Transmutation by Anne Brooke

Funny how, as Cath had got older, the garden had become her enemy. She used to love to sink her hands deep into warm soil, feeling the seeds sift and dance through her fingers. Each colour left a different sensation against her skin. Orange, yellow, red, sometimes even mauve if she was lucky.

All winter she would watch them. In her mind she could already see how they would be in the spring. Her grandmother had once told her she had the gift and she’d never questioned it.

As the seeds sprouted, tiny shoots forcing fragile strands into air, she would sometimes sit and talk to them. She would tell them the colours they would become, and how their small glories would add to the greater glories of the world. She hoped it were true.

Today she could hardly remember the woman she’d once been. Her hands were gnarled and twisted, bent out of shape. It had been many years since seeds had flourished into plants and flowers under her management. Now her touch brought only misery and regret. And the knowledge that everything changed.

Copyright 2009

Author's Bio: Anne Brooke has been shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Novel Award and the Asham Award for Women Writers. Her latest poetry collection is A Stranger’s Table and her latest novel is Maloney’s Law. More information can be found at and she keeps a journal at