
Mary listened but stayed silent.
‘Are you sleeping alright?’
No, but she said nothing.
‘At your age, pregnancy is potentially more, erm, challenging. You need to take more care of yourself. Both of you.
Mary nodded. She thought about her list, where she had added ‘me’. She realised it should have been ‘us’.
She broke from her daydream. The picture was becoming clear.
He pointed. ‘Long legs.’
‘Like my father.’
‘Do you want to know the sex?’
‘It’s a boy, isn’t it?’
Green and Blue Survival by Pat Cummings
Dumping condensation that has collected on the lid of the makeshift rainbarrel, I set it carefully back over a full container that once held olives, and move downline to the next.
This one holds a nascent green frog. Its tail still reveals its tadpole nature. Scooping it gently from its tiny pond, I walk it downhill to the sump pool. It can survive here long enough to sing next winter, unless the crows eat it.
“Hon!” An excited voice floats from the side yard. “Our ceanothus came back!” The tiny blue blossoms have survived another winter of deer depredation.
The Downside of Spring by Sarrah J. Woods
Julia and her neighbor, Mae, were talking outside over the hum of a nearby lawnmower and the flurry of birds and squirrels on their evening hunts.
Mae plucked a pink blossom off her crab apple tree. “I love spring,” she said.
Julia shook her head. “I used to. Now, I’d trade color for calm. Spring is too busy—in winter and summer things are more settled and relaxed. Even fall is cozy. But spring is too much work.”
Mae shrugged. “The grass is always greener on the other side.”
“No,” said Julia, “the grass needs to be mowed.”
Her Season by Ann Edall-Robson
Spring. Mother Nature dictates the terms for the when and where. There is no telling her to conform to the thought that April showers should bring May flowers. She does what she wants.
A change of heart is evident with the lengthening of the days. Warming the raw earth and nurturing her babies to life. Some will not survive her teaching methods. Others will flourish like an epidemic.
Buds on trees. Calves and fawns peek out from behind their Mothers. Goslings scoot across the water to the low chortle from their long necked parents.
Her season of new life.
Signs of Spring by Larry LaForge
“Let’s see,” Edna said, always glad to help granddaughter Ellen with her homework. What are signs of spring?
“Here’s my list so far,” Ellen exclaimed proudly. “Blooming flowers, greening grass, chirping birds, rain showers.”
“Good!” Edna said to the third grader. “Does Grandpa have any ideas?”
Ed started to speak but abruptly stopped, holding up his index finger as if to say “Just a sec.” Edna handed him a handkerchief to wipe his runny nose. Ed hesitated again, letting out a loud ACHOO that startled Ellen. He coughed repeatedly but was finally able to speak.
“Earthworms on the driveway.”
Spring & Sunshine by Susan Zutautas
Spring uplifts my depression
The sun shines and awakens something inside me
New life springing up, trees budding, warmth beating down on the earth
Dark clouds no longer hang over my head
Rejuvenated and feeling like a brand new person
Sleep now comes easy
Hopelessness has turned into a promising future
Gloomy days are now filled with cheerfulness
Unimaginable pain has been uplifted
Despondent now hopeful
Seasonal affective disorder can be so debilitating
But once it has lifted life will return to normal
Never lose hope
Never give up
Never give in
Spring shall return
Just as sunshine does
Mother’s Day by Pete Fanning
Ben and the girls trooped up the path, tracking through a recent dusting of cherry blossoms. The iris stalks swayed along in the breeze, clutching the beauty in their spears.
They hiked past the wildflowers–glowing yellow and pink on the hill. For Ben, the pain dulled over time, just as the shine of her eyes blurred and the warmth of her voice faded. Then each spring it bloomed again, as the girls lay their flowers against her stone. To them she was only a face in a frame, but to him she was everything.
“Happy Mother’s Day, Ana.”
Spring Beauty by Susan Zutautus
I tend to my flowering bush carefully raking away the autumn leaves that have been protecting it all winter. Each day I check for the long awaited buds to emerge and pop. Year after year the flowers seem more breathtaking in their pink, white, yellow and red hues. New life is here. The bush itself stands tall and grows wider each year that passes with warmth from the sun. The leaves start out green and erupt into a beautiful shade of red in the fall. Once in its full foliage I know that spring has left and summer begins.
Symbols of Spring by Rose Ketring
Growing up, winter felt eternal. Promise of warmth came in the form of running water: in the streets and engorged river. Spring ritual never came with the budding of flowers or early morning calm a ray of sun can bring.
Neighborhoods came together to fill sandbags to fortify the riverbed and complain about sugar beet and potato crop yields. Spring of my childhood promised class trips to Sandbag Central. The return of orange construction cones and alternate roads because main roads were flooded. The warmth of those who fought the Red River year after year symbolizes Spring for me.
Spring by Marigold Deidre Dicer
The low sun transformed the trees into long black shadows cutting across the orange-stained landscape. If she squinted, she could make out the pale apple blossoms threatening to loose themselves in the breeze, though the fragrance was too subtle for her nose to single out. Standing there with her camera around her neck, she took a moment to soak up the beauty of the late spring. Sometimes, the drive to capture the moment caused her to miss the experience altogether, but she promised herself that wouldn’t happen this season. She closed her eyes and breathed the softly warming air…
Lovely seasonal collection, Charli. Sorry I couldn’t join in this time.
It wasn’t the right season. 😉
All so beautiful and touching! I’m super excited to become a part of this fabulous gang of writers.
The magic seems to come together in the compilation, when all the stories are together. Glad to have your contribution tho the Ranch!
Our spring has started out (SF Bay area) with temps in the 50s and a threat of thunderstorms!
The Bay Area can be so cold! I hope those thunderstorms give you some rain!
Thanks yet again for such a lovely compilation. Always amazed at the vastly different responses. And the chorus of voices. 🙂
And singing a fine song this week!
Absolutely wonderful reading – so many voices and thoughts – interesting, evocative and definitely broad scope in perspectives. 🙂
It’s the heart of literature and keeps the enthusiasm high. Thanks for contributing to the Ranch!
Thanks for the warm welcome 🙂
Beautiful spring stories, thank you again Charli for another wonderful compilation 🙂 Sorry I didn’t get there this time…but spring continues to bloom and blossom <3
Thanks for reading and contributing to the “bloom” at Carrot Ranch! <3
I always love reading the responses in one place. I feel very fortunate to be in such great company.
A mutual feeling! 🙂