Nina missed the blues and reds of home—specifically the blue jays and cardinals that used to visit her feeder.
She had known when she emigrated from Earth to New Sealand that the world had no native birds. Its natural colors were also dull in comparison to those found on Earth. The government was doing a study to see if a few Earth birds could safely be introduced to the ecosystem. Jays and cardinals weren’t on the list.
So, when Nina was packing to move, she had had to make a tough choice in order to stay within her weight limit for the voyage. In the end, she had dumped her tennis racquet and brought her bells that sported her beloved birds.
Roger had shaken his head at her choice but held his tongue. She was pretty sure he was glad he had done so. The bells were a big hit on New Sealand. Everyone wanted bells with their own favorite birds.
Nina had given up her job in the lab and now ran her shop full time. She called it Colors from Home. Customers flocked from across the single occupied continent to purchase her bells—and everything else she now sold. She employed a dozen artisans full time and was in the process of hiring another half dozen.
Every day, as Nina crossed the threshold into her shop, her senses came alive to the riot of color that greeted her. The only item she refused to sell was the bells that had started it all. They hung over her sales desk, a beautiful reminder of home.
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I love it when images I create for other reasons trigger stories, especially ones that seem far afield from what the images might suggest. This one ended up on a foreign world because I was impatient with the results I found while looking for a part of our world that had neither cardinals nor jays.
That turned out to be serendipitous, given that I didn’t know where I wanted the story to go. I only had a first line. Once I had a new world to work with, the rest just flowed.
I was always into pastels. Soft shades of soft colours. Then I went to the Yukon for 3 months in the winter. White, grey, brown. Nothing more. Took a drive to the coast and saw the green ferns and red cedars and I missed home sooooo much. You captured that feeling perfectly. I get it, Nina 🥰