What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Written for Writing Challenge Contest April, 2009.
Brilliant golden rays fluttered down from the heavens above, immersing the wide, endless yellow field in sunshine. Warmth radiated from all stretches of the horizon and the air shimmered with heat.
And in the grand expanses of the meadow, there was a girl. Emma walked slowly with a somber expression, not in a hurry to be anywhere. She knelt and picked at a flower – a dandelion – and turned it around in her fingers. The tiny yellow petals shone vibrantly in the sunshine, and it wasn't long until she started to pick at the small petals, one by one. Her forehead wrinkled in frustration until she threw the headless stem into the eternal field of dandelions. Emma stood up, brushed away the petals from her skirt, and kept walking.
Eyes to the earth, she habitually scanned the ground, stomping the dandelions in her path with satisfaction. She randomly kicked at a cluster of the weeds and sent them flying, continuing on her pointless quest of destruction. She was about to strike at another cluster when Emma saw something that made her freeze in her path.
A huge ball of white fluff towered over the rest of the dandelions around it, sticking out curiously. The white dandelion shimmered faintly while seeming to call her name.
Emma knelt cautiously beside it and carefully plucked it off its stem. The dandelion swayed slightly under her wary breath, and her eyes tingled.
Wish, she thought.
And so she swelled up her body, inhaling and thinking of her wish clearly in her mind. The air whistled quietly as it left her mouth, scattering the seeds of the dandelion into the cloudless sky above her. Emma watched the seeds as they drifted away until they settled back into the field. She sighed quietly.
"What is a weed?" She asked the field. She combed her hair out of her eyes as she listened to the footsteps behind her.
"That's a relative question," a deep voice said behind her.
Emma snorted. "They're all plants too; their potential just hasn't been discovered yet."
"You sound so intelligent." The voice laughed, sarcastic. "Do you mean potential, or virtue?"
"Same difference." Emma refuted. After a moment, she heard him sigh.
"Why have you wished me here?"
"Because I don't know what else to do." Emma turned and sat on her side. Scott stood with his hands in his pockets, his weight on one leg. His button-up shirt was undone, revealing nothing but his undershirt, as always.
"What do you mean?"
"You're the only one that ever understood me!" She sniffed, fighting back tears and all of her frayed emotions. "But then you went and disappeared. What am I supposed to do?"
Scott stood, unmoving. Emma sighed back tears and looked away.
"So it doesn't help that you know I'm only a figment of your imagination, then."
She shook her head in disbelief.
"Why must you keep reminding me? I just want comfort." She rubbed furiously at her eyes.
Scott continued to watch her in silence. Finally, he spoke. "What is a weed?"
"A plant. With hidden virtues."
"What makes you so different?"
She looked up, but he was gone… only dandelion seeds were left floating in the air where Scott had just been standing. Emma took several deep breaths before she stood up again. The golden field swirled around her as she watched the dizzying spectacle. The sunshine and warmth turned into cold gray walls, and the honking and squealing of cars filled the void of silence. Emma blinked, and any remains of the great, yellow field was merely a blip in her mind. She sat on her dreary bed, remembering anything she could of the field. She looked down at her dress and saw dandelion petals still clinging to her skirt.
And Emma smiled.
Even if Scott really was gone and he wasn't coming back, and even if she didn't live in the beautiful countryside with millions of dandelions to run through, and even if she never thought she could learn from something as lowly as a dandelion, she smiled.
She was a weed.
A beautiful weed with all of its hidden virtue and potentials.