Lavender Blossoms but Once

“Is she…dead?” I bent over Auntie Zarah. Her pudgy eyes remained shut, as is she couldn’t bear to be stuck in this hovel.

Not hovel. Home. Complete with herb garden and 15 egg-laying marvels.

“Good. The old bag’s had it.” Rupert’s sweet-as-honey voice drizzled its charm into my naive ear.

I giggled nervously at the sight of Auntie Zarah flopped like swollen spaghetti noodles amongst the lavender blooms.

It was nice though. The silence. And yet I could hear her still. “If he winks, reel him in. You might never get another chance.”

Was I uncomely? Well. I had Rupert. Although, he was rather dashing.

Suspicions snaked up my back.

I scanned the house, the garden shed, the pink enclosure.

That snake wanted our chickens!

I thrashed from his milk-softened hands, kicking Auntie’s head in my haste. She grunted, struggled upright.

“He wants our hens!”

Auntie Zarah turned a furious eye. “You’re taking Sophia, not my prized hens.”


The sting of a verbal strike as love slipped from trembling fingers.

It was a nightmare I’d been too naive to notice. Afternoon sun peeked through the cloud layer, and for once, I saw this place for what it was. A hovel.

I ran from the garden to the dusty road ahead. I had a cousin by the seashore.


I’ve always dreamt of the sea.


Copyright © 2015 by Emily Clayton
Originally appeared on Flash!Friday:

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