CWWL, Creative Writing Workshops London, run by Blackbird novelist
Diane Chandler and Blackbird editor Stephanie Zia, is proud to announce the winners of their third annual writing competition.
First prize: Eliza Frayn THE VERY LAST COLOUR
Second prize: Astrid Wilson A MEMORY OF FOSS
Joint third prize: Sam Jayasuriya THE GIFT WHICH KEEPS ON GIVING
Joint third prize Kate Vick HO'OPONOPONO IN BERLIN
The competition was administered by Maddie Chandler. The guest judge for 2022 was Barry Walsh. Barry's second novel Danny Boy will be published by HarperCollins in January 2023.
The autumn programme of workshops is now open for booking. See the end of this post for details and links.
Here are the winning entries:
THE VERY LAST COLOUR
by Eliza Frayn
Tinfoil, shiny and crinkled. I can hear it rustling in my book bag, silver wrapped around a sandwich, bumping against my leg as I go to school. All the angels in the nativity have silver wings, except for Gabriel, he has gold. I am Gabriel this year. I have to say, ‘Mary, do not be afraid’. I can see my mother’s arm wave at me from the pew of the church.
Silver marker pen on dark card, Christmas. Silver lights suspended in the darkness of the sky on Oxford Street. Long, dangly silver earrings hiding in my mother’s hair that chime together as she bends down to kiss me, a rush of perfume, a rush of love. My mother is pregnant with my brother and wears a silver bell because the maternity nurse says he’ll be able to hear it. It tinkles when she sits down. Silver is the sound of the keys jangling in her hands on the way home, silver is the sound of children screaming with delight in the park.
Silver is the colour of little fish writhing together in a net, silver is a dish my grandmother has left out for the cat, its little tongue lapping, lick, lick, lick. It is the noise the spoon makes against the side of the mug as my grandmother stirs it. Silver is the taste of sugar in coffee.
My grandfather’s hair is silver. It’s the colour of his huge Volvo. I lie in the boot of the hatchback, watching the sky slip past, hoping for tunnels. When we get ‘where we are going’, I pretend to be asleep, so someone has to carry me.
Silver is important. It’s the colour of the doctor’s stethoscope on the cancer ward. I swing my legs against the plastic chair as I wait for my dad. He appears in the doorway. We can go into the room now. I look at my granny, she looks small and scared. There are lots of empty yoghurt pots on the bedside table, their silver gaping mouths wide open. I’m hungry. My dad gives me coins for the vending machine. I sort through the fistful of sweaty silver change again and again, delighting in the sound it makes as I rummage around the glittery pile.
I have special silver shoes; I spin around in them and look down at my silver toes flashing by until I feel dizzy. I can do anything I want; I am made from stars – my mum told me. Silver is the sound of stars, it’s the sound of space. Silver is the chinks of light in the sky reflected in a puddle. Silver is the colour of the wind; it is the sound of the trees talking to one another. Silver is the colour of an escaped balloon that I’ve let go of at the zoo, rising higher and higher into orbit as I wail below. “We’ll buy another one.”
Silver is the stubble coming through on my dad’s chin. It’s the colour of lies. I weave wonderful stories out of silver. I tell the children at school I grew up in France and that I had a twin that died. They don’t believe me. One day, my dad leaves suddenly, and takes nothing with him, not even me.
I sit in the hallway of his new flat and patiently watched him sleeping. Silver is the sound of my dad’s soft snoring. It’s the colour of the empty beer cans that I stumble over as I eventually try to wake him up.
Silver is the colour of the ear-piercing gun in Claire’s Accessories. I watch my mother’s face carefully, for any sign of alarm as they line up the needle with my earlobe. They do one of the holes lower than the other and I spend a lifetime wearing long earrings to try and hide the difference.
I study my mother’s face for years, captured by her changing expressions. We watch films together. The silvery glow of the TV lights her up. I watch her intently; I don’t watch the film. I laugh when she laughs, I furrow my brow when she frowns. I cross my arms just like her and wish I had glasses to push back up on to my head too. Sometimes she notices. She gets irritated and tells me to watch the film or I’ll miss it, and so I turn towards the TV, and snatch glances at her intermittently instead.
