Summer Afternoons When Everyone’s Away

The changing colors gave way to the colder winds, and the infant-fruit grew its yearly fat-slick to ward off the chill. Later in life, these winter-babies would be predisposed towards redder complexions, deposits of lipogen and fitful melancholy. The babes picked in Summer were often more physically fit, and there were regular campaigns, met with regular dissent, to restrict all harvesting to the warmer months of the year.

John had been one of the first, though growing up, he had originally believed he was brought by a stork. Later, during a boyhood obsession with Greek mythology, he entertained the notion that he had been sent by Zeus, and was going to be incredibly strong when he grew up, hence all the tests. After learning of the Stillborn, he thought that perhaps his parents had made him the old-fashioned way, in secret. Though, like it was for all children throughout history, the thought was not easy on the stomach. He quickly amended his history to have been a result of in vitro fertilization, for the sake of his picture of his mother.

The trees hadn’t been public knowledge until well after he had learned cursive, and the ensuing media frenzy frightened him off public appearances, and he was relieved when the medical testing slowed to every month, every six months, and finally just became a yearly physical.

He never mentioned the sounds, and he wondered if other fruit-borne heard them too. The low, soft lullaby as the blood and chlorophyll sped through the veins beneath the bark. The tinkling of bells as the leaves rustled. The string movements as the branches swayed in the wind. Walking through the park on a day like today, John was surrounded by an orchestra from whence he came, and life was full of music.

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