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

Before the Castle Gates Close – Flash Fiction

"Wandering through the Woods" by Susan Kimball. Available on Redbubble.com “Wandering through the Woods” by Susan Kimball. Available on Redbubble.com

The hallucinated movements in my peripheral vision are tricks of the fatigue.

The Queen walked this same journey’s path to her new throne. I wonder, did her cloak become frayed and torn from the thistles and brush constantly clawing, holding her back? 

How did this trail look with hope calling from the destination? How does it feel to be rushing toward the light rather than fleeing