Prettiest Girl in the Orchard Brooch
Shoes: Madden Girl, DSW
This week's fruit-bearing brooch has inspired me to wax fictional. Take from it what (fruit) you will:
Allison's father had forbidden her to go to the orchard. "It's full of unscrupulous sorts," he'd cautioned, his lake-blue eyes devoid of their usual humor. That had been three months ago on the kind of bitter night that made Allison grateful for the warm if fussy embrace of the old Victorian where she and her father lived. She'd never dreamed of defying him. But yesterday she'd been walking by the orchard and had caught a glimpse of something glimmering in the foliage. Transfixed, she'd dreamed of the possibilities lying dormant beyond those errant sparkles long after the trees were behind her. Now it was dusk and her father was at a neighbor's on business. Alone in her dark turret room, she couldn't resist the memory of the orchard's strange spell. Before fear could take over, she tossed on her cloak and flew out the front door.
She set upon the path in a fever, ignoring the whippoorwills' cries to instead indulge in the dark glamour of night-blooming jasmine. She didn't notice when brambles tore at her hair, lost in the allure of the unknown and the tireless tattoo of her own wild heart. It wasn't long before the orchard appeared, its brash and stalwart trees giving off a faint, shimmering cloud, the rainbowed prisms of which were as magnificent as any great beyond about which she'd read or dreamed. Each step ripened the trees' vibrancy; each breath sent her imagination reeling. Allison closed her eyes, pushed past the barricades of the glossy green boughs, then opened her eyes - and saw nothing. The entire orchard had vanished, leaving nothing but scrubbed, brown earth in its wake. A strange stillness settled in Allison's chest. She wanted to burst into tears but didn't, refusing to become emotional over something that had turned out to be just an illusion.
She allowed herself to wallow for just a moment before starting back home. She was three quarters of the way there when she was stopped by an elderly man. "You're Will Wainwright's girl, aren't you?" he asked. Allison nodded, taking in the man's haggard face and work-worn fingers. "That's a mighty fine house you've got there," he continued, adding, "It's not every girl who gets to grow up that way."
"No," Allison admitted. "I suppose it isn't."
He tipped his hat and shuffled away until his angular frame was swallowed by shadows.
Allison shivered in the gathering gloom. In the not-so-far distance, she could just make out the glow of the Victorian. This time its curlicues seemed more quaint than fussy, its solid old boards more steadfast than tired. Allison hurried toward its porch and its turret and its garden of homely old violets. Soon her father would be home, and they would sip tea by the fire.
Nearly flying now, she pulled her cloak tighter. She'd had enough of night-blooming jasmine.