Brita in the spring

In Jane’s Microfiction Challenge 14 – Spring, she asked us to consider Spring, sorrow, silence, solitary, submerge in relation to the Harald Slott-Moller painting.

“Brita in the spring” is my response. I’m always open to criticism, comments, and suggestions.


It would take more than all the birds of spring to make her heart sing. Or a crown of sun-beaming flowers to make her dance. Or a “new” frock cut from two of her older sisters’ dresses to make her smile.

She could run, play hide and seek, jump rope, roll a hoop. But none of that counted in the village. What counted was singing, what counted was a voice. Brita’s full voice had yet to find her, so she spoke little. When she had to, it was in a halting whisper of ssendrowsdrawkcab and hal ord.

When she gazed at her wavy reflection in the water, a not unpleasant visage returned her look. Perhaps her cheeks and chin too ruddy, her hair too dullish a bronze, but still, not monstrous. Just speech-less. Not whole.

Hope kept her going through the months of ridicule and silence. A solitary figure trolling the dykelands. As the birds gathered this year, on the eve of vernal equinox, none had the gift of a voice for her. Another year without singing, chattering, laughing. In a village know for it’s performers: orators; singers; story tellers, to have no voice was to not exist.

The girl in the stream motioned for Brita to join her in that watery space where voice meant less than in the air above.

© taleweavering phylor 2016


13 thoughts on “Brita in the spring

  1. merrildsmith September 23, 2016 / 7:11 am

    Poor girl. I was hoping this was a stage that all went through, and then the people there found their voice (like going through puberty). :)


  2. taleweavering September 19, 2016 / 1:03 pm

    Mir was a place holder I forgot to remove. I’ve added a sentence which I hope helps to explain why Brita voicelessness seemed a high price to pay.


    • Jane Dougherty September 19, 2016 / 3:16 pm

      If she was to be just airbrushed out of existence, that’s a good enough reason for wanting to try somewhere else.


      • taleweavering September 19, 2016 / 3:27 pm

        And, for looking so sad and hopeless. It was the hopelessness on her young face that got to me.


        • Jane Dougherty September 19, 2016 / 3:33 pm

          That’s the over riding impression for me too. So young, in such a bucolic setting, and yet looking so despairing.


          • taleweavering September 19, 2016 / 11:21 pm

            If she was wearing dark colours, I’d say she had lost someone, but she is not dressed for funerals or mourning — yet she is.


            • Jane Dougherty September 20, 2016 / 3:27 am

              That’s a good point. I could suggest she’s been dressed up for a celebration but her heart’s not in it.


  3. Michael September 17, 2016 / 5:46 pm

    I really liked the opening paragraph as it set your tale up so well.


  4. Jane Dougherty September 17, 2016 / 3:40 pm

    It is a sad story, but how could it not be, given the expression on the girl’s face? The thought I had was that you might add a phrase or so that shows what the stakes are. To drive the girl to drowning herself, she’d need a very good reason, more than ‘none of that counted in the village’. I’d like to know what was in store for her if she never found a voice.
    I don’t know the word ‘mir’. Is it the same origin as mere?


I love dialogue. Do you?

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