Peaches and Cream
Story and Art © Taral Wayne. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Note by Leem: The story (in downloadable form) and art originally appeared on Taral’s FurAffinity Scraps pages, with Mature Content advisories requiring login. Describing the art Taral writes, “I would like the colour to be more subtle, but thenI found the gleam and shading didn’t show well.”
The story was accompanied by the following text: “I scribbled this around the margins of a doodle and was surprised to find it was worth copying into a word document. Maybe I should scan the doodle as well, but that will have to come later...
This is one for Leem and the other aficionados of petrifications.”
Many thanks... I’m just sorry I took so long to get around to posting it.
Peaches and Cream
The statue stood beneath the peach-laden tree all morning, just as it had stood every morning since Hepzibah had made her mistake. Despite the warning, she had plucked a peach and touched her tongue to a droplet of juice that formed on the velvet surface. A few moments later, she was only a petite form of marble, the colour of peaches and cream.
Slowly, Hepzibah began to move again. She looked around and saw that it was late summer, and was confused. The last time she was fully aware of herself and her surroundings, fall had begun and the trees were turning colour. Now they were freshly green again. Also, Hepzibah had a dim memory of snow banked around her feet and collecting between her tail and back. There had been ice frozen over much of her body for a time, covering her eyes and mouth. An entire Winter had passed before Spring, then another Summer come! The taste of a single drop of dew from one of the garden’s peaches had rendered her into inanimate stone for – Goodness! – how long? At least 9 or 10 months, she realized. More nearly a year.
Lucky that she had not actually bitten into the fruit, nor chewed and swallowed, or she would still be stone … and likely to remain that way for a full century or two! Had she been a statue for so long, Ma’m’zelle would have had no way to guess whether she would ever move again.
It was the sort of thing a proper lady certainly ought to know before becoming a statue! Now that Hepzibah did, she understood that there was only one thing to do.
Ma’m’zelle picked an especially large, luscious peach and bit deeply. She consumed it as quickly as she could, then another, and finally a third. When she felt the familiar languor and rigidity stealing over her body, Hepzibah resumed the pose she had serenely held for nearly a year, and reverted to a statue. How many drops of the petrifying juice in one peach? How many in three? She felt certain she must have eaten a million, million years worth, and she would now be a statue for as long as made no difference from forever. Long before Hepzibah moved again, the peaches and cream marble of her likeness would be worn away by wind and rain to pale pink sand.
It was a fine thing for a young lady to be a garden statue … so long as she was the one to make the choice.
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