Bloom. Flash fiction by Katie Reynolds

I was sown last year and I’ve been in the dark ever since. Waiting for my time to shine. For the world to bask in my beauty. I won’t know where my home will be until I see it. The President’s lawn? That would be fitting. The Botanic Gardens? Not ideal for me. That’s for team players. I need the stage all to myself.

It’s happening. I’ve been slowly rising and stretching and now…
Oo…I’m in a pot all to myself. Perfect. It’s a beautiful pot, complements my tone but doesn’t upstage me. My silken petals are poised. What is that sweet smell? It’s me! My petals quiver. There’s a change coming over me. As I peek through to the sky, I feel vulnerable yet empowered. My leaves bow down around me.
Here I am!

Where is everyone? Where is my audience?
My purpose is to be loved and to spread my love.
Most of the others are simply happy to feel the breeze in their face and taste the rain drops.
While I do love how the rain makes my gown shine…I want more!
I sway and droop and see not a soul. There are streets but they are empty. Roads without cars. The blinds are closed. Shouldn’t there be people walking around? Dashing to work and hairdresser appointments? Paying visits to neighbours? Is this some cruel trick of Mother Nature?
Nevertheless, I stand tall.
It’s inherent in me to be fabulous.
Oh! Another flower!
I am actually glad to see them.
Oh…it’s just my reflection in a sad little window. An overgrown suburban garden. What has become of my dreams?
Ohhhhhh…there’s movement behind the window. The figure is in shadow and coming closer. It moves slowly towards the glass. My whole body leans over for a closer look and my petals open slightly. I see the face of a lady. She’s sitting now, in an old armchair.
She’s a soft bundle wrapped up in woolen cardigan and slippers.
A mug of tea and ginger biscuits on her lap. The shelf by her chair is cluttered with ornaments and trinkets. Behind her, the wall is full of photographs. Most are black and white, some are in colour. So many faces from her past. They seem to watch over this woman. I look at her face and she is staring straight at me. She raises her hand to her chest and smiles.
A tiny tear trickles down her cheek, meandering the wrinkles. She’s in awe of me. No…she’s…happy.
She looks at me like I’m the first flower she’s ever seen.
Rather than pride, I too feel happiness.
My chest bursts. I stand tall for her, tilt to the sun and wave.

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