“One more,” they whispered. Please, their ink-black eyes urged in silence. I looked across the field of poppies where now thousands of goldfinches had gathered. Their red faces blended so well with the flowers that I could only distinguish one from the other when the birds fluffed their feathers, causing ripples across the field, just long enough to interrupt the illusion, not unlike when the young woman dissolves into the old woman, or the old takes the shape of the young.
“You can’t do another one,” my heart protested. “Please, I’m scared.” I echoed back while I kept my gaze undisturbed so as to not break the quiet. The master had long warned me about this moment. The right choice, she told me, would feel as if I was walking down the meadow naked, my soul exposed, my arterial blood red blood drained from oxygen.
I had been here before. But I couldn’t. And I’m here now again. And I can’t. “Poppy, this is water…This is your chance.” I hear my master, but I can’t bring her back, not today. Another love story is what they asked. Another one is what they’ll get. One day, I’ll tell them about the flowers that are long gone, and the weeds that have taken their place.