Drabble 40 – Thanatousia

Drabble 40 – Thanatousia

Thanatousia
Daffodils by Gavin S.

Something I just learned in the process of finding an image for this post: the flower I’ve known all my life as daffodils are also known as Narcissus. Yes, as in that Narcissus. Daffodils grow wild where I’m from, which I’m sure would have fascinated me as a child–I can imagine myself wondering if every daffodil I saw marked a mythological site.

When I was a kid, the world seemed very, very small. I imagined that every important event I’d ever heard about had taken place within in the confines of my small town. Someone had erected a large cross on the road that led out to the freeway, and for a long time I assumed that had been the site of the biblical crucifixion–I couldn’t conceive of things that existed more than an hour north or south, and it fit right in with my town’s numerous churches.

When the world was that small, the potential for magic and stories was always nearby, hiding behind a tree or in a hole in the ground. The stories I read didn’t take place in far away places–it was possible that Lucy Pevensie lived in the next town over, or that Artemis stalked through the woods behind my house and every dog I heard bark at night was one of hers. Everything was right around the corner, a bike’s ride away.

Anyway, here’s an entirely unrelated drabble.

THANATOUSIA

(Noun: From Greek thanatos for death)

Funeral rites.

Emily lays the bouquet on the headstone but all she can think is how they’re already dead. Some farmer grew these somewhere, she thinks. It’s someone’s life’s work to grow these stupid flowers so that they can be laid on someone’s tombstone to turn brown, shrivel, and later bloom with gray fuzz.

It doesn’t even make sense—it’s cold and clear and wintry, not a rainy fall day with umbrellas opened up like bat wings against the downpour. And there are these bright yellow flowers, totally out of season, resting on a gray slab of rock as if it’s normal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *