Daily Prompt: Ode to a Playground

A place from your past or childhood, one that you’re fond of, is destroyed. Write it a memorial.

Straining, she rolls the log back to its original place before sitting down gingerly on the mossy old tree stump. It’s been there for ages, even before she first played here. The teacher said it was a magical stump – fairies came out of it at night – and it’s been there forever. She remembers how they built little mud houses and planted twig-trees for the fairies to play under. Now it’s all gone. No see-saw, no slide, no swing; just the old stump, rotting away quietly amongst the weeds.

Of course, this is the right place. A visit to long-lost innocence and purity by a woman who finally has to let go of her childhood dreams. Where else can she leave her fantasies, anyway?

The fairies always made her come back initially. When she left the play-school for the real thing, she still clung to the fantasy. And of course she could never tell the others about it, because they’d laugh at her and call her a baby. Still, on weekends when the little playground stood empty and forlorn, she’d sneak back there to build a mud palace surrounded by twig-trees. That’s when she sang the fairy-songs: little rhyme-less verses on impromptu melodies, telling the fairies and gnomes and dwarfs about her life. They always listened from their hidden rooms inside the wood, always understood when she cried or laughed. They were very kind…

Later still, she went to high school – and still the playground remained her secret place where she could talk about growing up. About her parent’s divorce. About the uncertainty of becoming a woman. About the first date and the first fumbling kiss. About…

That’s why she’s back.

“My marriage lasted five years, that’s why I’ve been away so long.” Somehow, the tuneless melody comes back as she sings. “I should have known, shouldn’t I? But I was in love and I didn’t come and tell you, because… well, because I was afraid you’d say no. I knew you would. You’d have seen right through him. You’d have said he’s too old. You wouldn’t have liked his games…

“Well, now he’s all yours. Now I have to go away. Far away. Before they find him. Before they find me.”

The fairies will sort him out – he’s their problem now. She gets up and walks away without looking back. The destruction of innocence is complete, the playground gone forever.…

15 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Ode to a Playground

  1. Pingback: Daily Prompt~ Oh, Daddy, so glad you didn’t live to see this happen. « The Cheeky Diva

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  4. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Ode to a Playground « Jumbalya of thoughts and musings

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  6. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Ode to a Playground « MKG- Memories-Keepsakes-Gifts

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