DAY 14: ...beans, that is.


One bone-chilling night in the heat of the year of the bean, Meda noticed that although Jo had taken to his usual late work in the shop, there was no bean scent, no sound, no nothing. The blizzard outside drove her desire to avoid collecting Jo, but as it began to beat mercilessly against the walls of their farm cabin, she knew she needed to brave the cold, or else risk prolonged separation from Jo, and his possible demise. She grabbed her body length, wood-insulated jacket and stepped into the storm with love fueling her every step. As she approached Jo's workshop she began to get the feeling that something wasn't right. she hadn't seen a bean all winter, and due to their current isolation, her sensitivity had reached a high. At first glance, the shop seemed dim, and Meda wondered if Jo had abandoned his work and returned to the warmth of their home. But with a now central view of the windowless barn, she noticed a purple glow creeping through the cracks of the building. She hesitantly approached the two towering wooden doors, her paws growing heavier with every snow-laden step, and placing one wing on the door handle, toppled into the mysterious abyss.

As Meda's eyes adjusted to their surroundings, a fear she had never felt before encompassed her entire being, her life flashing before her very eyes. Jo lay motionless atop a pile of Trickle Tree scraps, only the whites of his eyes exposed to the sinister light of a single Royal bean, the only possible source of the effervescent neon that now spilled like one-color funfetti into the world outside. Though her initial thought was that Jo was in great danger, she almost instantly realized that his eyes were reflecting not fear, but extasy.

Meda knew this bean, her origins ensured that. The old legends spoke of a bean which was cast away many millennia ago, deep inside the ancient Trickle Trees. The bean had all but been forgotten by the world, as its Beany-ness was too great for the senses of the common man, but to her horror, she finally saw the truth. Jo had been misleading her. His constant work ethic nothing more than a wild pursuit of the divine. Had he ever even loved her? or was his indulgence in this secret pleasure the driving force behind their marriage. 

Over the years Meda had come to understand that Beanitis originated from such a bean and that the stories children once passed around the campfire spoke of the risk of overindulgence in something many saw as a deity. Her mind suddenly returned to the present, and she was instantly overcome with panic. How long had he been holding this bean?! How deep was his slumber?! How was she, a child of Beanitis, to extract her beloved from the thing she knew he loved most, a pungent bean? She had a decision to make, and she had to act fast. Take control, or lose Joshiam forever.

With swift feet, Joshmeda charged the bean like an Amazon warrior, weaving in and out of light beams unsuccessfully reaching for her tender soul. She reached for the blinding legume in full stride, gripped it, and flew into a parkour ninja roll. As she rose slowly in the darkness, her tender hands concealed the item she had known her whole life. Without a thought she plunged the bean haphazardly into her mouth, cringing at the overwhelming beanyness that overtook her whole being, and the building assumed the nature of an after-hours library, silent, stoic, and full of unspoken truths. 

Jo's eyes opened slowly and his nose became engulfed in the unmistakable scent of bean, but the odor was no longer welcoming, and to his surprise, the barn doors had been flung open. "Where is my bean?!?!" he exclaimed, "someone has stolen my sacred bean!" And with that, a voice rang out in the night, each word allowing only a flash of that familiar purple glow. "You took no heed in the warnings Joshiam, and if I hadn't found you lying here, your very being may have been lost to the Bean." Meda approached her counterpart and took him into her arms. Tears began to form in his eyes, as he realized what he had done. His extended embrace of the Royal bean had resulted in a counter lust for beans, and in that, he now saw the world through the same filter Meda had resented her whole life. "You have swallowed the Royal bean, my love," said Jo, who felt a smile of relief growing on his shaken face. Meda responded with the words of a woman far beyond her years, "this bean holds the power to give, but as it gives, it takes something of great value. The senses can only indulge in so much bean, and your obsession has taken beans from you forever."

Jo lowered his eyes in shame, but as he raised his gaze to that of Meda's he solemnly stated, "for too long my obsession with that which you hate has secretly separated us. Your body will always contain the very thing that now brings us closer than ever before, and its glow will be a reminder of the sacrifice you made for our love." Meda smiled and fell into his embrace, and with that, the second sun of the day began to rise over the wood fields, giving the pair their first look into a bean burdenless future.