Orchids, daisies or faded plastic tulips — merely the mention of white flowers can give readers a sharp image. Culture and tradition give colors and forms even further meaning. Because of this, white flowers evoke a response.
In the hands of a writer, the reader’s reaction can be amplified, shrouded in mystery or contrasted to create an unexpected twist. An iconic image such as white flowers allows a writer to explore the possibilities.
The following stories are based on the December 21, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) include white flowers in your story.
Write Flowers by Bill Engleson
“Flowers! Fine! I did as instructed. Write flowers, the prompt said. I’ll write it again. There! Flowers!”
“I read the whole prompt. Your cognition’s seriously out of whack, buckaroo. And you need to get your eyes tested.”
“I have. It’s not looking good.”
“Oh, really. I’ve hardly noticed.”
“Well, I’m not walking into the walls. But I have prescription eye drops.”
“Sorry to hear that. Still, it didn’t tell you to write flowers. The whole post was a beautiful elegy to white flowers. WHITE.”
“So, I misread it. Haven’t you ever made a mistake?”
“Only in having this conversation.”
Innocence Lost by D. Avery
If you read that the ink is a tear across the page, how would you pronounce “tear”? Did the ink drop, or rip?
The page is a field of white flowers. The unarticulated dreams in the margins know the sadness masked by the pure and perfect page, and hesitate, uncertain of the trek across the field of white bloom. What happens there at the borderland? Petal picking; it pains, it pains me not, down to bare stem.
Blushed blossoms fall apart, spent. Windblown petals shower across the tracked page.
Did the ink drop, or rip?
Bruised fruit is borne.
Promise (Jane Doe Flash Fiction) by Deborah Lee
Jane unzips her tent, peering out. Her breath mists in front of her, and the ground crunches under the feet of another Tent City resident, picking between canvas and nylon. Hard frost, again. Not snow, true, but still too cold for living in a tent.
She shrugs into her coat and grabs the backpack she’d loaded the night before, shuddering her way to the bus stop six blocks away. This is the stage of winter that feels eternal. If spring hasn’t come by now, it never will.
Until she spots them, tiny, delicate, white heads peeking through the frost.
Paisano by Mr MacRum
Hovering over Pauper Grave #242, uninhibited tears fell onto the single white Chrysanthemum Jack clutched in his hand. Six inches of snow had found its way into the cast off Bean boots someone threw at him from a Lexus. He did not even notice.
It was six Christmas Eve’s ago he had identified the body of his hard times friend. Closing his eyes, Jack could still see Rodney’s gap toothed grin after they had constructed their last blue tarp cardboard palace together.
Jack tossed the Chrysanthemum on the grave and watched it disappear into the fresh snow.
A Field of White Flowers (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli Mils
Danni dodged potholes on the way to the logging site halfway up Nine Mile Road. On corners she slowed, scouting for logging trucks. Fully loaded they needed wide clearance. Near the crest of the ridge a mountain meadow opened up from the cover of tamarack and jack pines. Danni pulled over to let G-Dog and Det run through white daisies. G-Dog marked the perimeter and Det held point. What did she see? Danni scanned the far edge of shadows, imagining Ike and Bubbie walking the forest. White flowers bobbed like funerary tokens. A lone duck beat wings overhead. Silence.
Ghajra by Ritu Bhathal
Arranging the ghajra in her hair, Hari allowed his eyes to drift over her form.
Meena looked as beautiful as she had, years before, on their wedding day.
As tradition states, she was dressed as a bride, ready to leave the house for the final time.
Hari had always bought her a fresh ghajra on his morning walk, and gently placed the fragrant white jasmine flowers around her hair bun.
The gesture made her smile, and she’d tease him about being an old romantic.
So, even today, on that journey to her funeral pyre, she lay, adored and adorned.
Flash Fiction by Cheryl Oreglia
They keep coming, friends from her youth, family, neighbors, and loved ones. They keep coming with fresh pasta, white roses, presence and care. They keep coming to spend time with their beloved who is so close to death that heaven now seems closer to them. They keep coming to break bread, sip tea, sit together on the foldout, laugh, cry, and love one another. What they do not know is how they are lifting the children, the caregivers, those weighted down with the grief of their love. They keep coming, giving so much more than they will ever know.
Floral Notes by JulesPaige
White Spider Chrysanthemums, are an autumn flower.
