The rich black of juice staining her fingers brought decades-old memories of the laughter they shared as they climbed the hill, hand in hand, seeking the fullest, most promising berry bramble with its treasure trove of plump berries, guarded by a militia of well-honed thorns. The race to fill baskets to the brim, the need to be the champion of the berry-pickers, the smell of the baking bread made from their harvest… these things all raced through her mind in a panorama of color, sound and feeling. The thoughts of him… her brother… came so clear and strong, carried on the scent of the berry. The moments shared that would have joined hearts in another time now caused a break so clear that its edge sliced the heart… the fruit’s nectar the color of blood.
His back as he walked away filled the picture in her mind.
All this joy, all this pain, carried innocently in the decadent taste of blackberry… the taste of what might have been.
(Originally published in 6S V2, available here.)