Short Story: Odo of the Grove

Odo sat on the rock. It was not unusual for him to sit there. He had sat there many times before and would sit there many times in the future. It was, for lack of a better word, Odo’s favourite rock. He had sat on a great many rocks in his time. Odo knew a good sitting rock when he saw one.

Odo looked around him. It was a rather nice spot all things considered. The elder trees that surrounded the grove were in full blossom. It was rather pretty if you happened to like that sort of thing, which Odo indeed happened to. The stone he sat on had been in this grove for a very long time. Almost as long as Odo had been around. It was a very nice spot indeed he thought to himself.

Odo stepped down off the rock. It was about time that he got to his regular duties. Odo was a spirit, and as you know, spirits have chores just like everyone else. Odo began to clear the grove. The occasional leaf and twig can leave a place very cluttered if left unattended. Odo began to push and pull on the wind.

The leaves and twigs were slowly picked up and spirited away. Next among Odo’s tasks was to see to the flowers of the grove. It was less of a chore to Odo, instead it was a raison d’être. He was a flower spirit. It was in his nature to care for the flowers. He had ones of every kind in his grove. Odo was awfully proud of them. Humans came from miles around to visit his shrine and enjoy the beauty of the grove. That being said they also make a considerable mess. Odo didn’t hold this against them. It is their nature.

Odo spied a small patch of daisies. They had been trampled by some children on their last visit. They tend to be more concerned with running and playing than enjoying nature. Odo shrugged. Such is their way, he thought. Odo bent down to the crumpled daisies and breathed life back into them. The stems grew strong again, and the petals looked revitalised. A bee landed neatly on a rejuvenated daisy. Odo smiled. He liked bees. Bees were nice. They understood the needs of the flowers. They also understood that without the flowers they would die. It was a relationship. Many humans did not see the link between things. All things are connected thought Odo.

Odo smiled at the renewed flower. He meandered around the grove for a little while picking up the occasional leaf and repairing the odd broken stem. He sat back down on his rock. He used to sit in different places around the grove but his rock offered the best view. He began to whistle with the birds. It was a habit he had developed over the years. Though Odo tried to avoid whistling while human’s were about. They could be a little jumpy about those sorts of things.

Odo sat on his rock watching the world around him. There was little else for a spirit to do. After their chores were done that is. Odo closed his eyes and listened to the soft melody sung from the tree tops. A crunching footstep caused him to open his eyes.

Standing under the entrance to the grove stood a human. Eve was a regular at his grove. She respected his place, honoured it even. Odo liked Eve. She was an old human. Not as old as he was but old for a human. Still a couple of times a week she would make her way to his grove. On occasion she would bring her great-granddaughter, Sasha. She was a very small human, and quiet. Not at all like the other children that visited.

Eve toddled forwards and sat on a smaller stone beside Odo. Odo was sure she could not see him, but Eve always managed to sit just beside him. Odo had gathered a long time ago that she was smart for a human. She would talk to the spirits while in the grove. Many others had stopped long ago, believing that the spirits were nothing more than an old story. Eve still honoured the old ways. Odo liked Eve.

‘You know Spirit, I hope someone will visit you when I am gone,’ Eve said quietly.

Odo looked at her and realised she was not well. Much like he could see a plant was dying, he could see that Eve was dying.

‘I think my little Sasha will visit. She understands.’

Odo felt upset. He was not used to feeling upset, which in itself was upsetting. Odo could heal Eve. Though it wasn’t the sort of thing spirits were meant to do. Eve sat quietly beside him. Odo took a deep breath and whispered on the wind.

‘I could help…’

Eve smiled, ‘No my dear Spirit. I am just glad to know you will be here for Sasha. I am an old lady and I have lived well. All things must end in time.’

Odo nodded to himself. Eve was as wise a human as he had ever met. Odo felt sad though. He would miss Eve.

‘I just ask one thing Spirit, before I pass, I should very much like to see the gladioli in bloom. That are my favourite.’

Odo smiled. He hopped off his stone and looked to the gladioli. They weren’t due to bloom for a few weeks. He bent down to them and breathed life into them. Suddenly the bright orange flowers erupted along the sides of the stems. Eve slowly got up and stood beside him. She smiled.

‘Thank you Spirit.’

She turned and began to shuffle towards the exit of the grove. Odo returned to his stone to watch her go. Eve turned back to look at the grove before she left. She smiled at Odo.

‘Goodbye Spirit.’

‘Goodbye Eve,’ Odo whispered on the wind.

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Cillian Fearon |  Author

 

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