They were brilliant red, surrounded by bright deep green leaves. I was mesmerized. They were so striking, and I had been watching them for what may have been a rather long time. Then again, at somewhere between a year and half and two years old, days could move at the pace of a glacier.
I grabbed as many as my tiny hand could hold. A few found their way into my mouth. I seem to recall a sour taste, but somehow that didn't matter. They were so pretty.
"What are you doing?!?" My great grandmother's voice made me jump, dropping the rest of the berries.
She smacked my back, causing me to spit out a few more, but it was obvious I'd swallowed some. I drug inside where my grandmother and a family friend in a floral-print dress were talking. My great grandmother went to the telephone, telling the other two women I had wandered to the holly bush.
The next thing I remember was walking around the yard with the family friend in the floral-print dress. She kept telling me it would be okay. I did not feel well. In fact, my stomach hurt. The pattern on the woman's dress was moving, and not in time with her walking.
And I threw up all over that floral-print dress. I think I knew I did something of a bad thing, because the look I gave the family friend must of conveyed either fear or remorse. She gave me a hug, called me a good boy, and took me back in the house. When she showed the vomit stain to my great grandmother and my grandmother, they both breathed a sigh of relief.
Many, many years and lifetimes later, it came to pass there was a girl named Holly who decided she liked me liked me. At that age, just first noticing girls, one would think I would at the very least be intrigued, but I was not into it whatsoever. In fact, the very mention of her name left a bad taste in my mouth.