When she gets a boyfriend, I cry, because now she belongs to someone else. We watch less films, but she smiles more. She comes back from nights out, breathlessly happy. My dad is babysitting us, he laughs when she comes in and asks her if she can even walk in a straight line. I don’t know what that means but I laugh too. My dad has a great laugh.
One day I will grow up. I will sit at my grandfather’s funeral and weep, a silver cross suspended high in the roof of the church, glinting in the last of the September light. He didn’t like churches. He refused to come inside when I was confirmed and stood outside scowling. My teenage uncle sat on his big silver motorbike, smoking roll ups and telling jokes, one big silver filling at the back of his mouth flashing every time he laughed.
I ring the doorbell of my grandmother’s house and I wait for her to come to the door. I used to live here. I think about how long I have to stay before I can leave. My grandmother’s eyes are silver, clouded with cataracts, always wet, always glistening. Silver is the colour of memory, and hers are all tangled up, loose silver threads knotted together in despair by old age. She used to secretly smoke cigarettes and pull out the silver paper when she opened a fresh packet and fold it neatly into a tight square. I would carefully unfold and refold it later after I’d found it, discarded.
She doesn’t smoke any more.
Silver is the colour of guilt. It’s the colour of cheap spirits, nights out, lying about my age, being sick into the street. I haven’t seen my dad in ages. It’s my reflection in a wing mirror as men leer at me from their cars, it’s the colour of my hoop earrings, the performance I put on, the drinks they buy me. Silver is the colour of low self-esteem. I let them light my cigarettes with a silver lighter and I give them a number with one digit wrong. Silver is the very last colour dancing at the centre of a flame. It’s fucking dangerous, but I do it anyway.
Silver is the colour of shame. It’s the sound of my brother being taken away one Monday morning, after another long weekend inside. It’s the colour of the tap that is always running, as he washes his hands red raw. It’s the sound of the silver handle rattling as he shuts it and checks again that it is really closed. Again. And again. It’s the sound of my mother crying for him as he lies a few miles away on the floor of a secure ward. He refuses to use the bed. I listen to her ragged sobs and wonder whether he can still hear her.
The watch my dad gets me is silver. He buys it for me on a whim, and we sit together in the shop and wait for the assistant to bring it over. He smiles as he puts it around my wrist. He asks me what time it is even though he already knows. Silver is the sound the clasp makes as he clicks it together. That’s what ‘I love you’ sounds like. I tell him, “It’s quarter past three” - that’s how I tell him I love him back. We walk out into the afternoon together, and we talk about politics, my sister, his job, and the renovation on his roof. We don’t talk about the weather, my brother, his parents, or my drinking.
I cry on the train home.
Hours drag on but days pass quickly; entire lifetimes are shaped by a single choice. The spur of the moment is silver; silver is change. Silver is the colour of the first sobriety chip that I collect one Sunday afternoon in a church basement in front of a group of strangers. Silver is the sound of applause, it’s my mum saying, ‘well done’ and squeezing my arm, it’s the colour of smudged pencil on a page as I write down a list of all the ways in which drinking costs me more than just money.
I meet the woman who will become my sponsor and learn that her name means ‘light’. That makes sense. She’s the only person that I never lie to, and I cling to her like a child, like a silver anchor in a storm. We walk side by side along the river in Hammersmith in the dying evening light, and she teaches me how to live.
The boy who left me when we were teenagers calls me and asks if I’d like to go for a walk. Silver is hope. It’s the colour of a promise, the colour of a ring. It’s dreaming up babies and engagements and looking at listings in the windows of estate agents. We roll the names of imaginary children around in our mouths like silver pearls, tasting them all, spitting them out when they don’t suit. We know it’s silly. But it doesn’t make it go away. Silver is patient. It grows and solidifies; it beats within you, rising until you can hear it rushing in your ears like a train trying to take you forward.
Silver is that feeling of, ‘it might just happen’. It’s the colour of the foil wrapping on the pregnancy test, it’s the trembling hands, the held breath, the sound of the toilet flushing. It’s the sound of two minutes passing, and then time stopping altogether. It’s the colour of a twelve-week secret. The small shape on the monitor, a silver cut-out pulsating on a dark screen. It’s my heart in my stomach. “We’ll make it work”. Then it’s the love, the love.
Silver is memory. It is a rough shape, an outline, a feeling. It is unsure. It has no dates, street addresses or times, only faces and half-remembered conversations. One day my hair will be silver. I’ll have a silver walking frame and wear all my mother’s jewellery and give it away piece by piece to my own children, crying, smiling, remembering her.
