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The Earth Beats the Beet in the Earth

The Beet Beats the Earth in the Earth

By Nicky FranklyPublished 5 months ago Updated 4 months ago 3 min read
The Earth Beats the Beet in the Earth
Photo by Ian Talmacs on Unsplash

According to my parents, harvesting offended the Earth. What pleased the Earth was to nourish your growth from seed to seed. If you prayed for harvest, those around you would drown you out, bleed and twist into you, keeping you rooted right there where you were supposed to be, in the soil you were sown in, immobilized by your own kin.

There was no way out. No way to dig yourself up. No safer soil.

I was tired. Tired of being bled into. Tired of the skin I lived inside that wasn’t tough enough to dam against the crimson current of others. Tired of my parent’s insistent red veins, the ones passed on from generations ago. Tired of sharing that red-filled space. Tired of the soil that allowed it and tired of being subject to its conditions. Tired of being force-fed generational leachate from roots to greens, season after season.

"Stay put," they said when I prayed for harvest.

"No," I said. "I'm not happy here."

"Don't be selfish," they said, marooned by the thought. "Stay right where you are. Transform the soil around you, instead."

"No," I said. "The soil here's poisoned. I don't want to be in it."

Summoning the earth's moisture, my parents began to swell and release into me. Paralysis hurdled toward me on horseback, the way it did. With the biggest inhale of my life, I shriveled my leaves to crust and bled with all of my color.

"Harvest me, Earth," I said, the words dripped slow and sure. "Dam their blood so it quits gettin' on me."

The earth trembled, loosening my roots.

"Stop!" my parents shouted, fearing the stones that would come to rip their thin skin to shreds.

"Harvest me, Earth," I said. "I don't belong here. You've misplaced me, please! If I stay rooted in the soil where I was sown, everything that comes from me will be of the same toxicity."

Feeling the challenge, the Earth opened in slopes to swallow me.

"No!" cried my parents, but it was too late.

It was just as I imagined. My disintegration. My greens would dry and die. My stem, a shriveled snap. Fruit forever buried, decayed, given back to the soil. I lay statuesque, waiting for it to happen. To be cupped in the Earth's loving grasp, transplanted somewhere else where I could grow freely. I could already smell the fresh dirt that would cleanse, stretch, and recalibrate my roots to their true, sweet nature.

Watching from the sunken soil, I saw their roots above me, still rooted in the soil where they were sown, afraid to ask for more. Deeper into the earth I sank, until it met me there, dropped into the space between.

"Harvest me," I begged, speaking first to be heard. "Don't abandon me to them."

The Earth said nothing.

"Harvest me!" I demanded. "I refuse to be abused by the ones who made me."

The Earth soaked itself and began to close.

"Please!" I shrieked. "I'm lost among them," but I had already been squeezed back up into my soil.

My tears bled, each drop a decade into the night. Until, from nowhere, it came. Knees straddled the row of lush greens. Bare fingers massaged the soil as if to loosen and pluck me like a ruby red prize, a siren touting the sweetest beet to harvest.

“I won’t uproot what was created in me,” lips spoke, kissing me in betrayal. “You are placed here on purpose. But I will thicken your skin.” Strong hands gently shaped my soil, and I knew the bleed ended with me.


About the Creator

Nicky Frankly

I love writing !

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Comments (1)

  • Andrea Corwin 5 months ago

    I like it!

Nicky FranklyWritten by Nicky Frankly

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