Editor's Note: We have a St. Patrick's Day treat for this Throwback Thursday, and remember to be careful of your heart's desire, for it could be something quite unexpected. Enjoy today's flash tale by E.K. Lekman, and happy St. Patrick's Day to all!
Fat raindrops slapped against the broad-leafed alders above Seamus. The smell of the impending storm grew potent, petrichor and condensation. Earth and water. The elements of the natural world, which dominated him. The inescapable duty that the rainbow brought. More than a decade had passed, but the regret still haunted him. Digging his feet into the mud and listening to the cacophony of greenfinches above, Seamus did his best to distract himself. Despite his best efforts, though, the memories plagued him, vivid and insistent. The two of them had been right here all those years ago, beneath this very canopy of leaves. The other man had been panting from the exertion of smuggling the gold away when Seamus found him. The look in his eyes when they finally saw one another had been impossible to place. At the time, Seamus clocked it as anger, perhaps greed. In hindsight, he realized it was pity. The man had pleaded with Seamus not to take it, to leave him alone, to forget this had ever happened. “Trust me,” he had pleaded, “save yourself.” But Seamus had only smirked as he had shoved the old man out of the way. The burden, the sorrow, and the inexplicable weight of the treasure descended upon Seamus the moment his fingers gripped the wrought iron. The sight of the rainbow shook Seamus out of his reveries. It settled at his feet now, as it always did. He sighed and leaned into the familiar vessel to haul it away, barely glancing at the shimmering riches that weighed it down. And the evening passed much as it always did, Seamus at the mercy of the elements, bearing the burden he had coveted so badly, once upon a time.
E.K. Lekman lives in Celebration, Florida with her two young daughters. When she isn’t busy pondering the fantastic or the improbable, she can be found enjoying Bob Ross reruns or re-reading Nikola Tesla biographies.
Painting by: Boris Kustodiev, 1925
Layout: Amanda Bergloff