I will age, I will get old, I will die. Silver is the colour of the heavy pen that I’ll use to sign my will. I’ll twist my rings around my swollen knuckles, just like Grandma used to, and I’ll try to be fair when I divvy my stuff up between the kids. Silver is the colour of redemption, it’s the colour of second chances. I’ll kiss my grandchildren on the head and never shout at them. My children will feel pleased and jealous all at once. I’ll become softer, kinder, more forgiving. These will be my best years, where I’ll live for joy, with nothing more to strive for: the mortgage paid off, the children already grown, the years turning themselves over neatly like the pages on a calendar.
Silver is inevitable.
I’ll get weaker and fainter and slowly fade away. “Hi Mum, it’s me”. I’ll look up from the chair and see a face that I half-recognise, but I don’t remember that I made. I will be statuesque, a piece of silver furniture, a vintage, a relic, a hallmark of what has passed. Things will start to happen around me, not to me, and my days will shrink to the sight of my own reflection in a glass of water that I shakily raise back and forth to my lips with the help of a carer. I will start to irreparably tarnish.
Silver will come full circle. One day, death will come and gently breathe all the life out of me, one final exhale. I don’t want to die, but I die anyway. Silver is the colour of celebration, of a long life, well lived. It’s the final notes of the symphony. It’s wanting an encore but accepting that the last chords are playing out. The bell tolls, the silver dome swinging back and forth. It’s the sound of goodbyes, hands clasped together, eyes closing for the last time.
But silver carries on, it outlasts me, it doesn’t stop. Little silver fish continue to dance in a shoal, birds fly past my window as they go south for winter, flowers burst forth from the frozen earth. Silver is new. It’s a baby crying, it’s the sun breaking over the rooftops, it’s the start of another day. A tired mother wearily shushes her baby back to sleep as she yawns and wipes her eyes.
Silver is the world turning anyway, even though you’ve left it, it’s the sound of the waves continuing to break, it’s the sound of people falling in and out of love, leaders rising and falling, millions of people rushing to work, cash registers opening and closing, someone shakily reading out their first poem, a boy nervously beginning ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ on his own, his voice cracking. It’s someone getting down on one knee and proposing, it's what ‘yes’ sounds like; it’s the sound of heartbreak, someone else holding it together while their world falls apart. It’s a ringing phone bringing bad news, an acceptance letter arriving, that moment before a kiss, two people running towards one another on a bridge after a year apart, an outstretched hand, open arms, a closed fist. It’s someone being brave, someone being kind, someone screaming, someone drowning, someone dreaming, someone waving. It’s the sound of seven billion people all breathing in and out together, all the time.
But I don’t know any of that yet. I don’t know anything. I see in pictures, people speak to me in four-word sentences, ask me lots of questions, they loom big in the sky. I collect broken bits of shell and rattle my milk teeth around in a little silver box.
Silver is the colour of childhood. One day, it will be the colour of my lifetime. Until then, I run to my grandfather and press my face into his coat and cry, too small to use my words to explain what it is I really want.
I look out into the darkness of the church. Mary, I begin. I hesitate. My mum smiles at me encouragingly. I look right at her. I take a deep breath.
Do not be afraid.
c. Eliza Frayn 2022
No part of this story may be reproduced without permission
A MEMORY OF FOSS
by Astrid Wilson
In the late autumn of 1947, a car could be seen winding its way from the railway station in Pitlochry towards the little village of Foss in Perthshire. There were five people in the car: the Reverend William Gillis, minister of Foss and Tummel, his wife Elsa, her father and her two daughters.
For William, it was a fairytale come true. He had recently been appointed to a parish in his beloved Highlands. He had married Elsa, a widowed refugee from Estonia. They had been pen pals since they were teenagers. Now, finally, he was collecting her father and her two children, who had been living in a camp for Displaced People in north Germany.
I was one of the occupants of the car, Astrid, Elsa’s eldest daughter. I was six years old. Behind us lay a typical story of war time Europe. We had fled from Estonia in 1944, as the Soviet tanks once again threatened Estonia. My father, Bruno Lustig, a doctor, had disappeared on the Russian front in 1942.
