Saturday Short: The Bean Pods

photograph of maroon beanpods hanging on a branch

Lily’s mother said there were only two reasons that bean pods ever turned maroon and looked shiner than the pastor’s shoes on Sunday. The first, Lily never paid much mind about. It was the boring reason having something to do about sun and warmth and soil nutrients. Lily never cared much about any of that, unlike her mother who knew every plant’s needs better it seemed than her daughter’s. It was also the most likely reason that Lily’s corner of the garden never grew much more than a few sickly vines that produced squash as hard and flavorful as rocks.

The second reason though intrigued her like the songs the traveling bards sung in the village square. The second reason her mother would only speak of in a whisper, far away from the garden, before throwing a handful of salt over her shoulder and casting a glance back towards the door.

The second reason was that the beans had been touched by the Fae, who would come to collect them when the moon was full. Lily thought the Fae far more interesting than learning how to tend the soil and coax herbs from the ground. When she saw the maroon bean pods and watched her mother shiver at their sight, Lily knew this year it had to be the second reason. That was reason enough for her to hide herself behind a hedge overnight when the moon was full to watch the pods. It didn’t occur to her that it might be dangerous until the moon was high overhead and a long shadow fell over her like a dark cloak chilled in winter’s gloom.