Gardenias and Graveyards

Hi, friends! Normally, I post on the first Friday of the month, but my prompt buddy, Laura, was out of town during that time. So, she and I decided to postpone our stories for a week. Thanks for waiting!

I found this picture on Pinterest.

I always make sure to leave roses on the bush.

Glancing around furtively, I snip away the last stalk I’ll take tonight, cradling the snow-white rose in my gloved hands. Moonlight casts the garden in an eerie glow. It’s a night fit for ghosts to walk, which is sort of fitting, I guess.

The lights are off at 2467 Yarrow Lane, just as they are in the rest of my part of the world. Delilah always liked this time of night, said that this was when you could be free because the only ones watching are God and the moon. I gaze at the moon, a thin, pale crescent in the pitch-black sky, and my heart cracks. Can you still see the moon, Lilah?

My eyes catch on another part of the garden, the plants pale with dark green flowers. Are those gardenias? How did I never notice them? I mean, I’ve been taking from this garden for weeks.

Delilah loved gardenias. Whenever she saw one, she had to buy it, no matter where we were or how inconvenient it was. I never really understood the appeal. I mean, they smell nice but feel weird, kind of like wax, and they look fake.

But suddenly, they’re the most beautiful flower in the world.

\With another glance at the darkened windows, I creep across the garden, trying not to crush any plants. Holy crap, how big is this garden, anyway? It’s like a jungle in here––massive plants swallowing my dark-clad form, brightly-colored blooms I don’t recognize.

I should probably switch things up, try a different garden. Then these people won’t get suspicious about their flowers disappearing. But 2467 Yarrow Lane has the biggest, most elaborate garden I’ve ever seen.

Snip snip go the shears, and three gardenia stalks drop into my waiting hands. I stare at the waxy flowers for a moment, my heart seizing. Just for you, I think.

Okay, maybe I’ve taken too many this time. But they’ve got plenty of flowers. They won’t notice.

“So, who’s the girl?”

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Golden Hour

Many things can inspire stories––words, pictures, and music, to name a few. This song––”Stand Still” by Mia Buckley––inspired me to write a story.

I hope you enjoy “Golden Hour,” my look at loss and letting go.


The tip of my brush dips into the paint, then hovers over the canvas propped up on my knees. The bench wood presses against my back as I close one eye and mark the painting with a golden streak.

It had been a beautiful hour––an hour I thought would lead into the rest of our lives. But life is strange that way.

Footsteps pound against the concrete. A man jogs along the park pathway, backlit by trees and a cheery blue sky. I turn back to my painting. Then I hear the wheezing. His footsteps slow, and his ragged breaths quicken. I look up.

“Sorry, can I sit here?” The redness of his face highlights the pale stubble clinging to his chin, sparse in some areas, thick in others. “I’m dying.”

“Don’t apologize for dying.” I pick up my palette to clear room on the park bench.

“Sorry,” he says again, plopping next to me. The bench rattles. He holds his head between his knees and inhales, exhales, inhales, exhales.

I balance the palette on my lap and resume. Another stroke of gold. Another spark of memory imbued in color.

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