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short stories

The Flower

This was written with the first line in mind, like many of my entries. It is written with the tone of a fairy tale, and like most fairy tales, carries a message. Reaching for something extravagant […]

There was once a flower that thought it could forget its roots and continue to grow.
It stretched towards the sky, constantly reaching for the stars. To most, the flower could touch the sun if it wished so. However, there were a few, a select few, that knew of the flower’s roots from inside their painted pot and chose to remain silent. After all, what harm could come to a flower that continued to climb so high?
It was a particularly starry night when the flower began to die. The city’s belching smoke and gurgling gas remained quieter with the egress of its human population, which meant the grey clouds that often smeared out the night sky thinned. Because the flower saw this as a perfect opportunity, it once more tried to touch the stars. Wind danced along the flower’s stalk and birds trilled their song, yet as the flower grew and grew, the wind became frantic and the birds’ song sounded like a warning. However, this wouldn’t stop the flower. Air became thinner, and the flower continued to grow. Light became dimmer, and the flower continued to grow. No wind touched the flower’s stalk, and it continued to grow. Finally, when the flower’s vision blackened to a singular point of focus, it realized it had gone above the clouds. A silence, gentle enough to be called peace yet too forced to be tranquility, permeated the upper atmosphere. When the flower reared its petals towards what was left, it began to realize that the stars were still many miles away. Too many miles. Desperation overtook its logic, so the flower continued to stretch. Clouds shrank and blurred into nothing, while the flower’s vision became completely dark.
The flower stretched until it felt warmth on its petals, so different from the icy isolation it dealt with past the clouds. Although the flower could not see, it knew it had reached its destination. It trembled with joy, past the point of exhilaration. Unfortunately, the quivers of excitement the flower emitted were enough to break its clay pot several million miles below. In the process of achieving its dream, the flower had forgotten where it planted itself, and so it began to crumble. Warmth faded as frigid blackness returned, and the flower cried out for the sun. However, the sun did nothing as the flower fell towards Earth, past the stars and the clouds and the trees.
When the flower’s petals contacted the ground, the flower died. Its head was too delicate to support the impact of the cruel, hard ground, and its stalk had died long before that. However, the flower did not die wrapped around the Earth 3,790 times as it would’ve if it truly reached the nearest star. Instead, its grandiose descent happened from a mere six feet off the ground, large for a flower yet not as large as the flower’s thought. The flower’s “sun” had merely been a porchlight but blinded by the idea of reaching such direct warmth and pleasing its admirers, the flower made it its mission to reach what it thought was the sun.
The flower was mourned by its admirers, yet they knew of its eventual fate. Rocks had already been laid out, songs had already been sung. Eventually, the petals of the flower decomposed to feed the unforgiving ground beneath it, until a new flower sprouted. Unlike the others with poor vision, this flower became content with its vast view of green fields and friends. Never did it reach towards a false sun, and never did it suffer a predicted death.

***

This was written with the first line in mind, like many of my entries. It is written with the tone of a fairy tale, and like most fairy tales, carries a message. Reaching for something extravagant and unachievable in life leads to failure, often much more grandiose than the victory. A little sad, a little dark, but it does end on a happy note. Failure sometimes breeds out mistakes in successors.

By griffalice

A poet, an artist, and an explorer.

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