By Lakin Khan
Layers of mud kept Turtle warm and secluded all through the winter hibernation. Occasionally a bubble escaped to the top of the pond, but usually, no.
A spring sun glanced across the serene surface of the pond, riling up the water insects, generating a small current that brought fresh smells to Turtle’s blunt, beaky nose. Cinnamon, he thought, and hot cross buns, he considered, the memories of days kept at a house weaving into his rising consciousness. Time for business, he thought, and scrabbled against the twigs and leaves that the mud held against him, claws working to free him up out of his encasement and into the cold bottom water and then up, up, up into the gradually warming surface, into the feral spring.
Two months ago, wild horses couldn’t have dragged him out of the bottom of the muck, but now Spring itself was galloping toward the yin-yang tipping point, when equal parts sunlight and shadelight split the hours. His blood surged and expanded, he was greedy for the light, for the bugs, for the feel of marsh grass against his scaly legs. He was greedy to breathe and gulped his way to the surface of the pond.
Note: “Turtle Regains The Pond” was inspired by two prompts: Five Random Words: glare, serenity, feral, turtle, layer, cinnamon and the prompt wild horses.
Lakin Khan writes and walks in the North Bay, enjoying the woods and the ocean, the mountains and the marsh-trails of Marin and Sonoma Counties. She leads Jumpstart Workshops online and posts on occasion to her blog, Rhymes with Bacon.
Currently, she is working on a collection of nature and animal essays titled Home Turf, A Beastiary of Sonoma State, illustrated by well-known printmaker Shane Weare. Her essays have been published in Tiny Lights, a Journal of Personal Essay, her fiction in the anthology Zebulon Nights, and various poems in online forums. She is always surprised by the stories that arise out of the fermentation of random words or images.