All the dandelions were gone

Submitted into Contest #168 in response to: Write a story about a character who is moving on, literally or figuratively.... view prompt


Creative Nonfiction Drama Mystery

Goodbye house forever. I closed the heavy door and heard my footsteps on the wooden floor for the last time. 

I remember the good times and the bad times in high detail. I remember the quick lunches, and the dirty dishes exploding against the paper wall, the chairs moving fast and the stillness arriving after.

There were sometimes violent storms approaching, and there were some other times when a weak insignificant dew washed it all. It washed away the good and it erased the bad.

Days were beautiful when sunny, and dusks were dreadful when it rained.

We feared the change, we were all frightened of thunder and lighting, and the things that arrived with them.

You see, water can be immaculate, but water can be also harsh sometimes.

We closed the windows rapidly, we covered our ears anxiously, and kept our eyes shut waiting for it to end.

I will miss the ghost of my grandmother, the squeaky noise of her old rocking chair, the pipe scent and the chimney smoke. 

I saw her daily, every time I closed my fatigued eyes, her lightweight figure wandering next to me carrying remembrances. I loved those moments, when I could somehow feel contained.

She liked to sing to me when I was a boy. She sang songs that she invented herself, she improvised them for me and made up stories that I heard with wonder.

She didn’t see me aging, it’s the magic of the ones that are gone, they can look inside anyone's eyes, and discover the small child they were once.

I worry now as I worried when she passed away, I worry she won’t find me anymore. Where will she go? Where do they all go? ... The souls of those who didn't find the bridge to the other side, I mean.

I suppose souls and cats are identical, they don’t belong to people, they belong to the place they love.

On Monday the house will be demolished, on Monday half of my life will evaporate in front of my eyes. You see… I was raised there by her, she was all I had. Her and the house.

I remember how much she adored dandelions, she taught me how underappreciated they were… how exquisite, significant and valuable these yellow flowers were.

Throughout childhood until becoming an adult, I brought her a nice bouquet whenever I could . She didn't want expensive flowers, she was a simple yet a wonderful woman.

It was easy to make her happy. On those days when dandelions grew in every garden, covering the land like a yellow blanket. Now all I see is pavement, the bees are gone, and the echos of the children playing on the pond is all that is left.

Echoes from the past, distant laughter and buzzing, there is nothing else. The cars and their noises make it hard to give attention to the calm. 

The water dried, the bees looked for a better place and so did I.

Fall was always magic, I know every season brings change, but there is something enchanting about Autumn. The naked trees, the transition of the landscape, the flowers that resign and those that remain. The birds moving to a warmer spot...

Before leaving that day, I sat in front of the chimney, I used her chair, and waited for the supernatural figure to come by.

I held her urn, in there... Inside of it I had her only remains.

It was hard to determine if I yearned for her to stay in the house, or come with me, so I poured the ashes into the fireplace and made them burn. I wanted her to feel the warmth of life one more time, I longed for her to disperse and travel the world and fly as high as she could.

We both belonged there. I truly couldn't see myself living somewhere else, it was even difficult for me to visit acquaintances, I just didn't feel the human heat anywhere else.

I fed her ashes to the hungry fire, in hopes of seeing her one more time.

I wrote a paper beforehand and I threw it to burn as well, “Follow me”, it said.

I saw her dancing for a short instant, moving on the flames, with the grace of those who don’t suffer and the serenity of those who don’t feel pain.

She was all I had, her and the old house.

I took noises with me, ashes and smells, I'm carrying the good memories and the bad ones, I have bags full of them.

Every corner I looked at, had a secret. I had vivid visions of the past, some of them made me smile.

I waited feeling the warmth, desiring it never ceased, I wanted to make this instant perpetual. I came close to her, hypnotized by the sound of the darling flame.

Red, orange, blue... So beautiful, so deadly.

I closed the door and said goodbye to the house. I left on Autumn and saw her for the last time, drifting in the wind just like dandelions do. I saw her fading away one more time, she traverses the air, that sweet ghost of mine.

The neighbours came by, to watch the place glowing luminously. They didn't have much to do, they never had much to do.

They didn't see me, they didn't find me near by.

The truth is I longed for this place to be owned by no one, I think it did enough, I believe it had to end.

I hope she follows, I expect she comprehends, there is no place for us the lifeless ones when everyone else walks away.

They waited for the showers to stop the fire, even when we all feared the rain. I had no one but my grandmother and a house full of pain, full of love, full of fire full of wonders and flames.

The wind whispers on autumn nights... It prays, “Follow me... Follow me”. And no one around, no one dares to hear, they live their simple lives, they rather stare at their own feet.

October 20, 2022 18:04

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Jeannette Miller
15:52 Oct 22, 2022

So melancholy and full of what was. It felt like it took too long to get to the fireplace. As if there were more memories near there the boy didn't express. I wonder, why the house was going to be demolished if later he says, 'I longed for this place to be owned by no one'? Well done. You give a lot to think about and envision with your story.


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AnneMarie Miles
04:10 Oct 21, 2022

A surreal read, like reading prose poetry. I loved this: "I suppose souls and cats are identical, they don’t belong to people, they belong to the place they love." Beautiful, thanks for sharing!


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Sri Vi S
18:16 Oct 27, 2022

Narrative and touching ebb and flow of words strung together.


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Haletha J
07:06 Oct 27, 2022

Your story has such a beautiful flow. You drew me in at the start and held my attention—love it!


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Abdulsamad Jimoh
23:02 Oct 23, 2022

Nicely written 👍. Please keep the good work up.


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Philip Ebuluofor
11:12 Oct 23, 2022

Fine work. I was considering that prompt and I don't think I would have been able to handle it like yours.


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Ryan Macnab
18:22 Oct 22, 2022

I loved this story, clearly written with a lot of heart!


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Rama Shaar
20:01 Oct 20, 2022

This was deliciously eerie, even if I'm not sure what happened to the boy!


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Elisa Bavera
11:29 Nov 06, 2022

Una narrativa llena de lirismo. Casi un prosa poética. Tus historias tienen sentimiento. Debería reunirlos y publicarlas.


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Mike Panasitti
22:27 Oct 28, 2022

Dramatically, and mysteriously, poetic creative non-fiction.


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