Unnatural Recollections #3
Part 1: Strange Places
Blossom had been running the whole night and reached a thin forest, where the first moon and the shadow of flower buds could be seen between the branches. Her body nearly froze, causing her to faint on the muddy ground. In her dream, she heard a mix of voices - her sisters, saying “Blossom, Blossom, you're fourteen now, your looks and build are good, it's time for you to be sold. To Leopard, Little Tiger, Wolf Dog, or Dragon Brother, whoever can buy you.” They spoke of an ancient ritual; all of her sisters had gone through it and gained freedom and knowledge afterword. Blossom wanted to ask her mother, but was awakened by those tracking her. The first rays of early spring sunlight warmed her. The pink flowers above her head broke open, their centers like diluted blood.
Blossom had been running for a whole day, and arrived again at the sparse forest. It was a piece of woodland left behind long ago, where peach trees were planted. After the historical event of miniaturization, the grove was abandoned, and the peach trees either withered or grew wild. Blossom originally planned to move to another region with Brother Dove, but when her belly grew bigger, Dove left on his own. Her elder sisters came looking for her again. Just as Blossom was about to collapse, a giant peach fell before her eyes and split into two halves. Seeing this, Blossom crawled inside, closed the peach, curled up, and waited for the night to come.
People always say that the giant rats are coming soon, and when they arrive, life will get better. One can serve the giant rats and won’t starve anymore. However, Woody has reservations about this. Aren't people afraid that the giant rats will eat them? Now is the era of miniaturization; rats are no longer despised and chased away with a broom. Even cats have been miniaturized and become prey for rats. Yet people still welcome the arrival of the giant rats.
Woody has been a gardener for twenty years. In the past, he specialized in cultivating new varieties of flowers. But after the miniaturization, the garden owners switched to growing wheat, which was dozens of times taller than a person and yielded higher benefits. As a result, Woody lost his job. His friends comforted him by saying that perhaps a giant rat park would be built and there might be the need to plant some flowers for decoration. As long as the giant rats are happy and decide to stay in our city, there will be no lack of work. Woody did not comment. When he was bored, he would gaze towards the distant mountains and fields, as if seeing the dust rising and hearing the sound of a swarm of giant rats scurrying through the woods, gradually approaching.
For introductory remarks about the work, see “Coming soon! Strange tales from V City”