Welcome to Fiction Fridays!
Every couple of weeks, I use AI to generate a new fiction writing prompt inspired by the changes and updates to my digital garden. Today, I present to you the 2nd part of the story Beneath the Mango Tree.
This collaboration with machine learning allows for the emergence of intriguing and unexpected ideas I might not have thought of otherwise. The prompts are designed to be open-ended and flexible, allowing me to explore a wide range of themes and genres that are aligned with my interests and experiences. However, it is important to remember that these pieces are fictional.
But there’s more! Alongside each weekly publication, you’ll find a piece of AI-generated art that complements the story. And if you’re eager to dive deeper, don’t forget to explore the updates to my digital garden.
In the quaint town of Serenita, where time suspends beneath the benevolent boughs of a fabled mango tree, the prospect of unity and celebration teeters on the edge of upheaval. The once-beloved songstress, Aria, shrouded in the cloak of scandal and self-imposed exile, resurfaces to participate in the once-in-a-century ritual. As the echoes of her past rise like specters in the communal consciousness, the town is pulled into an abyss of prejudice and collective memory. Amidst the murmur of the shifting world, Aria stands poised, bathed in the twilight of her life’s greatest test.
It wasn’t long until she received the letter. A formal invitation to a grand gathering, a celebration of life that would culminate in eating mangos. Aria’s hands began to shake as she held the letter in her hands. She felt an irrefutable pull toward this tree. Something would change if she ate that fruit, that’s all that mattered. The mango tree, with its majestic roots that held the ground together, promised a different future. But the thought of sharing this moment with the others terrified her. Her heart could barely follow its own rhythm, crippled by thorny vines that grew and grew around it without restraint.
A high-pitched clang zapped her out of that liminal space. She approached the door, peeking through the viewer. Suddenly, her heart descended into a warm, steamy bath. She felt like a cozy blanket had been wrapped around her. It was Julian. He was the only connection she had to the outside world. The last friend standing. Julian would come by sporadically to make sure Aria had what she needed. He would bring lavender tea, her favorite. And sometimes, he would even take care of the groceries.
But today, something was different. His body was shaking with excitement. Julian had a very inquisitive nature, he always knew the right question to ask. He wrote articles for the local paper and had often gotten into a fair bit of trouble for his outlandish takes. He was the only journalist who covered Aria’s last concert. He believed in her, and he wanted Serenita to see what he saw in her. So he sat her down in the kitchen and told her all the happenings surrounding the mango tree’s bearing of the fruit. They had brought in scientists to verify the legitimacy of the fruit and botanists to ensure the health and vitality of the tree. The fruits were being held in an unknown location until the day of the celebration. They had even brought in police forces from neighboring states just to help cover this event. Aria could feel the excitement building up within her, but she felt weak. Her body began to shiver ever so slightly when Julian proposed his big idea.
Aria was to participate in the celebration, not only that, but Julian would make sure she got a slot on the main stage, right beneath the mango tree. He was convinced that enough time had passed for her to show herself. And that there would be no better time than after the eating of the fruit. People from all over would be there, this could be her chance to be seen and heard not just by her own people, but by the world.
When Aria let Julian out, the cobblestone was already coated in the sheen of the moon. He had listened to her for as long as he could. And at the end of it all, it was very simple. She knew that her heart would stop beating if she didn’t do something. She would perform beneath the mango tree.