Times Are Hard for Dreamers

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

27 comments

Speculative Fiction

Our story, like so many, begins with a main character.

Her name is Mireille, and she is a writer. A poet, more specifically, one born to a poor family in the south of France. 

She spends her days writing poetry and stories, and when she’s not writing, she’s brainstorming. Ideas flood her head, and those ideas become characters, characters she pens as she writes her great stories of life. Those characters start to take form in her life, and suddenly they’re all around her. Not literally, of course, but figuratively - they surround her, they occupy her mind as she thinks. No math class passes without little drawings and writing about the great Acacia or Adrienne, and that’s just the start of the A’s. 

She is a dreamer. She has a book, but it’s barely written, just a scrap of an idea. Mostly, she has poetry, and she has characters, the people in her mind who she loves so much. 

In French, there are two words for dreams. There’s the dreams that you have when you sleep, le reve, and the daydreams and the dreams of dreamers, la merveille.

La merveille. A marvel. And, similar to her own name, Mireille, meaning to look, to see the future. 

A marvel only the strangest of dreams will bring. And yet, there she was. Mireille the Dreamer. Mireille the Wanderer. Mireille the poet. 

Or, as the world saw her, just Mireille.

But someday, she wouldn’t be just Mireille. Someday, she would let the rest of the world see the wonders of her mind. Someday, they would meet Azelie.

Azelie, quite obviously, was at the end of the A’s. Mireille found it easiest to name the people in alphabetical order, so she could make sense of who they were, but Azelie was different. She was Mireille’s pride and joy, her prize character. And she was named for the azaleas out back in her yard when she thought of her, when she started to form swimming ideas into a whole separate mind in her own. 

Azelie loved Florin, and Florin loved Azelie. But only as friends, childhood friends separated when Florin moved away from their hometown and away to Paris. Still, Azelie cried over Florin while her parents were asleep, staring out the window at the stars, hoping Florin would stare out the window out at the same star as her. 

She wrote him a letter, too, a letter in poem form, because Azelie was a poet just like Mireille. She longed to leave Paris, telling herself it was because she wanted a fresh start, but the truth was that she was heartbroken and wanted to find Florin again. 

Mireille wanted to go to Paris, too. She wanted to find someone in the streets who could be Florin, and write the final chapter of her book from his point of view, even though she had barely started writing. What she had was a letter, a letter for the opening. She would read it as she glanced out at the stars at night pretending to be Azelie, looking at the messy handwriting from years ago that was barely legible, but she knew by heart. 

Dear Florin,

Do you remember the soft summer sky

The wind in your hair

And at my fingertips?

Do you remember the purples and blues

Mixed with the sea

As the waves touched the sand?

If I were the waves

I could fly above the sky

Sashaying over the sun like the sea to the beach

And maybe then I could see you

Away in the hills

Far, far from me

Do you remember the flowers at dawn

Azaleas, just like my name

Holding onto their own little suns

Do you remember the cottage by the shore

We used to talk there

Laughing and crying

Oh, if I were the sun

I would prance above the hills

But never be able find you

For you would be the moon

And we can only cross paths

Once an eclipse

Do you remember the wind our hair

Swaying with the steady sun

Spinning in the moonlight

Do you remember the sun in our eyes

In your bright, green eyes

Washing away with the clouds

If I were your eyes

I could see the world from your view

But still, never find you

For I would never feel

The wind, the heat, the sea

And only your thoughts

Do you remember the old brick walls

We’d whisper our secrets to

Like an old fairy tale

Do you remember the ivy growing across it

In irregular patterns 

Just like our friendship

If I were the ivy 

I would let you know

That I remember your secrets 

And that Florin means flower

Just like my name

Just like me

Sometimes I wonder

If you remember me at all

And if it was just a dream

Or perhaps a fairy tale

Like the whispers to the wall

Or the sounds of silence

I hope you remember

For I cannot forget

And if I were the waves

Or the sun or the wind or your eyes 

Or even the ivy

I would never forget 

I could never forget you

And so, I write

And I hope you can never forget me

Your friend,

Azelie

Her letter. The start of her book. A poem. A dream, even, if one could call it that. But times are hard for dreamers, so she might never be able to go to Paris and be able to write Florin’s perspective. Times are hard for dreamers, especially those stuck in the south of France without the money to make it to Paris and finish a novel, no matter whether it would become a bestseller or not. Times are hard for those people, that strange species we call dreamers. Paris is no longer a great artistic hub, but a hub for the wealthy and the few who have given up their dreams. 

Still, Mireille hangs onto the hope that Florin will be wandering through the streets, and she’ll see him and the Azelie in her will just know, know that this was her friend, that all those nights crying to the stars were worth it. 

They say her mind is blurred with Azelie’s, but in some ways, Azelie’s mind is blurred with her’s. Perhaps Azelie is the dreamer. Perhaps Azelie is but a reflection in the mirror, a mirror kept in her mind, under lock and key. Perhaps she is Azelie, and she is Florin, and everyone in her mind is but a reflection of her. 

