Bitter Bouquet – Flash Fiction

Dried petals and stems standing in clouded water greeted him.

Never before had these rewards of his affection appeared less than perfectly tended.

She provided tending. Provided status, security. She cultivated his reputation and ambition.

In the beginning, he signified his passion with red roses. Then the bouquets arrived bigger, more elaborate, and overflowed with color, camouflaging the guilt. Each blossom signified devotion, but not fidelity. Well-tended consolation prizes.

Until she realized that a living rose bush, even with all its thorns, better reciprocated the life and beauty she craved, more than any short-lived bouquet he presented without redemption.



Responding to the prompt, Bouquet – 99 words, no more no less. Thank You Carrot Ranch.



  1. Miriam Hurdle June 17, 2018 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    I love your flash. I have the same sentiment about all the flowers in the garden. They are so vibrant, full of life. I don’t want to put them in a vase even though they are lovely for a while.

  2. Liz Husebye Hartmann June 18, 2018 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    So well put together. Sharp in every way~~

  3. ruchira June 18, 2018 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    Loved your take esp how those thorns and the beauty of rose relate to life….

  4. Charli Mills June 21, 2018 at 1:18 am - Reply

    What a beautiful flash full of symbology, both in what he tried to hide and what she finally decided. Powerful writing, Mardra!

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