It was Autumn. And it was time for Vidalia’s brothers and sisters to start falling away.
Vidalia knew it would be her time too, and soon.
She flew along, landing on various surfaces, stopping a moment to stretch her legs. Never lilting too long on one particular place, for she was well aware she was not well liked by many. Her life span was short as it was, and so she did not take care to make too many friends or develop deep relationships.
Vidalia never quite figured out what her purpose in life was. She knew she was put on the earth for a reason, but didn’t quite grasp the significance until after she was gone, a mere remembrance of a summer’s day.
They traveled in packs, most of them looking out for one another, instinctively hovering over the small ones, those whose wings had not developed and were forced to squirm amongst each other. One by one, their wings did sprout and they quickly flew to wherever the scent of the day directed them. They flew great distances in a short period of time, for they were always hungry and always amorous. Whether they were flying to meet their true love or land on a basket of apple blossoms, they achieved their task with great determination and perseverance.
I spoke to Vidalia as she had reached the final leg of her journey, arriving after many days of non stop flying and amorous adventure. She had landed on my bare leg and was washing her face, looking up at me with a satisfied smile and a knowing sense of accomplishment. She knew her end was near and she finally knew what she had to do.
“My brothers and sisters have fallen away” she started.
“Yes, I know” I replied a little uneasy. I knew very well how soon her end would be arriving, although I did not know by what method would cause her demise.
Up on the horizon I spied Riley’s dad coming towards me with two cups of steaming hot coffee wrapped in a kitchen towel, one of our rituals to end a beautiful fall evening. He saw me sitting on the rock near my favorite spot on the waterfront, and motioned with his head to make room on the rock for him. He had not heard my conversation with Vidalia.
“Do you have any regrets, dear Vidalia?” I asked solemnly as she made herself comfortable for her final journey.
Vidalia looked at me with peace and contentment shining through her eyes, and let out just the teeniest sound of a forlorn sigh.
“None, Emeline” she answered.
“Although I would like to share with you the secrets of the universe if you have the time. The answers are shared between mother and daughter from generation to generation, and to be shared only with a human deemed worthy of receiving such information.”
“What?” I sat up astounded.
“You have figured out the meaning of life? The answer to all the great questions asked by the Masters? Shakespeare, Rodan, Ovid!”
She nodded. “Yes, I have spoken to them all, and I am ready to share it all with you, are you ready to receive it?”
“You have spoken with Isaac Newton, Galelio, Michelangelo?”
She nodded, again.
“Madam Curie, Jonas Salk?” I could not believe what I was hearing!
“All the great questions, whether they be regarding politics, science, music, literature. I have had great debates with the likes of any of those learned people. So I ask you again, Emeline. Are you ready to receive the answers to questions which have been asked for centuries?”
“Yes! Yes! Honey!” I called to Rileys Dad.
“Come here and listen to this! You won’t believe it!!!”
“What?” he answered calmly, bringing the towel he had wrapped the hot mugs of coffee.
“Listen to this, it’s absolutely astounding, you won’t believe…”
“Hold still” he said suddenly and slapped the towel upon my knee, killing Vidalia instantly.
“Damn fly…” he muttered.
“You were saying?”