Morning dawned with a rumor – and with the morning light, the rumor stretched and spread.

It sloshed from bucket to bucket when a cluster of housewives ambled to the village well for a morning’s-worth of water. It was hauled back to cottages, heated to a boil, and fed to both children and husbands at breakfast. Afterwards, it deserted the kitchen stools and darted out into the summer heat, where it was hurled back and forth as the object of two long-haired girl’s game of catch. It crawled into farmers’ pockets before they shouldered their tools and trudged out to their gently-sloping fields. There, by chance or miracle, it fell from their pockets and germinated, and its seeds were flung in every direction by the summer wind.

A traveler from another city thoughtfully picked one such seed up from the dirt road and carried it further into town.

There, it exploded like the scarlet blooms of early summer flowers. It catapulted men, women, and children into a chaos of excitement. A wizened few were skeptical, of course. They told anyone who would listen that whomever had contrived such a lie was a weed and ought to be horsewhipped. But they were, in general, ignored – for how could it not be true? It had successfully launched the populace into wild and utter ecstasy, trapping them in a bright but tangled garden, and now it raced across the town’s cobblestone streets faster than the deadliest plague. And as dusk fell over this labyrinth of leaves, shoots and twigs, all borne from a single seed, there was not the smallest hope left of the wizened skeptics instilling any sanity in the remaining populace.

By Mary Faustina