And We Rise How We Rise

Published in Copper Nickel Issue 18, November 2012, as Editor’s Selection.


Nasrin wasn’t wearing her glasses and at first she didn’t understand why Usha was pointing at the huge Flame Tree with such urgency. It wasn’t the season for them to bloom and gone were the fiery orange-red blossoms that marked the trees with such distinction. Yet when she looked, even without her thick glasses, even without understanding Usha’s urgency, she saw that there was something different about them. The tree was a brighter green than she had ever seen a Flame Tree and the leaves rippled in some unknown wind. She looked at the other trees and it was as if they all had a strange life to them, a pulsating verdant hue that tricked her eyes.

It wasn’t until the leaves took flight that she realized that the vibrant green had been deceptive: parrots covered the trees, silent, roosting on the boughs, giving the trees such curious life.