28 comments

Contemporary LGBTQ+

The flowers’ stems broke as they fell from her hands.

The delicate petals fell, colors kissing the soft lilting grasses of the plain. Another time, she might have stopped to grab them, brushing off the dirt and laughing about loose grips. But now, her darting eyes followed her newest friend, the girl with the sun-kissed cheeks and an eggplant-purple oversized dress. She would certainly grow into it with age, the girl’s parents said. The pair’s youth was a clouded lens, hiding the children from the worries of money. To the sharp-eyed adults, cloth was a luxurious item, far less important than sustenance. Her own patchwork hand-me-down blouse was equally as oversized, and it chafed on her knees as they walked through the field.

Another hundred for school? A waste. Should’ve given up the little brat when she first learned to talk.

Tell me about it. Ours is the same.

Giggles filled the air like shy puffing clouds, matching the cotton candy white filling the sky. The girl turned to her, face shining with excitement.

Race you!

No fair, you have a head start!

They tore through the field, carelessly trampled wheat leaving footprint-shaped marks in the distance. Her chubby hands grabbed, feet stumbling through crumbly dirt to reach the girl before they met the end of the plain. The girl’s sharp taunts and cross-eyed faces made her legs move faster than they ever had before.

Hurry up, slowpoke!

I’m gonna get you!

 She was a race car, engine purring at the last lap. No, she was a horse, a galloping stallion at that. Or maybe, she was a plane. She’d heard that word in the whispers of adults, talking about something called mortgages and moving costs. Eyes narrowed and dirt flew, colors and grasses whirled. She was mere millimeters from the girl’s collar.

Gotcha now!

In your dreams!

With a thud, her foot hit an obstacle. The obstructive rock stuck firmly in the ground, refusing to budge. Losing her balance, she tackled the girl to the ground with a puff of peanut brown dust and a joyful shriek.

Hey, no fair!

Chests heaving and smiles widening, they rolled away from each other into the long wheat. Her grin widened, cheeks a bright rouge. They lay there for a while, talking and laughing, chestnut brown and chartreuse green eyes sparkling with mischief. Suddenly, her face darkened.

They’re gonna catch us if we don’t go.

Who cares? They hate us anyway. 

They weren’t supposed to be in the field, especially when the chickens were hungry and the windows weren’t clean. Sharp tongues would click and tears would fall if they were found. Nevertheless, they lay there until the sun began to fall, watching the sky’s mesmerizing path. It was only when they heard angry shouts they ran, eyes widening to saucers in fear. Despite their terror, however, the glint of mischief remained. They hugged a quick goodbye, loose pigtails leaving hairs on each other’s clothes.

See you tomorrow.

Same place?

Same time.

The flower’s stems broke as they fell from her hands.

She tossed them high in the air, closing her eyes as they arced down onto the screaming crowd of bridesmaids. The girl, now a woman, stood next to her, grinning as she tossed another bouquet to her own bridesmaids. She smiled shyly at the woman, eyes glinting as brightly as their new wedding bands. They held hands all the way until the first dance, graceful white gowns fitted to each of their forms perfectly. Her dress was slim, the fabric gently outlining her form and cascading in petal-like folds into the short train. The woman’s dress was similar but embroidered with delicate lace. They smiled mournfully, remembering childhoods of ill-fitting clothing and hateful parentage. Her expression darkened. Even on such a day like this, there was a hole in their hearts. Irreparable darkness. There had been no fathers to give them away, no mothers to cry in the pews.

They didn’t come. Not even late.

Did you expect them to? I haven’t seen my parents since I was ten. You haven’t seen yours since you turned eighteen, either.

The woman noticed her silent pain and carefully took her other hand, reminding her of their vows.

Hey, look. Who needs them anyway? We have each other.

They would never separate, never leave each other. They would never cause such heartache as a parent’s cold disappointment.

Alright.

Aw, c'mon Rose, stop being so gloomy. It’s our wedding day!

Running to the dance floor, the pair watched each other with small smiles, swaying to the music. She would love the woman forever, and be with her until death did they part.

I love you.

I love you too.


The flowers’ stems broke as they fell from her hands.

They didn’t drop faster than her tears, however, which rolled off her cheeks in fat droplets. She sat down hard on the soil, coming to her knees in front of the black rectangular box. Through snot and sobbing, she said goodbye to the woman. The woman, who was now her love. The only comfort, the only warm feeling, came from the rows and rows of black coats and hats, umbrellas shading their guests from the blaring sun. Her love was adored by many. It would’ve brought her peace to know how many came, she thought. The friends attending looked on with great weariness. It wasn’t her love’s time, not by any stretch of the cruel imagination. The screech of the brake and the click of a seatbelt hadn’t been enough to save her. You never expect these things to happen until they do, really. Not until the hospital phone call.

