She grew a peach tree in a nautilus shell. Her mother had grown cherries; her grandmother, a gnarled crabapple. She gave the fruit to hungry children so they could have sweet dreams and built huts from the pits to shelter the poor.
On occasion she’d leave the most perfect peach for an ill-mannered individual to give them dreams of metal bars; leaving the taste of misfortune on their tongue.
When the end came, she transplanted the tree and cleaned the shell before passing it on to her little one who dreamed of nectarines.
She’s growing a nectarine tree in a nautilus shell. Her mother had grown peaches, her grandmother, cherries, and her great-grandmother, a gnarled crabapple before that.
The tree is stunted, lacking sun and clean water. The shriveled fruits are no larger than the pits they surround. It gives the children no dreams at all. The poor burn the pits for a few seconds of warmth and the ill-mannered are immune to its omens.
When the end comes there will be no earth to transplant the little tree. No little one to pass the shell to. Eventually it will return to the ocean when she climbs, wave over wave, upon the land.
This is the expanded version of the very short story I wrote for the August 13th prompt “shell”. The original is posted on my Twitter page here (direct link). I pulled a bit of a bait and switch with the mood.
Thank you for reading.