Way Station

It was never meant to be permanent. But as Madame Veritas said, few things were, notable exceptions aside.

Sandra didn’t know how long she’d been at what the others called “the way station”. She only knew that she had been standing on the train platform with heartache behind her and heartache in front of her. When she saw the wind move the branches of a willow tree to reveal a hazy looking patch near its trunk, Sandra didn’t hesitate. She had been reared on tales of Narnia, and just enough of her heart remained alive enough to whisper, go look.

She did. Then she was here.

Not everyone who found their way here stayed long. She had seen people who managed just one nervous glance around the place before they went back the way they came. But then there were the ones who arrived with looks of both wonder and relief on their faces. They, like her, remained.

They found things to keep them busy, ways to help Madame Veritas and each other. The peace of the place made it easy to find a rhythm between work and rest. But no one could stay forever and eventually they all took one last walk with her before leaving.

The pull to go on that walk finally came to Sandra. It was kin to the impulse that made her go to the willow in the first place.

“Ready to return?” Madame Veritas asked.

“No,” Sandra said. “I betrayed the two people I love best. They have no idea of who I really am.”

“Do you know who you are?”

“I know myself better than I did before I came here,” Sandra said.

“That’s a good place to start,” said Madame Veritas.

“Is it good enough?”

“That’s up to you.”

They walked through the garden in silence. Sandra had spent many hours here learning how to bring out the best in her favorite flowers. She gathered a few seeds before looking at Madame Veritas and saying, “Yes, it will be enough.”

She walked out from under the branches of the willow to find everything was the same as when she left.

Not everything, she thought, holding her seeds. That will be enough.


Song Choice: Integrity Blues by Jimmy Eat World

Liner Notes For This Groove: This flash fiction piece was created for the Weekly Scribblings prompt at Poets and Storytellers United, On My Way. 

37 comments:

  1. I love the way this is so satisfyingly complete, albeit part of a larger context with many things not explained here in detail. Everything necessary is here, enough for our true understanding.

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    1. Woot! As always I always wonder if I get enough into a short piece of fiction. I am so glad it works.

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  2. Amazing work! Deep, with so much under the surface. Truth will have its say. Brava and cheers!!

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  3. Luv the the sighting of the willow juxtaposed with the place of heartbreak

    Happy Wednesday

    Muchđź’ślove

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    1. I thought it was a nice detail to add :)

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  4. This is enchanting and marvelous! I love a happy ending!

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  5. I have a feeling that your heroine and Miss Veritas will meet again,Providence. Depending on what folk have been reading, they may be ready for most anything, our lady Sandra had been longing for a "Tales of Narnia" experience come to her.
    ..

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    1. Thank you for the nice comment. Being adults, most of us knew about "waystations" off the main tracks. But give that word to the Muses and will learn more of "behind the scenes."
      ..

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    2. I think I could see an addition to this where they do run into each other again.

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  6. Change is hard and touches people in different ways. I liked the positive ending were your character accepts that even though all is the same, she is different and ready to move on.

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    1. Some roll really well with changes. LOL, I envy those folks!

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  7. Lovely story and a second chance. Long sigh

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  8. I'm sure those seeds will find fertile ground and grow into wonder-filled leafy creatures.

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    1. I have no doubt there will be beautiful blooms to come.

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  9. So well said, Rommy. What is enough? When is it time to go?

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    1. Some things can only be answered by the person asking the question

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  10. Oh what an intriguing story Would love to learn more about the special place of madame Veritas. Love the conversation? Is it good enough? Every progress is enough I think- for now

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  11. Very nice. She "learned her lesson" as they say. Miss Veritas. What a perfect name!

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    1. LOL, I was pleased with myself when I came up with that name.

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  12. How good it is to be adventurous. Not only does she learn a lot but can build up confidence as well.

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  13. this is a step one must have the courage to take. to find the truth.
    the story is so well crafted to tell the message.

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  14. Thats right. Not everything is the same. How good that she found the seeds to start anew, to find her way to the right path. Perfect piece of flash fiction, from start to end!

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  15. I've seen so many stuck at the “way station” and with no inclination to move forward. Your piece is hopeful and satisfying; a great write.

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    1. It's tempting to stay stuck, but yes, the only way is forward.

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  16. Sometimes, we need a place (or a person) of refuge before we face the rest of our lives. Sandra is one of the lucky ones, I think. Too many souls go through life without ever taking a moment to slow down and search for the right seeds.

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    1. She is lucky indeed. Hopefully, she'll make the most of that luck.

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