On Tuesday afternoons, I can be found in a creative writing class. We have a small class of writers with varying degrees of experience. Most in the class are marginalized people, so while some of us have brilliant minds, they have been affected by issues in our past which include mental unwellness, addictions, abuse and homelessness.
Out teacher is a very gifted patient mature lady, who has ways of extracting the brilliance from our fractured brains.
Yesterday, being Spring in Sydney at present, we were each given a flower currently in bloom to examine, describe and to write about.My flower was the Nasturtium. While I wont share what I wrote about the description of the flower, I will share the two flash fictions I wrote incorporating the flower into the story.
Row C, Aisle 8, Plot 6.
The new address of my dearly departed wife. Last week was the celebration of her life. Roses adorned the coffin. The kids came, shedding adequate tears. Grandchildren, sad, but bored to be there. They have no idea what a special woman their Nana was.
The grass is already starting to creep over the red, recently turned soil of her resting place. I tidy. I pick up some litter. How can people be so disrespectful to throw rubbish on a grave. I wipe a tear.
I pluck free some of the wilted flowers from the bouquet I placed here only yesterday. Tomorrow I will do the same.
Today, I pull from my pocket some seeds from the plants in our garden. Some Allysums, Impatiens and of course the bright orange Nasturtiums.
I scatter the Allysum, daisies and forget – me – nots and plant the nasturtium seeds 2 cm apart as Nora instructed me in out garden.
In a few weeks her grave will be as colourful as the quilt that she made for the bed we shared for over 43 years.
Until then, daily, I will come and change the water in the vases of flowers I bring; using the old water to moisten the new garden.
Nora will NOT be forgotten.
I could hear her crying before I could see her. It wasn’t a big sob but she was truly sad. Seeing the depression in the long grass of the vacant lot next to her school, I found my little girl face down in the grass.
“Come on princess,” I say “Why so sad, especially on THIS day?”
“Daddy, nobody remembered my birthday at school today!”
“Your birthday? Is it your birthday?” I tease
“Oh daddy, you didn’t forget too did you?” Now she is wailing making me regret my jest.
“Come on Princess, how could I ever forget the day that Sunshine first entered my life. I made you something special today”.
I pulled from behind my back a chain of nasturtiums that I had made into a crown.
I picked my little girl up from the ground, placing her on here feet. I straightened her ponytails and fringe so she didn’t look so disheveled. I took my handkerchief and used my bottled water to moisten it to wipe her face free of tears.
I took her schoolbag in one hand and offered the other to her to hold on our journey home. Home to her surprise fairy 7th birthday party.