She’d sit looking at the perennials starting to bud. Spring was in the air, with the promise of warmer days ahead.
She loved new life springing forth from her planting efforts.
Today the backfilling was done quietly, without hope of life being renewed, as we said goodbye at her graveside.
Connell writes a bit.
I sit back and wipe the sweat from my face. The impatiens look good in the newly turned earth.
I try not to look at the heavy granite stone beside me.
Planting flowers for you in the spring used to be my greatest pleasure, until it became your last request.
G. Allen Wilbanks is a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and has published over 60 short stories in Deep Magic, Daily Science Fiction, The Talisman, and other venues. He has published two short story collections and the novel “When Darkness Comes.” For more information, visit gallenwilbanks.com.
Fields of vivid yellow; enthusiastic sunflowers tell me stories of love, life, and laughter as I lay amongst them.
Imposing, tall, stretching, kissing the sun.
I rearrange them in their vases. Together we look out the kitchen window, sighing.
They’re wilting now, but I count the days ’til next year.
Michael is currently writing bios for up-and-coming artists in the U.K.
Red roses are cliché.
Daisies’ friendly faces look pitifully eager.
Orchids make you work too much for their beauty.
Lilies’ quiet elegance masks a faint bridal whiff.
Tulips: unassuming and perfect.
Later, I offer her the painstakingly-selected bouquet. “No!” she yelps, slamming the door. “I’m allergic to those!”
Nina Sudhakar is a writer, photographer, lawyer and wanderer. She writes about travel and culture on her website.
Armed with flowers, she visits his grave. Six months gone. She lays the bouquet down, purple petals smeary as lipstick.
Dahlias, she says. They’re my favorite.
He’d always bought her daisies for wedding anniversaries, Mother’s Days. The old frustration sears her. Better to forget she’d told him a million times.
Adina Davis lives in Massachusetts. Her stories have appeared most recently at streetwrite.com and Intrinsick.
I brought her some West Virginian wildflowers fresh from the Star City exit on I-79.
She cradled them like an infant wrapped in burlap. The little bluets danced along the dewy glow of her paling face. “What should we name them?”
“Honey …” She wanted to name everything.
Amber D. Tran graduated from West Virginia University in 2012, where she specialized in lyrical non-fiction and contemporary poetry. She currently lives in Alabama with her husband and miniature dachshund. Her first novel, Moon River, will be released this fall.
The daffodils were open only a day when the wind bowled most of them over.
I gathered all those with broken stems and put them in a vase and put the vase on the table. This is what life is like after 60, the light, indecisive, distraught, sprouting black feathers.
Howie Good is the author of Danger Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry.
She’s high maintenance; I thrive anywhere. She’s so rooted; I can go with the wind. She’s so thorny; I open up to people so much faster.
Yet they take her for perfume, and take me out with their weed killer. Hmph.
At least they eat my greens. Take that, Rose.
Jason has seen both of these flowers in his mother’s garden. Through some cursory research, he learned that rose leaves can be used for tea. Dandelions (derived from the French “dent de lion”) are healthy and versatile, and they also have medicinal properties. Maybe someday people can overlook the fact that they are “nutrient hogs” and utilize them to their fullest extent.
People bought his flowers. Then they laid them at one of the many tombstones outside.
Over the years, he noted their duration and frequency of visits.
They often left quickly.
And so, as soon as they left, he took back the perfectly arranged flowers and replaced them in his store.
Joey doesn’t like flowers although he doesn’t mind buying them for others. You can find him at joeytoey.com.
I grabbed my keys off the kitchen counter and walked to my car, which was parked under the only working street light.
I wondered whether she would prefer a red or white rose, and why she would care when she would never actually see them, or anything else, ever again.
Joe Russo has been published on Linguistic Erosion. When he’s not writing he’s blogging. You can see more of his stuff at The Homo Whisperer.