The Red Rose

Submitted into Contest #86 in response to: Write a story where flowers play a central role.... view prompt

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Fiction Sad

I do not get to see Aunt Clemence very often, I suspect she does not like me very much; she is ardent in the extreme. having no patience with practicality, an intense horror for coherence, and she scoffs openly at my ‘ignorance’ for I at no time to regard things not to be felt and seen and put down to fingers. Due to this conviction, Auntie claims that she is well versed in nature, well, I do certainly hope that is true, for, putting it plainly, I have yet to see anyone half as haggard as she. It is such a shame then, that she is to stay here with me; until I am well. I have taken a fall you know, a great fall, from one wailing willow tree. I had awoken in this dismal hospice, to reach the height of my delusion, I remember, Auntie had spoken to me in a manner queer, “simple, simple girl,” said she. I may be simple, but ugly I am not.


Back at the estate, It had been gloam, and I had only just drained the bowl, pooling savoy at its base, to become a damp pasture. Auntie sat little ways down the fare, - a fossil. She was not to speak nor leer; she had been sewing rather, - a plain violet wrapper, same as the dual violets settled upon her bed stand; a stir of whimsy in an otherwise stodgy room, whereas my room opened on the piazza, and had white roses all over the window, and such pretty old fashioned chintz hangings!


I will admit something to this dead paper, looking out of the window, I often become blue, for the roses (never-mind blanched) clout far too elegant, I’d imagine any other woman would relish in such artistry; it is shameful, for I cannot bring myself to. I think I am a boor, perhaps, only by appearance, though I am certainly young, Auntie tells me so, then it truly becomes puzzling; should I not be shiny and new? Auntie had been that way in the past, doll-like, I often gawk at her aged photos; adorning a waist-length brunet mane, and gemstone eyes, although, both now dulled by age.


It had been noon, and the lodge kept fields, a walks away from the stoop. The roses adorned by them were bewitching, stalking melodically to the tune of songbirds plumed overhead - so obnoxious. I felt compelled to do something, so I did, and It had been no act of impulse, absolutely not, I had thought it through, to destroy the grace they had accumulated, I would bury them, to wilt and wallow in soot, they would feel that hollow sort of grievance, coming forth without purpose or name. I began to clutch and cull and strum and yank, them up from out of their frail roots, leaving them disheveled, now finally; the roses and I can step to the same tune.  


I lay down upon a tiring tender bed, petals of ivory remain tossed about. We, at last, understand each other, they know I am riven, and now, so are they, though this sensation is futile, I am no fool, soon dewy buds will bloom, out of admiration, and I will be alone once more; Auntie might as well be disguised, not even daring to look my way; I do not become bitter for this, she is ashamed is all, her eyes do not sparkle same as they used to, and so she sews, - she sews mauve, periwinkle, and plum, to paint her eyes same as her precious violets, I am sure of it. Beauty is everything, beauty is everything. 

You see, I bare no other talents I can only aspire for beauty, though, is that not what every girl wants? Oh, you should have seen me as a child, I become envious of myself even at times, - so pure and dainty, now, it pains me to look at my reflection; I am worn. It is only a matter of time before Auntie gifts me a sewing kit, so I can become a trick to the eye, same as her. 


Though, I was to wail no longer, no longer! At that moment, a troublesome speculation had made its way aboard my train of thought, yes, I had known what to do next! In the glade grows a willow tree, firm and hollow, and on it sets a red rose, red as cruor, I will climb to the top, and tear it to pieces! I trek deep into the wood, filled with greenery - sublime, anon, in a clearing, by one silver stream grew that weeping willow. I know its secret, I know why it weeps, it is out of humiliation; I would weep to be sure, if such a magnificent flower had been dawned upon me, unable to compare, crimson red, one’s heart of hearts, the essence of love, of desire! I certainly want to be desired. I lay my waders upon each ascending branch, steady, steady, to the top. It was not too far now!

 

I had said I was no fool, though, upon such a stage, my aspect had been most definitely foolish; it cannot be true, such selfish ambition can only be punished. First a single limb, then the vessel, I remember the time I had spent, toiling over this sanity of mine, what a disgraceful lust, although, my mind began to laze, as the sun shone straight through, and all was forgotten, all the shame had not been true. I fell into the glade; the rose fell in turn, out of my hand, sinking, sinking, still lovely while drenched. With wide eyes, the freshwater draped as I searched. I do not remember what happened after, only the aching of my watered-down chest, and Auntie knitting by a most shadowy corner; with that ugly face of hers, with those ugly hands. She cannot trick me, for outside I am lovesome, though, inside, I am loathsome.


March 23, 2021 16:15

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11 comments

20:50 Apr 27, 2021

Great story!

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Maraika!!! 😎
20:07 Mar 25, 2021

#StopDownvotingNow Share with ten friends add your name to pention https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/contests/86/submissions/59942/

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Chloe Hanna
21:07 Mar 25, 2021

I'll sign this and pass it on, thank you for sharing.

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Maraika!!! 😎
00:51 Mar 26, 2021

Thank you Chloe!

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Ryan Lm Colli
14:28 Apr 09, 2021

That was an amazing book! Catolg intense a bunch of dialog and and reminds of a book ive read before... AMAZING JOB!! I really wnt to read more storys from you... Also please follow and like my storys please my storys are usally funny, thanks.

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Elliot G
23:24 Mar 31, 2021

Wow, Chloe, you really have a way with words! The entire story was very descriptive and flowed perfectly. Keep up the good work!

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Sammy Xoxoxo
19:28 Mar 24, 2021

Oh my - wow. This story was written so beautifully, every sentence flowed right into the next. Truly amazing, Chloe. You are such a talented author, I can't wait to read more!

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Chloe Hanna
23:47 Mar 25, 2021

Thank you so much!

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Daniel R. Hayes
05:05 Mar 24, 2021

Hi Chloe! This was a beautiful story. The way you wrote this was amazing. It was like reading poetry. I got lost in the story, and didn't want it to end. Your prose is excellent, and I think you're a very talented writer. Honestly, I think this story deserves to win! I hope you keep writing :)

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Chloe Hanna
05:18 Mar 24, 2021

Thank you so much! I have read your work and absolutely love the prose as well. I am still editing this story though, and am so happy you like it! :)

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Daniel R. Hayes
05:36 Mar 24, 2021

I'm so glad you like my work too, thank you very much :) Let me know when your finished editing, I would love to go back and read this story again. It was fantastic!

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