Scenes from the Casket

 

SCENES FROM THE CASKET by Ken Klopper

 

Liam’s Meadow

 

 

In a tranquil meadow on the outskirts of the little town of Potridge, Liam Harding, an isolated and lonely boy meets his sweetheart, Lilly.

Here are some excerpts from the book. The stories are set in the years

between 1920 and WWII.

 

 

Stretched out before me lay a lush meadow fused with the boldest and most beautiful colors I had ever seen. The greens were much brighter than the bottle that contained the repulsive liquid that I was forced to drink when I had a tummy ache. Glowing yellows more captivating than the fire my father made in the backyard to burn the leaves that fell from the trees in autumn, blended with the other colors. Browns, reds, dazzling whites, and colors I had forgotten the names of, lined the borders like the colored beads my mother sewed onto her ridiculous Sunday hat.

 

She fluttered along like a delicate, white butterfly carefully selecting flowers that caught her fancy—pausing to raise them gently to her nose—before she continued. The sun reflected off her long, gleaming, dark brown hair rising and falling as she bobbed along, unaware that I was following her.

I contemplated whether my approach would be nice or nasty, and then settled for something in between.

“It’s not safe to be out here alone,” I said.

At first, she appeared startled and quickly glanced my way, her big brown eyes swiftly summing me up. Then she looked away and continued with her flower picking. “Then what are you doing here alone?” she said, defiantly.

“I’m a boy and I come here often.”

“I can see you’re a boy—a rather small boy.”

“I’m almost eleven.”

“That makes you ten. And I’m twelve.”

  

We sat on Mother Nature’s carpet eating the picnic lunch that Lilly had prepared—delicate ham and tomato sandwiches, tiny green pickles, fresh hard-boiled eggs, succulent homemade meatballs, and juicy, ripe fruit from Mrs. Robart’s fruit stall.

Then we lay back and stared up at the pristine canopy above us—a sky so blue it hurt my eyes. Towards the horizon, there were tinges of orange and red with the sun stretching its fingers of pastel light to the far corners of the world.

Turning my head, the friendly, smiling faces of the inhabitants of Farmer Ben’s meadow greeted me. They were all dressed up in colorful gold, yellow, purple, scarlet, and white bonnets as they danced together gleefully on the lush green carpet. I learnt their names from a library book about plants of the fields and meadows that I read after I first met them, and we became friends. They came to visit every year—scarlet Field Poppies, blue Cornflowers and yellow Corn Marigolds. Greeting me like an old friend, they touched my face and hair and invited me to inhale their subtle fragrances. In a circle around us, I saw Knapweed, Birds-foot trefoil, red Clover, and Hawkweeds shoving their way through the hay with their robust rivals, Goosegrass and Chickweed struggling to find a place in the crowd.

Scattered around the living quilt we lay on, my eye caught glimpses of white Clover, lemon yellow Cat’s Ear, and Autumn Hawkbit and near the dam, groups of Bugle and Cuckoo flowers stood proudly celebrating the coming of their season.

Above me like tiny aircraft engaging in fierce combat; butterflies, bumblebees, honeybees, and hoverflies circled in search of the nectar riches and troves of pollen.

Lilly was close to me—our bodies touching—and I could feel her warmth and a tingling sensation as our fingertips touched. Of all my friends in the meadow, she was by far the fairest. I knew then that I wanted to be with her forever.

 

 Available on Amazon

 

 

 (c) kjklopper 2013