When I was a child coming out of the mists of formative memory, I spent a lot of time running through the grass and trees surrounding our neighborhood. Our back yard, yet to be boxed by newer houses and all their fences, melded nicely into a small forest, just right for a child to get lost, but not dangerously so. Other children must have gone through as well, many times, for there was a path worn into the brush. Flying past wildflowers and sweet clover, I followed that path to a small white house with an overhang, and sitting underneath on most days, two women: a mother and a daughter.

The portly mother never failed to greet me with a huge smile. The daughter was near adulthood and soft spoken, with long blonde hair hanging down. Guarded under the awning were a set of cages holding small animals such as rabbits and hamsters. I'd poke my fingers past the metal mesh to stroke their soft fur and stare into their quick, shining eyes. They nibbled at corn and grass in such ways that made me laugh.

The sun fell through the forest of trees, around the overhang, to the sandaled feet of mother and daughter, and there seemed to be music coming from the shifting leaves. I felt in a trance; a beautiful trance. The river of femininity, of nature, of life and joy and kindness. A gentle hand on my hair, a warm laugh, an offering of sweets and then I would leave, following the path back home where the sun was brighter and the days hotter and life longer.

A winter came and passed, and in the spring I followed the path through trees stricken of their leaves. The clover had yet to flourish; the wildflowers yet to bloom. I thought I would be greeted again, hear the warm laughter, see the tiny animals in their cages. But nothing was there. Everything had been razed for new houses to be built that summer. The house was gone, the women were gone, the animals, the overhang and the soft patterns of leaves. Gone. The only thing that remained were the water pipes, connected to nothing, and small bits of gypsum and joints of wood.


  1. Ah progress....isn't it wonderful? We lose so much in its name. You can still go there though, and today, you took us with you. Thanks.

  2. At least that place lives on in your memory, and now your writing.

    Have you ever thought about submitting this as flash fiction? I love the imagery you've created here!

  3. This is a gorgeous piece of writing, Amy! I could see this place so clearly.

  4. Thanks for stopping by and making comments everyone.

    Tere- Hadn't thought about it, but I will in the future. Thank you!

    Talli- Thanks!

  5. That's such a lovely story about a childhood memory, Amy. The mother and daughter sound such sweet gentle folks. I so agree with Talli - a gorgeous piece of writing!

  6. Wonderful story. It is too bad that the children of today will not have adventures like the generations before. They are never out of their parent's sight, don't go out to play, but have play dates instead and don't learn to made decisions, things are done for them. It is the way the world is today, and I can understand some of the reasoning, but oh, they miss out on memories like this.

  7. A wonderful and amazing story! So well written.

  8. Awwww....how sad.

    Nicely written with lovely descriptions.

    The Write Soil

  9. THanks everyone. And Starting Over- I know what you mean. It is different these days, both good and bad. I do wish my kids had more of that small town freedom I had as a child.

  10. How sad to see them go. Were you sure they were witches?

  11. Angela- no, but I've always had this romantic idea they were. Their departure had a witch hunt feel to it, so the word has always stuck in my mind associated with them.


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