Searching for limes

river

Copyright – Sandra Crook

Balunn lingered beside the river he’d been named for – it fed his spirit. He thought of his beloved grandmother, dying now, content that he’d made it home in time.

She’d craved a taste of the juicy native lime she’d loved as a child, rare even then. And Balunn had tried – searching unsuccessfully for days.

As he rested, he pondered the debris choking his river – detritus of that other world he now belonged to. These two worlds sat uncomfortably together inside his head, and the old one was disappearing.

Rising, he spotted a low, thorny bush, and his hopes soared.

********

* ‘Balunn’ means ‘river’ (Indigenous Australian)

Many varieties of traditional foods – bush tucker – used by the indigenous people of Australia are endangered or extinct. The limes Balunn’s grandmother craved are now being grown in a couple of plantations, but are rare in the wild.

You can read about it here.

www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bushtelegraph/endangered-australian-foods/4798900

This is my contribution to this week’s ‘Friday Fictioneers’, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  Writers contribute 100 word stories in response to a picture prompt.

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18 thoughts on “Searching for limes

    • I’m glad you liked it, Karen. It was a bit tricky within the word limit to fit in sufficient information to make the story meaningful. Thanks for reading and giving me feedback.

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  1. This feels somehow like an epic, in spite of fitting in the 100 word limit. I have a feeling you could do a lot more with it given time and space. I liked the gentle feeling – ambitious to search for the lime but also loving and gentle in that it’s for his dying grandmother’s last wish.
    Thank you for introducing me to another world too.

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    • Writing these short pieces feels to me like trying to fit a big foot into a small shoe – I’m always trying to do too much, so I really appreciate your comment. I noted someone’s comment recently that in flash fiction you really have to give just a snapshot. I’m trying to follow that tip, but it’s difficult. Thank you for your detailed and encouraging input.

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    • I was going to end with him not finding any, but decided to leave it open, and end with at least a ray of hope. The clash of cultures was important, in my thinking, and I would have liked to develop that more, but, of course – only 100 words. Thanks for your nice comment.

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    • Yes his river’s in a sad state, and so is the bushland. I’m not sure he’s even going to find a lime this time round, but maybe. He’s seen a likely looking bush at least. Thanks for your comment.

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  2. Margaret, Lovely, well-written story, but sad also. It’s a real shame pollution is killing off so many things, both animals and plants. Hopefully this will end happily and he’ll find at least one lime. — Susan

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    • I hope he does, too. It is sad when native plants, and animals, are lost. The cause in this case was more the clearing of bushland for farms, but the pollution in the picture made me think more generally of all the practices of modern society which contribute to the loss. Thank you for your lovely comment, Susan. I appreciate it.
      Cheers,
      Margaret

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  3. Dear Marg,

    Nicely told story. I like that he now existed between two worlds. You did your one hundred words justice. Thank for sharing the link to the article. It added depth to your story.

    shalom,

    Rochelle

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    • I actually wanted his personal conflict to be the main focus of the story, but I just couldn’t develop it in the word limit, so I’m really happy that you like that aspect. I’m glad the article was of interest. Thank you for your encouragement, Rochelle.
      Cheers
      Marg

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    • The loss of plant diversity is a sad thing, I believe. Who knows what valuable resources we’re missing out on? Not just food, but potential medicines as well. I’m glad you liked my story, and thank you for taking the time to comment.

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