She never knew quite what to make of those little seeds that were created with a whirling in her tummy or a pounding in her chest. When she tried to explain it to others, they told her they were called feelings and said everyone had them. But she knew this wasn’t true. She never saw others with seeds bursting out of their pockets, appearing seemingly from nowhere right after an uncomfortable sensation began creeping through her body.
Sometimes, her heart would pound while her hands shook. And within a few minutes, a seed would appear. She would quickly hide it in her pocket, afraid of what others would think if they saw. Other times, she would have a fluttering in her tummy and suddenly, a seed would pop out of her belly button. Each day brought with it different sensations, some pleasant, some unpleasant. And each of these sensations produced a new seed.
She learned to wear baggy clothes with big pockets because teachers used to yell at her for having seeds in her pocket, telling her to leave them at home next time. She learned that her seeds were not welcome in school, so she learned not to draw attention to herself for fear of someone noticing her seeds. She tried to tell her mom once, but she just told her to stop making stories up and go to her room. This caused her tummy to twirl around and produce the largest seed she’d seen yet.
So now, when she arrived home, she ran through the house to her back door before anyone could talk to her. She ran and ran until she came to a thick part in the forest. There, she would carefully crawl through the trees into the small dirt field she’d discovered while exploring one day. Once there, she would sit and catch her breath, trying not to allow her mind to focus much on the seeds she’d created today. She knew that would just create more seeds and more work for her.
Once she was calm, she would very carefully dig up the hole and bury those seeds, one by one. She knew when each one was made by the way they felt in her hands. She was always careful not to spend too much time tending to them, lest they begin to sprout in her hands. She learned that lesson the hard way.
One day, a friend sat with her and asked her about her feelings. She knew this friend didn’t know about her seeds and just intended to ask about those sensations she felt. Usually, she was quick to steer conversations back to her friends’ feelings. But something about the questions both caught her off guard and made her feel safe. For the first time someone seemed genuinely curious about her, so stories about various sensations she felt spilled out of her, though she was still careful not to mention the seeds. As she continued to share, her body began to feel warm and produced a seed that she quickly snuck into her pocket as she continued to talk. It felt nice to have someone to listen and care, but she wasn’t about the tell anyone about the seeds.
When she got home later that day, she sat in the field and held the seed in her hand, fondly remembering the warm sensation her body had felt earlier that day. As she held it in her hand, the seed began to sprout, entangling her hands in a green vine as it did. She stood up alarmed and shook her hands until the seed fell to the ground. Once her hands were free, she quickly dug that hole, deeper than she had ever dug before and placed it there. She covered it with dirt before placing the other seeds from the day on top. Finally, she covered it all with dirt.
That was years ago, and since then, she was always careful not to let herself linger too long with any of the seeds. She knew needed to bury them quickly, lest she become tangled by them. Today was no exception. She methodically began to dig the hole. As she reached the pile of withering seeds though, she was compelled to dig deeper, as though driven by a force her mind could not comprehend. When she did, she was surprised to spot a bit of green coming from that seed she’d buried long ago. Before she could stop herself, she found herself touching that green spot, curious to know how it felt. As she felt that cold, damp green vine, that warm sensation she felt that day returned. But suddenly, her mind came back to focus. She quickly placed some dirt over the vine, placed the old and new seeds on top of it, and then buried it all. She ran quickly back home, wanting to forget how she had let her mind lose control.
She slept restlessly that night, images of green vines strangling her, of a fog engulfing, of frantically searching for something in the woods, of pockets overflowing with seeds haunting her dreams. She awoke multiple times that night in a cold sweat, remembering bits and pieces of something she couldn’t quite grasp but desperately yearned to find. The next day, she woke up and made her way to school in a zombie like state. When she returned home and headed to the field, she could barely remember the events of the day. Her mind was so tired that her body barely produced any seeds to bury. But as she entered the field that day, she was distressed by what she saw. Instead of an open dirt field, what she saw left her awestruck.
To be continued