Greetings, all! I trust you all had a pleasant weekend? I know I did. I went shopping with Miss Lucy and whilst out and about I found a little bit of inspiration.
No one can resist the smell of honeysuckle.
Prompt 4: Smell
The town of Dren is nestled against the thick woodlands somewhere between nowhere and not caring. The people who live there are like the earth they till, good and fertile. You aren’t considered a proper family until you have at least five children and most all the families do. They all lead simple lives but they are happy and well provided for.
Summers in Dren are full of anxiety, though. Worry over the crops and the rains are ever present, like in any other farmming community, but in Dren there is another threat to the idyllic way of life. Parents are always watchful in the summer, they have to be. The consequences of not minding the children are too much to bear. Still, parents can’t always keep their children by their side, especially when the days are long and the evenings are warm and breezy. The men folk have to be in the fields and the women have the younger children to tend to.
Those tender years between toddler and teen are the trickiest. They are too young to help out and too old to be kept so they have to make do for themselves. The mind is eager at that age. Everything around them is full of enchantment. Their curiosities often get the better of them. These are the ones that the woods call to.
It may start like a faint buzzing or light chirping, the bubbling of a cool brook or some other enticing noise. Once the sound catches the attention, the children are treated to the sweet smell of honeysuckle. The honeysuckle vines grow thick and strong along the edges of the fields and the borders of the township. The blooms open on the first warm day of spring and never fade until the first heavy frost of winter.
Wafting up from the dark halls of the forest like a fragrant mist, the scent of the honeysuckle draws the unwatched children in. The dense vines form caves in between the trees and for generations children have spent many hours playing make believe in the refreshing shade.
Mothers often scold children who come in at the end of the day smelling of honeysuckle. The perfume of the flowers clings to the hair and skin, staying with the children long after the sun has set. The heavy aroma and the memory of the sweet juice from the blooms claws at the back of the children’s minds. Some can withstand the pull of the honeysuckle groves for a while, but eventually they are called back.
There wasn’t a family in Dren who hadn’t lost a child to the woods.
No one could resist the smell of honeysuckle. Some were swayed more easily than others, but in the end they all succumbed.