Grounded by Michael V. Reisinger

There, along the old, worn wooden planks of the table, she was spread out.
Glucose started to slow its circulation from deep within. Click…Clack…With the snipping came such intense pulses of pain. They continued, until the sharp waves were so overwhelming that nothing could be felt from below the waist.

She lay on her side. Maybe all could be forgiven of this obsessive creature, mangling and digging away at the speed of light. Not believing she would live through the day, she squirmed inside, almost forgetting the dismal existence of her previous home, where she was trapped on all sides, bound in dry clay, and her once long, supple ends split- dried and flaked away. Through five flowering seasons, she went on untouched and unchanged, until finally arriving at the conclusion that she must be completely invisible.

A turn and balance upright, with a little wobble from side to side, and she was in her new home now, with much less of her to spread, yet there was much more space. She could feel the air tingling its way through the crevices down, onto her freshly torn flesh. But the nutrients were now all around, packing themselves in and settling. She hardly noticed the shifting sun’s rays topside.

A sudden splash of spritzer sprayed down her trunk, causing her fronds to stand up, perky. Her flesh began to feel anew as the specks of dust, that were caked on and gradually accumulated into a choking film, eroded away. She felt the cool rush run through her body. How refreshing! The pores opened up like spring buds. Even the toxins floating in the air never tasted so good.

She found herself floating, lightless, with a lifting from below, and being hovered like a bird, but knowing she was well grounded. The motion ceased and there she sat, adorned by the warm glow of the east facing window wall, which only exaggerated her beautifully frayed outline. The warmth set her backside ablaze and the still sense of belonging came from all around.

M. V. Reisinger resides in Southern Colorado’s San Luis Valley with his wife, 2 dogs, and a houseplant jungle, where he is currently taking a break from teaching writing and literature to focus on sharing his writing. He holds a Masters degree in Literacy from Regis University in Denver, Colorado and earned a BA from Northern Arizona University with a minor in creative writing while writing for Lumberjack News in Flagstaff, Arizona.