In 1945 we were in one of the last trains through East Germany as the German army collapsed. The Russians were shooting at the train. We were homeless for a bit and then we found refuge in a United Nations camp for Displaced People from the Baltic.
With my father presumed dead, my mother looked to starting a new life. An opportunity came with the Baltic Cygnets project, in which young women from the Baltic States were recruited to work in hospitals in the UK. My mother had been allocated to Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire and this is where William, who had been searching for her throughout the war, found her.
So now the horror of the war was behind us. A new life beckoned and the setting, the Tummel valley, could not have been more idyllic. In her memoir, The Wings of Love, my mother writes of her first impressions of Foss:
‘I was very impressed with everything, but most of all with the Highlands, the beautiful hills, forests, the heather and the lochs. Everything was so beautiful and peaceful... I felt I was in paradise.’
I, too, felt I was in paradise. There were flowers everywhere, in the garden and in the meadows and fields surrounding the manse. The moors and hills blazed with heather. At the back of the manse, a little wood led down to the banks of the River Tummel.
I gradually came to know the parishioners of Foss and Tummel. I met them at church every Sunday. It was so peaceful in the little church, with the sunlight falling through the tall windows onto the polished pews, while William, standing in the pulpit, conducted the service. Afterwards, we all stood around in the porch and chatted.
I went to the village school, which is directly opposite the church. Miss Robertson was the teacher. She was later awarded an OBE for services to teaching in a remote area. There were six pupils, including my sister Dagmar and myself.
I enjoyed school. In winter, the classroom was heated by a blazing fire. In the summer we played in the lovely garden surrounding the school house.
One of the parishioners at Foss was Mrs Balfour. She lived in what my mother called ‘the big house’. I was taken to visit her one day soon after we had arrived. The drive leading up to the house was very impressive. On either side of the drive were what seemed like acres and acres of snowdrops. I had never seen anything so beautiful.
I was overawed by the grandeur of the hall and also by Mrs Balfour herself. She was very stately. She stood, very upright, in front of me and looked down towards me. After a brief pause, she asked me:
Do you like reading?
Yes, I replied, I like reading.
A few weeks later crates of Victorian children’s books and leather- bound volumes of the annual Little Folks arrived at the manse. She had sent me all the books of her childhood.
Sadly, about a year later, her lovely house had to be demolished and she had to leave Foss. The reason for this was the decision taken by the Hydro- Electric Board to flood the Tummel valley in order to increase the size of the loch.
This was a very dramatic event. The water was introduced into the valley by a few feet every day and every day I would go down to the water’s edge to look at what was happening. It was very strange to see little fields and entire walls disappear under the water. Quite often I saw dead animals – rabbits and even sheep – floating in the water.
And then we, too, had to leave Foss. This was because of a very complex scenario with many strands.
One of the strands of this story was the good news that my father, having been presumed dead, was in fact alive. He had been captured on the Russian front in 1942. He had then been placed in a concentration camp near the Estonian border. Because he was a doctor, he had been put to work in the camp infirmary. He had performed an operation that had saved the Camp Commandant’s life and so his own life had been spared.
Of course, many problems then arose from this situation. One of these was the fact that William’s marriage to my mother was now bigamous. However, this was a fairly common occurrence after the war and the usual decision of the courts was that there were no guilty parties.
This is what happened when the case was heard in Lubeck in north Germany. My mother was told only to choose which husband she wanted to remain with. She chose William. There were of course some legalities- she would have to obtain a divorce from my father and then go through another marriage ceremony, but that was all. There was no imputation of guilt.
The Church of Scotland, too, accepted the situation. The parishioners of Foss and Tummel, however, were not so happy and they made their feelings very clear. As an entire body, they stopped attending church.
The reaction of the Church was swift and decisive. William was quickly removed from the parish. He was appointed chaplain to a Scottish regiment, at that time serving in the Far East. Foss was stripped of a dedicated minister. The manse was put up for sale. Foss Kirk was combined with the parish of Kinloch Rannoch.
At the time, I knew nothing of what I have just described. I was only eight years old and my mother told me the facts only when I was older and more able to understand the situation. There was, of course, a very wrought atmosphere at the manse – my mother was often exhausted and strained, and no longer the jolly companion that we were used to – and I did pick up on this.
Otherwise, life as it existed on my level, went on as normal. My sister Dagmar and I still went to school. At home, we spent hours wandering through the beautiful surroundings of the manse.
