Flash Fiction: The Seed

By Brent King On March 2, 2014 Under Short Stories


Shafts of light penetrated the packet, bathing the Seed’s world in light. He lay on the bench, gazing up toward the sun. The warmth and brightness of this new world captivated him.

“What are you staring at?” The Other Seed wiggled closer to the Seed.

“I thought we’d never escape that dark packet,” the Seed said. “I never want to leave the sun again.”

“It warms the cotyledons, doesn’t it?” The Other Seed twisted to expose his derrière to its warmth.

The Old Seed drew near. “There’s no doubt about it. It’s heaven to my rheumatism.”

The Seed turned and surveyed the Old Seed beside him. “You look like you’ve been around a while. Why do they keep us in such dark places, cramped together and away from the sun?”

The corners of the Old Seed’s mouth quivered upward. “I’m sure I don’t know, though they have their reasons I expect. I have to admit, after all that time in the dark, I was afraid to roll into the light. That is, until I saw the Farmer’s face. Did you see it?”

“I did,” the Other Seed said. “He smiled at me.”

“That didn’t look like a smile to me.” The Seed’s eyes grew wide. “It looked more like a leer, or at least a smirk. It scared me. He’s too big.”

“I don’t know.” The Old Seed gazed through the window toward the horizon. “He hasn’t done anything mean to us so far. He even left us here to bask in the sun. How nice it that?”

The Seed frowned.

“That’s all well and good, but I suspect it was the Farmer who kept us in the dark all those long, weary days in the first place. I don’t trust him.”

The Old Seed caught the Seed’s eye. “Do you have any choice? We could wiggle off this bench and fall into dark corners, possibly lost from the light forever, but that doesn’t seem like a very good alternative to trusting the Farmer.”

“I agree with the old one,” the Other Seed said, “I don’t think it’s wise to do anything rash.”

“Ta!” The Seed screwed up his face. “Rash is one thing. Smart is another.”

The Old Seed gazed out the window while the others contested the pros and cons of their decisions.

“Look!” His shout interrupted the dispute. “There’s the Farmer now. He’s bent near the ground doing something.”

The Seed squinted through the window. Sure enough, the Farmer was pressing something into the ground and pushing the earth over it. The light of understanding shown on the Seed like the sun that warmed his coat.

“He’s going to put us back into the dark! We may as well jump into the murky corners of oblivion right now!”

“Patience, my son,” the Old Seed said. “Look at the care he takes in doing it. I think he intends good by it.”

The Other Seed nodded. “I’m with him. Our best bet is to trust the Farmer. He does look trustworthy.”

“Well I don’t think so,” the Seed said, “and I don’t want to go back into the dark! Neither will I jump into the nihility of some dark corner. I have a plan. I’ll wait until the Farmer holds me in his hand above the earth, and then I’ll jump to safety.”

“That sounds risky,” the Old Seed said. “I wouldn’t do it, if I were you.”

The Seed rose up to his full height on the bench and took a deep breath. “Huh! It’s you guys who need to worry. You two can go back into the dark and languish there for the rest of your miserable lives, but I intend to bask in the sun.”

The creak of the door interrupted their conversation.

“Come here little seeds,” the Farmer said. “It’s time to be planted.”

Just before he swept them into his hand, the Seed smirked across at his companions and whispered. “I told you so!”

The furrow stretched out in front of them as the Farmer imbedded them one by one.

“Goodnight friends,” cried the Old Seed as he embarked on his last journey through the light.

The Seed saw his chance before the Farmer could return his eyes. With the passion of a Mexican jumping bean he fled the Farmer’s hand. Instead of him, the Farmer carried the Other Seed to a tomb of darkness. 

The Seed basked in the sun as the Farmer moved on while cycles of night passed over the Old Seed and the Other beneath him.

                                                      – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

The seeds blinked, squinting amidst shafts of sunlight as they broke the surface of the earth.

“By my cotyledons!” The Old Seed cried out as leaves of foliage budded from within him.

“Mine too!” the Other Seed said.

Their heads sprang high from the earth. They basked their new bodies in the sun as the Farmer passed by and gently stroked them.

“The darkness transformed us.” The Other Seed stretched his new limbs. “How did it do it?”

“I’m sure I don’t know,” the Old Seed said, “but the Farmer has his ways I expect.” He flexed a petiole. “Look! I’m not old anymore!”

In the midst of the Old Seed’s revelry, the Other Seed cried out and pointed to the ground beneath them. The Old Seed turned, and there they gaped at a rotten corpse lying near the furrow. It was the Seed, the same seed who shared their packet on the Farmer’s bench, but who could not bring himself to believe that, in a seed’s life, sometimes darkness is better than light.


“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24).

*Artwork by Pawel Jonca 

Add a comment