Is this Rose Greer-Holden?

Yes, I’m Rose.

Mrs. Greer-Holden, we regret to inform you that your wife is in critical condition.

Not until the casket sits in front of you. Not until you miss the warmth of their arms or the sound of their voice. Mourning pierced her like daggers, every emotion filling her like black rainbows of color. The moist dirt soaked into her suit as she watched the clock tick, clouds moving to cover the sun. Murmured words of encouragement and condolences weren’t enough to move her.

Hey, Rose, we have to go now, okay?

You can always come back.

Camellia wouldn’t want you to wait here for her.

In the end, they had to drag her away, a numb girl who’d lost her love.


The flowers’ stems didn’t break when she dropped them.

They landed with a soft splash in the vase, beautiful colors on the verge of blooming. A stray elbow knocked aside the small wooden frame, and she straightened it with a nostalgic smile. With years, the deep peacock blues and dark cobalt blacks of loss had turned to shades of harbor grey. Sometimes, in moments like these, the greys sprouted banana yellow, pieces of remorseful happiness. This, she thought, looking at the frame, was one of those times. Chubby hands reached over the counter, grabbing for the picture. Under the polished glass lay her ink-and-paper love, who was now known simply as Mom. With a loving smile as bright as the moon, she picked up the babbling bundle known as her daughter and showed her the photo.

This is your Mom, okay sweetheart? She passed long before you were born.

There was still irreparable darkness in her heart, one which had doubled in size with loss. But, with the help of her new daughter, she might yet be able to patch it. She tucked the soft white papers in a delicate cabinet, papers printed with the red seal of approval. Although her daughter was not her own flesh and blood, she was as much her own as any child could ever be. Her daughter gurgled, spitting onto a red tulip. Her namesake. She laughed like tinkling bells, holding her daughter close.

We’ll be okay, won’t we? Yes, I think we will.



July 03, 2021 03:20

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28 comments

Alex Sultan
23:04 Jul 06, 2021

I like your take on the prompt here. I think the opening sentence is great for it. I also think your use of italics adds a lot to the character and story. This was fun to read.

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05:56 Jul 07, 2021

I'm glad that you liked the line I chose! I wrote so many versions of it before I picked my favorite. It's great to hear that you liked the italics! I almost left them out of the story because I was unsure whether they would fit in with the plot or not :)

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Ramona Taylor
15:23 Jul 16, 2021

Lovely story, beautiful imagery, well done.

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17:07 Jul 17, 2021

Thank you for commenting!! I'm so glad you liked the story :)

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Nathalie Menard
01:55 Jul 12, 2021

A touching story with beautiful images. Well done!

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19:16 Jul 13, 2021

Thank you so much for commenting! Every comment means a lot to me. I'm glad you liked the story :)

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Sjan Evardsson
23:39 Jul 10, 2021

Well done, joy, sadness, and hope for future happiness in equal measures. Stay safe and keep writing!

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17:43 Jul 11, 2021

Thank you for commenting! It's great to hear that I balanced the emotions equally, it's something I usually struggle with :)

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18:48 Jul 10, 2021

I love this story! Such vivid language and imagery. I fell in love with it from the beginning. Great job!

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17:44 Jul 11, 2021

Hi! I'm so glad that you loved the story, especially the language and the imagery!! Your comment motivates me to keep writing :)

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18:27 Jul 11, 2021

Hey! I look forward to reading more of your stories! I submitted my story Friday night but haven't seen ot posted yet. I see there were over 900 submissions but only showing about 100 stories. Are they limiting the numbers or does it usually take a few days to show up? Thanks!

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18:36 Jul 11, 2021

Okay, so, there's a bit of a cycle that happens with Reedsy stories. There are only about fifty judges, so it takes a long time for them to approve all of the stories! They approve about 150 per day, starting with the earliest submissions and ending with the latest ones. 'Approving' basically means just double-checking that the story meets the prompt sufficiently. They usually announce the winner of the contest about seven days after the contest is over. As long as you met the prompt, you'll see your story on there soon enough! For an estima...

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18:28 Jul 11, 2021

Hey! I look forward to reading more of your stories! I submitted my story Friday night but haven't seen ot posted yet. I see there were over 900 submissions but only showing about 100 stories. Are they limiting the numbers or does it usually take a few days to show up? Thanks!