William was no longer there and we no longer went to church. I simply accepted those facts as I had accepted the other unusual events in my life.
One thing that does surprise me now is the fact that we stayed at the manse for so long after William had left. It must have been a period of at least six months. It was during this time that my youngest sister was born. My mother was alone at the manse at the time and saw to everything herself. Since we lived in virtual isolation, nobody had known that she was pregnant.
It was after my sister’s birth that I got a glimpse of what people thought about us. This was because my mother had a nervous breakdown after the birth and spent some time at the cottage hospital in Aberfeldy.
During her absence, one or two parishoners did actually visit the manse. I suppose this was to check up on the welfare of myself, Dagmar and the baby. During these visits, hurtful comments about my mother were made. They said, for example, that my mother had married William only to gain UK citizenship and also that she had had a baby only to ‘keep’William and to remain in the UK. In fact, her job as a nurse at Papworth Hospital had carried with it the possibility of UK citizenship.
I had not really been aware of any unfriendliness towards us until then, although I had always felt uncomfortable when our strange names were discussed as well as the fact that our hair was done up in pigtails and our clothes were more elaborate than the clothes of the local children.
Not everybody was hostile. During this difficult period we were greatly helped by Kitty and William Brown who lived in Tummel Bridge. Their daughters Elizabeth and Margaret who were at Foss School with us are still friends today.
I was devastated when I was told that we were leaving Foss. It meant so much to me. The beauty of the Highland landscape, the wildflowers, the heather, the little woods – it really was paradise on earth.
And so, it came to another car journey. I can still remember those last moments so clearly. I had written goodbye letters to all my animal friends – the sheep, the rabbits, the adder who lived in the garden wall. I rushed around placing them all. I was saying goodbye to the hens when I heard my mother calling,
Hurry up, hurry up, we’re leaving!
The hens, I replied, the hens! Who will look after them?
And then I was in the car and it was moving slowly down the hill from the manse. It gathered speed and then we were moving swiftly along the main road, away from Foss, away from Foss for good.
c. Astrid Wilson 2022
No part of this memoir may be reproduced without permission
THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING
by Samantha Jayasuriya
I love the apple tree. It has always been a part of my life. My parents received it as a wedding gift. My early memories were made up of tales from my mum of the times I would sleep in its shade whilst she snatched a nap in the chair in the afternoon sun. She would awaken to my chatter and be convinced that I was talking to the tree and that it was talking to me. I know now that she was just hearing my running toddler babble on the many insects I could see on the branches, leaves and trunk. The insects in the tree and around the roots fascinated me as a child and that curiosity has remained.
Now, as a teen, the tree still holds me. Lying on my back looking up through the silvered mossy branches, I train my eye on one branch and follow it through to the end of the knobbly twigs. A thousand petals bloom, with the light shining through changing the hues from gold to pinky coral. As I lie and look up, the branches rustle with what seems like a response to a question. I quieten my breath and strain my ears to hear the voice, but nothing.
A small green caterpillar catches my eye, spinning slowly in the breeze on a silken thread so fine you might think it was floating on its own in the air. My eyes travel again to the branches, a gust of May wind catching the blossom and showering me with petals like pink and white snow.
A call comes from the kitchen door – 'Dinner!' – pulling my thoughts away from the caterpillar, and I think of all those countless times the tree has given me joy and solace over
the years. Now, as I move back to college it will be another tie that will keep me coming home – to see its blossoms, of course, and to eat its fruit perfected by my mum in the best ever apple crumble. Off to college to study insects – what else? It was the apple tree that started that so many years ago.
Up now and shaking off the blossoms, I return to a childhood springtime ritual and hug the trunk. I started doing this after my teacher read us a story in primary school about ‘the
people who hugged trees’, a tale of social action and defiance where a village took charge of a small wood when the Maharajah wanted to cut it down. I can still encircle the trunk with my arms now, the bark cool against my skin. I nudge forward so that my body is against the bark and put my ear on it to listen. Maybe today I might hear it speak. Closing my eyes, I
convince myself that I can hear the sap rising. I whisper ‘good wishes for a bountiful crop’ and with one last caress I walk away.
