She stood and surveyed her surroundings. Everything was dim and dusty for as far as she could see, as if light and hope had long ago dried up and taken flight on the scorching wind. The trees, once green and lush, were gray and drooping. People trudged by silently with their heads down, their eyes devoid of life.
“This is not right. Something should be done.” she said under her breath. Surely there was someone who could help, someone to call.
“Have you checked your pockets?” a voice inquired behind her.
She turned to see a young man with a half-smile staring at her intently. His bright yellow shirt stood out in the grayed-out surroundings, and yet the people shuffling by didn’t seem to notice him at all. Actually, they didn’t seem to notice anything.
She knew her pockets were empty when she put on her clothes that morning, and yet something about this young man made her shove her hand into the pocket of her jacket, groping for who-knows-what.
“Empty.” she said, feeling a bit silly.
“You sure about that?” he asked.
She felt around a bit more and then withdrew her hand from her pocket, turning the pocket inside out as she did so that he could see for himself.
He stared at her hand and pocket with an amused expression. Slightly annoyed, she glanced down, wondering what was so entertaining about an empty pocket.
Her mouth fell open. Small bits of light, no larger than seeds, clung to her skin and every fold of the fabric of the lining of her pocket. Specks of light were fluttering to the ground as she watched.
She jerked her eyes back to his face. “What— ?”
He was openly grinning now, and she followed his gaze to the ground at her feet. Everywhere one of the seeds of light touched, the color returned and new growth sprouted. A clump of yellow flowers was already blooming out of a short patch of thick greenery. She shook her hand, releasing some of the seeds that were stuck to her skin, watched as they fell to the ground and began to transform everything they touched.
She looked back at him with her mouth still hanging open. He cocked his head to the side and looked at her other jacket pocket. She quickly put her hand in the pocket, but this time removed it carefully with her palm cupped.
It was brimming with glittering, pulsating seeds of light.
She gently dipped her fingers into the pocket of her jeans. More light seeds were stuck to her skin.
Her eyes flew to his. He was watching her with great interest, and suddenly it felt as if he could hear her questions even though she had not yet voiced them. His eyes shifted from hers and she watched as they explored the dusty gray landscape and the walking dead who lumbered on beside them. He then looked back at her, and understanding began to flood through her being. It was as if an entire conversation had passed between them, wordlessly.
She slowly nodded and looked down at her handful of seeds. She passed some to her free hand and with a flick of her wrist and arm, scattered them as if sowing wheat, each seed bringing life to whatever it touched. She glanced back at him.
He was gone.
A smile tugged at the edges of her mouth as she began to walk forward, flinging the seeds of light and life along her path. She moved steadily and with great purpose, propelled onward by the sound of laughter and singing that began rising behind her as she walked.