White Flowers

Written by Charli Mills

Charli Mills, a born buckaroo, makes literary art accessible at CarrotRanch.com. She writes about the veteran spouse experience and women forgotten to history.

April 16, 2014

Carrot Ranch Flash FictionApril 9, 2014 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes white flowers.

This week’s compilation of flash is dedicated to the Norah Colvin’s Mum who went to heaven April 11, 2014. Norah’s flash this week is a 99-word memorial. 



Mum by Norah Colvin

These white flowers in the pot at my door remind me of you.
I bought them for you, to remind you of home, when you moved, with reluctant acceptance.

Peace lilies.

Your beautiful peace lily flourished in the warmth of the sunny spot beside your favourite chair; the favourite chair that you took with you to your new home; that transported you to Heaven. You were ready.

Now they reside with me, in the pot made by his hands; a fitting spot.

You will rest with him in his plot, together again, now at peace, forever.

Love you Mum


Avoiding a Sad Tradition by Paula Moyer

The Southern ritual is unequivocal – if your mother is living, wear a red rose on Mother’s Day. If she has passed, a white one. Both grew in our backyard. Daddy always clipped one red rose for each of us. Then his mother died. It was April; I was nine. Two weeks later, he clipped four red blooms – and one white. The photos from that Sunday startle me – particularly my father’s brave smile. My own mother died six years ago. I live up north now; Mother’s Day is too early for garden roses. I’ve never put on the white rose.


The Beginning by Ruchira Khanna

I put down the phone with moist eyes, and a severe ache in the heart. After a deep breath, book my ticket, and in a few hours, I am on the plane.

Seeing happy faces around me, makes me question fate, but then we all have to go through this cycle of life.

Through out the journey, recollect the fond memories, and solemnly wipe my tears. “I have to be strong for her.” I say firmly.

Reach home to find my dad lying down amongst white flowers. He looks so peaceful and tranquil as if beginning a new chapter.


Filler Flower Heart by Sarah Brentyn

I heard a soft voice, too quiet for real conversation, before I felt the hand on my hair. “It’s time,” my sister whispered.

“No,” I stumbled forward and pointed. “I don’t want those here. They smell bad.”

“They don’t smell. It’s just baby’s breath…” She pulled her hand back quickly.

I ran to the wreath.

I ripped the spray of white flowers out of their tiny, green heart and flung the shredded pieces. My knuckles scraped the hard, floral foam and I bled. Someone screamed. Arms wrapped around me. I flailed.

Baby’s breath. It’s just baby’s breath. No more.


Flash Fiction by Georgia Bell

My hands were freezing and I stuffed them in my pockets, hunching my shoulders. My neck ached from looking over the heads of the other commuters waiting for the train. Time stood still; this moment, this week, this year, dragging against the inertia of living a life that no longer seemed to have me in it. I stared down at the tiny white flowers that poked through the blackened rocks covering the tracks. Despite the cold, spring was coming. Was that enough? Or would I be here next year, pretending I knew how to live like other people did?


The Sprig by Charli Mills

His hand reached for the sprig of white flowers dainty among the first shoots of green. The cattle returned early to high Sierra pastures. Skinny from winter, they weren’t much to look at with hides black as a crow’s wing. No, not like a crow’s wing, he thought, as he lay staring at white flowers like a lover’s nosegay. Black Angus hides are tinted red like the beard of a Highlander. Like his ancestors, he had come to steal from the herd. Only now he lay face down in the pastures, gut-shot, reaching for the sprig fine and gay.


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  1. Paula Moyer

    Always makes my Wednesday! Condolences to Norah.

    • Charli Mills

      And you always make mine! I found the stories unfathomably coincidental–from your tradition to Norah’s tribute. And all during Easter week. We know their is hope!

  2. sylvestermouse

    First, may I offer my condolences to Norah. I may not know her, but I know the pain associated with the death of a loved one.

    I found it ironic when I read her contribution here. I still have the peace lily from my grandmothers funeral.

    Oh, and I too will never plant or wear white roses. It is the only rose I actually hate and exactly for the reason Paula noted.

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you. Norah has been such a terrific supporter of the flash fiction challenge. I hope she can feel the support of her fellow writers and readers. How beautiful, that you still have your grandmother’s peace lily! I didn’t know about the tradition of white roses until Paula shared it with me.

  3. happynutritionist

    My condolences to you Nora, in the loss of our Mum. I have enjoyed reading these short flashes of fiction. In Nora’s case, more than fiction.

    • happynutritionist

      I mean in the loss of HER Mum (your Mum, Nora), my apologies.

      • Charli Mills

        Kind of a poignant slip…in a way when one woman looses her Mum, we all feel it; whether we are reminded of our own loss or fearful of it.

  4. Norah

    Thank you Charli, Paula, sylvestermouse and happynutritionist for your lovely, supportive sentiments; and to you Charli, for dedicating the compilation to my mum. I really appreciate it.
    The coincidence of theme in the stories is interesting, and almost as if the topic of ‘white flowers’ had its own hidden agenda: loss; of loved ones, self or life. As you say, Charli, we all feel the loss of a mother, be it our own or that of another, or indeed our own children’s future loss.
    I didn’t know about the tradition of white roses as explained by Paula. Her loss feels as fresh and raw as it did six years ago. And Ruchira’s loss, not only of her dad, but of the ability to grieve fully, needing to stay strong for her mother. I feel so sad for Sarah.I’m thinking of the loss of a baby. Such a sad event, a memory than can never be erased. I feel also for Georgia whose loss seems more internal, more related to the self. I love the thought of the white flowers bringing hope for future happiness. And your piece, Charli, is so powerful and sad. The beautiful opening description is ripped asunder by the realization that the reach wasn’t for a gift of flowers but a final grasp for life.
    Thank you so much for sharing another great compilation. I will comment individually where links have been provided.

  5. Paula Moyer

    What great responses and everyone that noted the confluence of themes is so spot on!

    • happynutritionist

      You’re welcome, Nora. I lost my Dad in the fall of 2005 and I absolutely cannot believe it’s been that long ago. Healing comes, but time in other ways seems to stand still. To all those sharing who have lost loved ones, may God comfort and heal, and fill your heart with peaceful memories.


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