Two apples grafted on one tree ... how perfect, a bit like the two of us, she mused. His workplace had decided to use their collection to buy the tree as a collective present. I think Tom had once mentioned that he liked apple crumble. The pot stood on the patio for a few months as they waited for the best time to plant it out. The shiny bow which had stood so proudly on the trunk at the wedding grew grimier and much less shiny as the autumn passed and winter took hold. And then it was time to plant. Tom put his back out just slightly digging into the clay – pulling out long brambles, roots and chunks of concrete left behind from the footings of an old fence post. He was keen to get it into the ground and had been anxious about it all winter. She hoped that the care he had shown the tree would also be shown to her and she was glad that this had been the case. The tree blossomed and then the fruits came. These were her treasures. She would watch them carefully, gently moving them to check for holes and nibbles. The heat of the summer gave way to the glow of autumn when the fruits were ready to drop. Harvesting was a time she really enjoyed, on her own in the garden, listening to the birds tweeting and the wasps buzzing around the windfall on the ground. As she gently twisted them the ripest fell into her hands and into her basket: two fruits from one tree, one sharp and crisp, the other aromatic and juicy. Every autumn as she harvested the fruit she had the same thought ... that the apple tree loved the family. Over the years she had tried so many different recipes to use up the harvest: apple pie, apple crumble, muffins, chutney, jams and more. Her favourite use came in a vintage year, the year of their 10th anniversary when they had a glut of apples and made their own apple wine. She had found the recipe in an old paperback book, 101 ways to make wine at home. The pages smelt musty but it was one of those treasures she could not put back on the charity shop shelf. The wine had a gleam, which to her was the essence of autumn bottled. As she picked the last windfall off the grass, the wind sent a shiver of cold down her spine. She straightened up and smiled at the tree. Stepping forward she put both of her hands on the trunk: thank you tree for the gifts you have given. Turning to go back inside, she thought she heard a response and looked back over her shoulder. No, she was mistaken. It was just the breeze in the branches.
His back twinged. Oh no, his old war wound was back. Damn, digging clay was hard work but he needed to show that a bit of clay was not going to get the better of him. He had to prove his manliness to his new perfect wife. He was rather overwhelmed by this gift from his company. Usually, HR were charged with getting something off the wedding list, and he fully expected a set of towels. But the new intern had taken charge after listening to him go on about his mother’s apple crumble. She had done some research and came up with the double variety grafted apple tree. The tree was perfect – he was worried all winter that the frost would get it. He had covered it with fleece to keep out the worst of the weather and some of the wind away from the roots. Early summer was just what he needed. Working in an office all day, he needed time outside and had quickly built a walk into his day to shake off the stresses and strains of the job. He had been yearning for a longer period of light and fresh air and chose the first warm weekend to plant out the tree. Tools assembled, watering can ready, the job was over and done with quickly.
As the seasons progressed and over each year he took up his job as keeper of the tree. He picked off all the greenfly, taking great satisfaction in squishing them between his fingers. He put grease bands on the trunk to stop the female winter moth from climbing the trunk and laying her eggs, which would turn into caterpillars that munched the green leaves. Each year Tom would inspect the leaves as high as he could go on the rickety step ladder, picking off any caterpillars he could see and never using a spray which was forbidden by Alexia and his daughter. He enjoyed peering into the canopy where the light would be tinged with green. The sounds of children playing and lawnmowers buzzing would be dimmed and he could almost hear the apples ripening at the end of the twigs. Now, in his elder years, he chose to sit in the shady spot as he watched his grandchildren rough and tumble on the lawn, and he would watch as his daughter had done in her buggy many moons ago for caterpillars dangling in the leaves.
Leaves dropped, apples picked, blossoms fallen, but the roots, trunks and branches are always there. Time passes slowly for me and quickly for them – those who speak to me, caress me and sleep under me, come spring, summer and autumn. My purpose is to care, to feed, to shelter all and to mark the marriage of this fine couple, Tom and Alexia. They have grown together like my trunk, two trees blended into one. As I age and lichen covers my north face, I can feel my trunk stretching slightly to the south, seeking the light. They think that they cannot hear me speak. I watch them strain their ears for my voice. But I know that they have been part of my conversation since we met so many years ago. My blossoms tell them to look forward to new ideas, my leaves rustle and speak of plans of today and my fruits remind them of the joys of the past. I am the gift that does not stop giving.
c. Samantha Jayasuriya
No part of this story may be reproduced without permission
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