The dirt was cool, and damp. Collecting in small clumps - miniature boulders nestled in the cracks of drier earth.
Flowers shielded the mud from the harshness of the sun, creating a dappled light and a haven of relief from the heat of the day. It had that smell… that smell of slight decay that should offend but hides notes of natural promise we can’t help but enjoy. It smelled like a place that knew it was doing.
Roots were in abundance; both on the surface and beneath the crusty top layer of dirt. Strong veins reached deep into the sub layers looking for water and holding out like anchors against the constantly nagging persuasion of the breeze. Dried out roots of previously dismantled weeds were tossed across the surface of the soil - wasting away against the desiccated leaves and fragments of tiny stone.
This was a world away from the plants that stood tall above the surface. They were the attraction. Shimmering petals surrounded by glorious blooms of deep green leaves and lengthy stalks. This was a garden to be proud of. And someone was.
But the mud… this was where the magic happened. Without the rot and the bugs and the turning and the roots, none of the flowers could work at all.
Just between two wavering shadows, something glinted in the sun. A round thing that did not belong down here where things happened slowly and gently. This was not an object for the hidden places of the world.
The sun caught on its gentle curves - it seemed almost to be begging to be found. Reaching up into the light and yearning to be picked up and loved. But who would notice a little thing like this when the full glory of summer flowers was shielding it in technicolour.
It hadn’t always been lost. It had been adored - looked at constantly. Twisted and turned and filled with meaning for everyone who looked at it. Now though, it lay here - if you wanted to be romantic you would say it ached to be gone and back in its rightful place, but that is to give it feelings it wasn’t capable of having. Only producing.
A carnival of ants paraded across the little metal nugget. Forging their regimented tracks towards the winter that was always coming but eternally prepared for. They didn’t so much as give the little alien object a second glance. It meant nothing to them, being neither edible, useful nor a threat. So they merely marched on. The next in a long, long line of creatures to not notice.
Slowly, steadily, the light stopped reaching the dirt in the flower bed as the long August afternoon continued. There was no way for the roots, or the mud or the little metal thing to know - but it was clouding over. The flowers were grateful in their own way though when the clouds began to drop their weight across the garden. Drip by drip it filtered down to the very bottom of the beauty and to land on the soil. The water gained momentum as the summer shower picked up and with each drop that hit the metal, a bit more mud was dislodged from around it and revealed more and more of the gleaming surface.
As the droplets bounced and splashed and sent their tiny spray around the stems and pebbles and mud, the tiny object lay - cool in the shade. The water beading and running straight off it.
It couldn’t possibly know that it was about to be picked up…
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Is the object going to be picked up by:
- Someone big
- Someone small
Is that person wearing: