In the Garden
A short, fictional story inspired by a Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer challenge with a photo prompt of sunflowers. Unfortunately, my story went a bit over the 175 word limit. So, not so much flash, but just fiction. 🙂
As she sat looking out of the window, her gaze settled on the sunflowers blooming in the garden below her room. She watched as a light wind caused them to sway back and forth in the afternoon sunshine. Becoming entranced with the movement of the flowers, her mind drifted, but only for a moment. When she looked up, she saw a figure in the distance walking up the path towards the house. It was Graham. They had only known one another for a short while, but her heart jumped at the sight of him. He was well-mannered, possessing a gentle nature that had impressed her from the beginning of their acquaintance. And, he had the most delightful smile.
She always looked forward to their walks together. They often took the same walk: up the hill, past the folly, and through the meadows of blooming wild flowers. As they walked along, chatting, he smiled affectionately at her, and she couldn’t remember feeling happier. Being in his company felt so natural. Walking past the tulip populars, they finally arrived at the boxwood-enclosed rose garden. Boxwoods, only about two feet high, formed a perimeter around a spacious area filled with pink and red roses as well as French lavender. Upon entering the garden, she felt a faint, heady sensation. A feeling she wasn’t sure she should attribute to the fragrance of the flowers, or to the fact that she was falling in love. A stone bench positioned in the center of the garden beneath a trellis of trailing wisteria vines was the perfect place to stop for a rest. They sat together enjoying the picturesque view. She listened to him talk about his plans; plans that did not include her. The war had started, and he would be leaving soon. It was unavoidable. Although she admired his courage and enthusiasm, she was filled with a sharp anxiety at the thought of his leaving. Moments passed as they quietly watched a multitude of butterflies gliding above the flowers, and then, she felt the warmth of his hand on hers. They sat, staring out at the garden in silence. Until finally, he turned towards her. With a look of seriousness, he asked if she would write to him while he was away.
Before she could answer, she heard a voice in the distance. As the voice became louder, it roused her from her daydream. The sunflowers were standing still now. The wind was gone. In the doorway of her room was a young woman, her granddaughter, announcing dinner. Claire quickly realized she was no longer in the garden. And, her heart jumped.
Categories: Short Story