(Spoiler Alert. This Farseen Chronicles flash fiction takes place during the time frame of the first half of Revealed, Farseen Chronicles Book 4.)

Darnel stood in the middle of the nursery, money in his back pocket, staring at trees. He glanced at Kenley, “Which tree should I pick?”

“You tell me.” Kenley crossed his arms in front of his chest. “You should have researched before we drove into town.”

“Yeah, but I didn’t think there would be so many. And they all have different needs. I thought a tree was just a tree.”

“Let’s go. You need to do your homework before making a purchase.”

“Yes sir.” Darnel shuffled behind Kenley and hopped in the car. Back home, Darnel sat at the kitchen bar, looking out the window at the scorched earth. He killed a tree because he was showing off his mastery of fire. Although, considering Kenley had to put out the fire by encasing the area in a shield and removing the oxygen, lack of mastery was the appropriate phrase. He turned to the laptop, looking at trees on a website. He had worked on Eli’s farm doing odd jobs to earn money for a new tree. An entire summer spent working to pay off a debt because he wanted to show off.

“Where’s the tree?” Chanel asked. She and Janel, his sisters, walked through the kitchen with the Thompson triplets, grabbing snacks, and heading to the game room.

“Didn’t you have enough money?” Janel asked. The sisters giggled.

“Be nice,” Mia said. “He’s worked hard all summer. I’m sure he has enough money.” Once the sisters and Mia’s brothers left, she turned back to Darnel. “What’s the problem?”

“Look at all these trees. How am I supposed to pick one?”

“You could ask Delaney what she likes. She’s the one who’ll be staring at it through the kitchen window.” Mia shrugged and joined the others.

Darnel’s mouth dropped open. Brilliant, Mia was brilliant. He went in search of Delaney.

*****

A few days later Darnel and Kenley stood in the nursery again.

“Are you sure?” Kenley asked.

“I’m sure. Delaney wants a private sitting area to read and think and she likes these trees.” With Kenley’s help, Darnel loaded three sun tolerant Japanese Maples into the cart. The larger Sangu Kaku would reach twenty feet tall, while the two waterfall trees spread wider than tall and would anchor the larger tree.

“They’re small.”

“But once they grow, a bench will fit under the center tree and can face away from the house, toward the mountains. If I only get one larger tree, Delaney won’t get her hidden retreat.”

Kenley smiled in approval and followed his young friend.

Back at Vitvarg Farms, Darnel amended the soil and prepped the site for the new plants. The odd jobs he had done on the farm all summer had the added benefit of providing him basic planting skills.

“Want some help?” Ryan asked.

“My punishment, not yours.” Darnel looked up and huffed. Ryan probably never did anything stupid with his powers.

Ryan grinned, “You’re just ‘bout done. I’m only offering to help position the trees.”

“If you wouldn’t mind, that’ll be great.” Darnel grinned when Ryan grabbed the other side of the tree. “To be honest, I wondered how I could keep the tree in position while I made sure which was the best side to face the house.”

With Ryan’s help, Darnel completed his task quickly. While loading the tools into the wheelbarrow he saw Eli and Bryce carrying a bench toward his new plants. “What’s up?”

“Delaney was so excited about the plantings that she couldn’t stop talking about the bench she wanted. Thought it would make a nice gift,” Eli said.

“But the tree won’t shade it completely for a while. To get the trio, I had to buy smaller trees.” Darnel hung his head. Maybe he had made the wrong choice.

“Doesn’t matter,” Bryce grinned. “She’s excited that she’s getting her sitting area and she loves the sun.”

Later that evening, Eli joined Delaney on the bench. “Like it?”

“Love it.” She snuggled up next to her husband and sighed, “This is exactly what I wanted. And I’ve been thinking. The next time one of the kids pull a foolish stunt, I want an expanded herb garden. There are a few herbs I would like to add.”

Eli placed a kiss on her forehead to hide his smile, once again amazed at his good fortune that she was in his life. “I’ll remember that.”

Link to Farseen Chronicles reading order for published books and flash fiction.

Link to more Flash Fiction.

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