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18:28 Jul 11, 2021

Hey! I look forward to reading more of your stories! I submitted my story Friday night but haven't seen ot posted yet. I see there were over 900 submissions but only showing about 100 stories. Are they limiting the numbers or does it usually take a few days to show up? Thanks!

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Blue Green
19:42 Jul 09, 2021

This is beautiful story! You've got some lovely phrases in there - "The delicate petals fell, colors kissing the soft lilting grasses of the plain" is such a good sentence! Documenting three stages of her life starting with the same sentence, but each time with a different meaning was awesome! I think the talking in italics works well - usually you would use italics to document someones thoughts, so here it was quite intimate, almost like telepathy :-) Great writing!

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17:49 Jul 11, 2021

Yay! Thanks for reading and commenting on all of my stories. I'm so happy you liked the language. I'm also happy that you picked up on the hidden meaning behind using the same line three times :) That's exactly what I was going for!! I've been reading a lot of stories lately in which the writer uses italics to communicate the character's thoughts to the reader, so I decided to try and use them to communicate dialogue instead. I'm glad it worked out!

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Pahani Wijeratne
18:48 Jul 09, 2021

Greetings, dear writer! Wow! This is such a sweet story. I love how detailed the descriptions of the lives of these two women were like- the joy, sorrows, pain and further more. Each and every stage of their life is so beautifully written. I love how you included the newborn baby at the end of the story; it really made my heart melt! I don’t really have words to explain the beauty of this story; it is very heartfelt. I really admire the way you wrote this story according to the prompt- it’s very creative and original! Awesome pen name as wel...

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17:56 Jul 11, 2021

Hi again! Thank you once again for your wonderful comment. I really appreciate the time it takes for you to write comments and read my stories. I'll make sure to check out your stories as well! Thank you for calling the story sweet! I wanted it to be a sweet story, but I was worried that the funeral scene would transform it into a fully sad story. I'm glad you also liked the introduction of the baby in the end! It's one of my favorite parts too :) I'm also happy that you thought the story was original! I really try to write creative storie...

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Pahani Wijeratne
19:24 Jul 11, 2021

Hi! No worries, my pleasure :D This story is simply marvellous, I had a really great time reading it! Thank you very much for your kind words, I really appreciate it 😁 thank you for such a thoughtful reply as well! It means so so much to me that you would take the time to stop by, and check out my stories:) It’s really generous of you to do that! I hope you have a wonderful day ahead, and stay blessed!

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19:15 Jul 13, 2021

Anytime!! I've been so busy lately, I haven't had much time to read! When my schedule frees up a little, though, I'll make sure to read and comment on your stories. I hope you have a wonderful day too, happy writing :)

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Pahani Wijeratne
07:27 Jul 14, 2021

Aw, thank you! Hm, it’s totally fine:) I also have a pretty busy schedule, so I understand your situation. You can take your time and read any whenever you have the time to! There’s no rush 😁 Thank you so much, and enjoy your day as well 😊✨

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Shirley Medhurst
20:25 Jul 06, 2021

Wonderful story, and another great tear jerker! You’ve made excellent use of the prompt too - well done.

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05:57 Jul 07, 2021

I seem to be writing a lot of sad stories lately, I need to write something more upbeat! I'm happy you liked the story, though :)

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Moon Lion
17:29 Jul 06, 2021

Okay, the thread of flowers was exquisitely done all the way to the end. You used very rich imagery and emotions really well, and I enjoyed reading this story! P.S. I love the pseudonym, Silver Pen reminds me of Silver Tongue from Inkheart and I think it's a super cool choice!

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06:39 Jul 07, 2021

Yay! You commented on the imagery! I was trying to write a story with mostly imagery, so it's nice to hear that you enjoyed it. The pseudonym has so many references in it!! It took me a while to pick it out. There's 'pen' like pen name, 'silver' as in the name of the first character I ever wrote, and 'silver pen' like the writing utensil. Even though I haven't read Inkheart, it's still a cool connection! 'Silver Tongue' reminds me of silver tongue as in well-spoken. Another connection to add to the list :)

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Moon Lion
15:55 Jul 07, 2021

The pen name becomes even cooler now, especially with the references to writing and your first character :)

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Samson Lake
02:17 Jul 11, 2021

This is very beautifully written. I like how the line you chose is simple but highly effective

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17:42 Jul 11, 2021

I'm so happy you liked the story! Thanks so much for commenting. The line took a lot of editing to finish, so I'm glad that you thought it was effective :)

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