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By Neel Anil Panicker

Sheela stood at the edge of her fields and surveyed the landscape that spread out like an albatross’ wings all around her.

A sigh escaped her lips as she looked forlornly at the undulating earth bald as an eagle’s bald head.

Her mind harked back to barely six months ago.

This, her land, the land of her ancestors, the once wet earth that had so magnanimously opened itself out to all who bent their heads and  were willing to toil from the time the sun sleepily shone from above the far distant hills of Connemara to the time when it called it a day and slipped into the open arms that spread out at horizon’s edge, yonder the Magha hill ranges, this once beautiful bountiful path of green that had served her forefathers down to her grand parents and even her parents___was this ‘golden’ land losing its lustre?

Was that it had decided all of a sudden to turn its back on humans? Had it decided that it would no longer be slave to selfish man’s interests ?

Had her own patch of thirty acres turned traitor as had several other ‘lands’  of her relatives, and  village folks she knew from her village and no less than six villages in a fifty mile radius  around hers?

Squinting her eyes against the onslaught of the midday June sun, Sheela looked for clues, her eyes boring into the skies above.

Dark cumulus clouds, the very same she had sighted for more days than she can remember in the past one month, now stared back at her, darting dark, ominous shadows at her spread of red roses and lilies.

As Sheela looked on at the frightful play of shadow and light, she knew in her heart of hearts what her mind had until now so resolutely held on to be untrue___Mother Nature was retaliating, fighting back against her plunderers.

It was payback time with a vengeance. 

#neelanilapnicker #flash #fiction #shortstory




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