"It's nothing, honey. Don't worry about it. They'll come right, you'll see."

"It's not nothing, Taz. I don't understand what's happening. This is the second day in a row."

I put my hand out to stroke the wilted leaves of one of our half-rotted, caved in tomato plants.

"I just fixed them yesterday. Now look at them."

Taz stared at the wilted, dank carnage that had spread out across our usually lush crops. I could tell how scared he was even though he was trying to be brave. We needed these plants to feed ourselves. Not to mention the money we made from selling produce at the local farmers markets. I felt the tears tingling in the back of my eyes and ducked my head hoping he couldn't see. I took a deep breath of clean country air.

"I've had these plants for generations. The seeds. They're like family."

"Maybe you could ask your Dad ..."

"No," I snapped out of my funk. "Not until he apologizes to you."

"Like that's ever gonna happen." Taz muttered. "Besides, maybe he was right. Maybe I have ruined your life."

"You have not ruined my life Tasman Boucheraux. Loving you, carrying your baby is the best thing that ever happened to me."

"I love you too Honey, you know that. It's just ..."

"Just what."

"You could have gone to College, made something of yourself." Taz dropped his voice and made that gestures with his fingers people do when they're quoting someone.

"You sound just like him." I laughed. "Goddess knows why I need some fancy College to make me into something I ain't. Think my own father could love me the way I am. Here help me down."

Taz gave me an arm and with a bit of huffing and puffing from the both of us I was able to get myself down onto the ground. I buried my fingers into the earth surrounding the roots of the dying tomato and closed my eyes.

The familiar warmth flowed up into my arms and body. A kaleidoscopic rainbow of white light filled my mind as I channeled the healing powers of the earth. Leaning back onto my knees I let her golden light flow through me. Down the tops of my naked feet to her firey core, up through the top of my head to the sun and the clear blue sky. I drew myself up and stretched my arms out pouring the energy back into my poor sick plants, my babies. Slowly but surely the stems began to straighten, crinkled leaves unfurled, sunken buds lifted their heads and the soft green spread out across the brown dirt like paint seeping out across the floor.

Emptied I fell forward, Taz rushed to support me, pulling my exhausted frame into his arms.

"You did it baby." He kissed my forehead, which I could tell was damp with sweat. My heart was racing.

All of a sudden I felt a sharp stabbing pain in my abdomen. I groaned loudly and tumbled backwards onto the ground, lifting my knees and clutching at my stomach.

"The baby ..." I screamed as another intense shot of pain racked my torso.

"Oh God!" Taz freaked out. "Doctor, we need a doctor. Help!"

I could see him jumping about with the sun behind him. He looked like a stick man all tall and thin and bony. I wanted to laugh but I couldn't move anymore.

He's too young to be a father I thought to myself just as I lost consciousness.

The End

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