She will never know. All she knows is the azaleas in the sunrise and the stars disappearing at dawn. All she knows is that Mireille means to look, and as a dreamer, that’s all she can do.

And that Florin means flower, just like Azelie. Just like herself. 

And lastly, that times are and will always be hard for dreamers. 

But that will never stop her. 

March 26, 2021 19:59

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

27 comments

Maya W.
20:01 Mar 26, 2021

Inspired by a line from The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue and a musical I just started listening to (Amelie), I wrote a short story more about dreamers than flowers. Oh well, hope you all enjoy! Also 40 STORIES WHOOP WHOOP!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Jay D Mer
14:19 Apr 18, 2021

Small and slightly weird of a question, but is your last name Winkleman? (Or do you have a twin?) You don’t even have to answer😁

Reply

Maya W.
18:11 Apr 18, 2021

My last name is neither Winkleman nor do I have a twin, though Maya Winkleman does have a nice ring to it.

Reply

Jay D Mer
20:11 Apr 18, 2021

Oh, okay. Sorry🙂

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Yolanda Wu
00:13 Mar 28, 2021

I'm sorry it took me a while to get to this story, but my, my was it worth the wait. Your descriptions as usual just float off the page, and I love the intermingling of Mirielle and Azelie's character and their longing for Florin. By the end of the poem, I felt like I knew so much about Azelie and Florin, but still wanted to know more. The poem was brilliant! I'm so jealous, because I can't write poetry to save my life. I loved the setting of Paris and the idea of dreamers. This last little bit, I've re-read it so many times: "She will neve...

Reply

Maya W.
00:49 Mar 28, 2021

Thanks so much! I actually have mixed feelings about this one, it could definitely be expanded upon. I love writing poetry these days, I've been doing it a lot. I used to hate it, though. Anyways, thanks!

Reply

Yolanda Wu
03:25 Mar 28, 2021

I love reading other people's poetry, but let's not talk about the ones I write myself...

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
12:12 Apr 07, 2021

I am in love with this. Long time no see!

Reply

Maya W.
12:52 Apr 07, 2021

Thanks! And yeah, how are you?

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Philip Clayberg
18:09 Mar 30, 2021

I liked your story (I especially liked the poetic letter to Florin). Thank you for writing it. I agree. It's not easy being a dreamer. When most people have their feet on solid ground, your feet are floating above the ground. Your hands are picking up flowers that drift past, and your eyes are looking up at the clouds in the sky. Is that a dragon or a horse or a flower or a tree? That sound? Was that a horse galloping by with a damsel or knight riding on its back? Or maybe a carriage with a prince and princess riding inside it. And...

Reply

Show 0 replies
Kristin Neubauer
09:58 Mar 28, 2021

You have this amazing ability to create an atmosphere with each story that completely embraces me. The word “wistful” keeps coming to mind. I think someone else used that to describe one of your stories awhile ago, and it is such a perfect word. I think it’s how you use language and phrasing - you weave together something that washes over the reader. I experienced thah again with this story. So lovely wit the undertone of longing and hope. I also felt like I was in a hall of mirrors - that is you, the writer, writing about Mireille, th...

Reply

Maya W.
17:28 Mar 28, 2021

Hey Kristin, thanks so much! Haha, yeah, it sorta is a hall of mirrors. I'll check your story out soon!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Arwen Dove
04:59 Mar 27, 2021

I love tis sooooo much!

Reply

Maya W.
13:35 Mar 27, 2021

Thank you!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Everett Silvers
17:05 Jun 30, 2021

This is beautiful, I love your unique way for incorporating flowers into this story, causing it to fit the prompt perfectly. I also love the way you portray Mireille and how she's such a dreamer. I can really empathize with this character and I think that that's important in writting.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Ryan Lm Colli
12:32 Apr 08, 2021

Nice I love spring AKA your story nice job!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Gopika Gopu
06:54 Apr 02, 2021

Keep writing...

Reply

Show 0 replies
Tree Bean
20:50 Apr 01, 2021

loved this so much, looking forward to the next piece you post!

Reply

Show 0 replies
B. W.
04:29 Apr 01, 2021

Heya, how have ya been?

Reply

Maya W.
14:52 Apr 01, 2021

Alright! You?

Reply

B. W.
18:54 Apr 01, 2021

I guess I've still been doing fine, still pretty bored and tired though :/ have ya maybe made a new story?

Reply

Maya W.
20:20 Apr 01, 2021

Yeah, I did a couple days ago! I don't think I'll have time to do much Reedsy writing in April though, because I'm doing Camp NaNo and Escapril.

Reply

B. W.
20:50 Apr 01, 2021

Camp NaNo? whats that?

Reply

Maya W.
20:51 Apr 01, 2021

It's like a mini version of NaNoWriMo where you can choose your own goals and work on a project for the entire month.

Reply

Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply