Flutes in their lower register unleash their words over a scene of fifty blossomed cherry trees. The tree known for her vulnerability is the cherry tree. A large trunk for a torso, she hovers and grows like the most knowing woman you’ve ever met. Being wise and able makes them tired women too, lined up with the most beautiful pink curls, making life easier for everyone around them.

There is minimal sunshine and a trickle of a breeze in their space. Fifty feminine trees decorate a park with benches and a paved bike path. Flutes. A few blossoms fall, but mostly they remain on their branches. Music permeates the air. It’s kind of an April lullaby, but not without a misstep of notes. A splash of Icelandic poetry weaves in and out of the pinkness—cold and nervous.

The grass under the cherry trees shivers. Clarinets enter the moment. Slowly, an oboe takes hold. The woodwinds mesh. This simple ensemble lasts only a few moments until the violas kick in with their libra-moon undertones. The ballet-colored blossoms shake in their clusters from the viola’s sobs. Scared. Unsure. Very hesitant to show their beauty once more. In a split second, the pink petals are torn into ragged pieces, replaced by strong black vines. Whipping and ready to fight, or to love fiercely. Hard to tell. Thin vines morph into thick black licorice ropes swinging and whipping at the ground … times fifty.

The lime green grass is browning and grass becomes cement—charcoal grey cement swirls and pulls the trees into its surface. Cellos dominate, and finally more than one upright bass strums this new scene into Gothic measures. Deep, deep, low and forceful, demanding attention. Pink fades into complete gray. A pair of sapphire eyes stares up from the cement that twists like a tornado. The once omniscient women are now shriveled down to nothing. Except for one. She knew to play dead until the right moment. She knew the turbulence would be short-lived because she read her cards this morning.

Stealing a handful of the resourcefulness of the Baobab tree known for her gumption, the only untouched cherry tree emerges from the dark. And with this, the darkness flinches and vanishes. There’s nothing more frightening to an empty evil energy than a smart feminine fire driven by love. Even if she’s one.

Elaina Battista-Parsons

Elaina Battista-Parsons is a writer across genres. She also works as a reading coach for students with disabilities. Elaina loves ice cream, antiques, pop culture, and snow. Elaina’s poems and essays have been published by Backlash Press, Burnt Pine Magazine, Vine Leaves Press, Spring City, 3Moon Magazine, and Read Furiously. She also has an upcoming YA with Inked in Gray Press in Fall 2022 and a vignette collection with Vine Leaves Press scheduled for 2/22 release. Connect with Elaina on Twitter @BraveIrene77 and visit her website at elainawrites.com.