The next installment in the flash-fiction serial The Crossing
Winter turned to spring and the snows thawed. The news was about floods back in the old country. I remembered those well. It all seemed so far away but as more estimates of people losing their lives to floods were reported my memories were all too clear.
Here the land was sodden but not flooded and one Sunday afternoon Arina asked me to join her on a walk into the woods. She started showing me the new buds on the trees. “Give it a few weeks, Kip, these trees will be a mass of blossom, so beautiful!” She also pointed out the signs of wildlife – rabbits, squirrels and birds.
I wondered why but chose to remain silent.
We walked deeper into the wood. The musty smell of damp leaves from the autumn was intense. Suddenly Arina stopped. “Kip?” I looked at Arina curiously. “I need to ask you something?”
Now curiosity was matched with intrigue. “What is it, Arina?”
“At my sister’s funeral you called me mum. Why? Is it because you miss your mother?”
“I never knew her, how can I miss her?” I answered.
“Then why did you call me mum?”
“I think if I was to have a mother I would want her to be you. Is that bad?”
“No, Kip, it’s not bad. I think you will be a good son and I’m proud you would choose me”
I could sense the intense emotion in her voice and reached out to hug her. In that moment I vowed silently to do all I could to make Arina pride in me justified.
© JG Farmer 2014