â€œI see youâ€™ve done some pruning,â€ Margaretâ€™s therapist said. â€œI like what youâ€™ve done with the branches around your sternum.â€
â€œThank you,â€ Margaret choked out. It had been a trial learning how to talk with roots entwined around her larnyx, but she had muddled through. â€œI thinkâ€¦I think I made a majorâ€¦breakthrough. Other day. On the lawn.â€
â€œYes? Say more about that.â€
Margaret grimaced, forming words that sounded rough and hard. She toyed with the braches that jutted out from her left elbow as she spoke. â€œOn the lawn. I wasâ€¦in the sun. At peace. Feeling the grassâ€¦at the sun. It feltâ€¦wonderful.â€
â€œThatâ€™s a good thing, Margaret. A very good thing.â€
Margaret smiled at that, leaves tickling her cheeks. â€œWas thinkingâ€¦since had breakâ€¦though, I could getâ€¦a phone call.â€
â€œOr clothes!â€ The vines entwined in Margaretâ€™s hair shuddered slightly. â€œClothes? Iâ€™mâ€¦ready for clothes.â€
Margaretâ€™s therapist closed her book and folded her hands. â€œMargaret. You came here because you wanted to get away from all that. It was making you sick, remember? All the technology, all the information. It was overwhelming. It was making you sick.â€
â€œWhat would you do on the phone, Margaret? You can barely talk.â€ She reached out and stroked the branch around Margaretâ€™s collar bone. â€œI think youâ€™ve done some lovely work here, but youâ€™ve still got a long way to go. But you have made progress. Iâ€™ll talk to The Leader about giving you more time in the Orchard. You like working in the orchard, donâ€™t you.â€
Margaret had a great deal of trouble choking out a â€œyes,â€ so she settled for a slow, sad nod.
â€œThatâ€™s the spirit, Margaret. Thereâ€™s still so much of the modern world in you. But weâ€™ll cut it out yet.â€
365tomorrows launched August 1st, 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year. We’ve been on the wire ever since. Our stories are a mix of those lovingly hand crafted by a talented pool of staff writers, and select stories received by submission.
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