G is for Grass
“Why can’t we put down anything pretty?” Shore asked. Her voice was a watery burble, so soft even her master could barely hear her.
With anyone else, Loren would have snapped for them to speak up, she wasn’t deaf. She smiled down at her little water sylph instead, even if the expression was a bit forced.
“I know. I’d rather be working on a real garden too, but it’s Solie’s orders.” She gave an exaggerated sigh, which the small sylph echoed.
She really would have preferred to be working on the gardens in the middle of the town. They were among the greatest in the world, a combination of her creativity and Shore’s abilities, and already people were coming to the Valley just to see them. She had so many ideas for how to make them even greater, but instead she was here, standing on the edge of a dead landscape of shale and dust that stretched to the horizon.
“I hate it out here,” she grumbled.
“Me too,” Shore said loyally.
Loren sighed again. There was no point in going back until she made at least a token effort. Solie would be asking, and for all she was so quiet and demure, the woman could make a person feel guilty beyond belief with just a disappointed look. Loren reached into one of the pouches on her belt and pulled out a single seed, so small that she had to squint to see it clearly. Shore looked up at her while she stared at it, her form shimmering water but otherwise exactly like a younger, smaller version of her master.
“Life to life,” Loren whispered to it, an incantation for only her and Shore’s ears. She tossed the seed down and Shore spread her hands in the air above it. Water flowed into the earth, dampening the grey soil and churning it, feeding it with Shore’s pattern while it pulled the seed down. Loren pulled some fertilizer out of a large sack she’d brought and threw it down to join the mix.
“Sprout to grow,” she said.
“Green is growth,” Shore squeaked.
“We make it so,” Loren returned.
“Live the earth,” Shore said.
“Love the soil,” Loren added.
“Grant here birth,” from Shore.
“Sweat of toil,” Loren finished
A hint of green pushed up through the dirt. Both of them bent down to examine it. A tiny, spring green blade of grass, barely poking up. It was the first greenery to touch the Shale Plains in centuries beyond count.
“One down,” Loren sighed and looked out towards the heavens. “Who knows how many billions to go.”
Shore grinned at her.