The boy liked making paper planes. Their clean streamlined shapes stood erect on his palm, wings quivering, ready for flight. He hated to let them go. Even on the most promising gust of wind they would only glide a few feet, hovering over the terrace parapet for a moment before fluttering brokenly to the grassless field below where every neighbourhood boy except him played cricket. Next morning they were scraps of litter waiting for the ragpicker to arrive.
The newly-rich novelist crossing the street stopped to stare at the glossy stacks in the bookshop display window. A bronzed young hero, the male lead of the movie adaptation, smiled off the front cover of the current bestseller. A banner overhead screamed that this was the book version of the famous award-winning movie, now on special sale. The author did not dare pick up a copy. Maybe the very words in it had changed, as had everything else. Passing by the window, he walked slowly home to where yet another royalties cheque was waiting for him.
The old woman grumbled to the few callers she had about the difficulties involved in keeping a garden. A horde of eager grandchildren on a weekend visit had dragged her, protesting, to the tiny patch of earth behind the house, and together they had worked the earth, sowing sunflowers and magnolias and tender sweet pea blooms. Now the children's visits are few and far between, and spring is late coming. The grandmother spends her afternoons on the cold porch, a walking stick clutched in one arthritic hand and a shawl in the other. Ragged patches of grass have taken over the little garden and the flowers have given way to weeds.
...And on the final day, the artist judged his work and found it beautiful. Breathing life into it, he let it walk, then run, then fly. Far away it flew, beyond the vision of its creator, and lived, and grew, and flourished. And then one day it died, uncared for in all its independence. The maker, berated by his creation's last breath, had nobody else to blame. Even today you can hear him suffer.