Mums the birth flower of November;related to daisies
and marigolds. Being born in autumn, perhaps that’s why
Blanche chose them along with other smaller mums,
Baby’s breath, and to honor a Grandfather, whom she
had never met, (at her father’s request) three white roses;
for her wedding bouquet just days before the autumnal
Blache has a fascination now for any and all white flowers.
She plans on framing some in a display; of the photographs
she’s taken of different white flowers on one of blank walls
in her dining room.
White Flowers by Robbie Cheadle
Her white silk dress spread out across the floor as the bridal couple kneeled inside the bower of white roses. Each flower, its petals shimmering in the light of the stained-glass windows, seemed to be paying tribute to this glorious occasion. The couple gazed into each other’s eyes as they repeated their wedding vows, tying their lives together with each word.
A sudden noise at the entrance disturbed the peace. A shot rang out. A fine red mist settled on the pure white roses like crimson dew. The bride crumpled forward as shouts of fear and horror rang out.
The Safe Place by Colleen Chesebro
They were at it again. Their voices rose to a crescendo of anger so thick she felt it smothering her from afar. A knot of fear twisted in her gut. She snuggled into her bed trying to blot out their hurtful words. She knew there would be no Christmas this year, not when they were drunk.
“Well, she’s not a puppy. I can’t just drown her!”
She searched for the safe place in her mind; the field of white flowers where she played as a child. There she was safe. The fairies beckoned to her, and she sensed love.
Lilemor and the Fiddler by Liz Huseby Hartmann
Lilimor gazed across the field of wild strawberries into the Great Wood. She didn’t have enough berries to fill her basket, but the fiddle called her to the waterfall within. Its song enticed, one she almost recognized and had to sing.
Perhaps she had enough strawberries after all. She stood, humming, and stepped her way through the field of white flowers, unmindful of the rich red berries that stained her feet.
Behind her, the cat growled, his tail switching. He was not as easily convinced as his young mistress.
He padded behind her, nonetheless, following her into the darkness.
You Can Count on It by Norah Colvin
“Is too,” he screamed, running away, blinded by tears.
Across the enormous park, he plonked himself down in a patch of wild daisies and began pulling them up, ripping them apart.
“It can’t be. They don’t know anything.” Fists clenched against doubt that threatened annihilation.
As tears subsided to sobs, his petal removal became more rhythmical, purposeful: “Is true. Isn’t true. Is true. Isn’t true …” He crushed the remains, then plucked another: “Is true. Isn’t true. Is true …” Nooo!
He started again: “Isn’t true. Is true …”
“I knew it! Santa is true! White flowers don’t lie.”
The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is… by Anurag Bakhshi
“Let’s go, we’re already behind schedule,” he said.
“I’m not ready yet,” I replied, “I need white flowers to put in my hair, they look dazzling on me.”
“WHAT?” he cried out, “Where will I get them from in this snow?”
“Really?” I said in my best sarcastic tone, “THAT’S your excuse?”
“But what will people say?” he whined.
“I don’t care,” I replied, “I’m not budging an inch till I get them.”
Knowing when he was beaten, Santa grudgingly said, “I’ll get your white flowers. I just wish you would not choose Christmas Eve for your tantrums, Rudolph!”
Good Enough by Denise Aileen DeVries
White poinsettias were the last straw, thought Carol-Anne. Of course, red flowers would clash with that new burgundy carpet. She arranged holly and ivy in a vase near the altar, humming “Old Time Religion” under her breath. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” her Billy always said. Gone wholly fifteen years and she heard him clear as a bell. She put on her robe, slightly holey at the hem, and sat on the organ bench. She glanced at the watch Billy gave her on their tenth anniversary, took a breath, and began to play “Joy to the World.”
Tattoo by Anne Goodwin
My role at the museum is to shock the children with tales of our primitive past. Our addiction to tarmac, plastic and the flesh of our fellow mammals. Mostly they want to hear about my tattoo.
“Was that really the only difference between the tribes?”
“And it dictated who would eat and who would starve?”
“But it’s so arbitrary!”
“Didn’t the blacks feel guilty?”
“Why didn’t the whites rebel?”
They pout, complain and stamp their feet, until one of them asks, “Which were you?”
I roll back my sleeve and show them. “A white flower! Yet you survived!”
White Flowers by Irene Waters
She lay on a bed of white flowers. Her tanned skin contrasting against the white making the white whiter and the brown browner. She moved sensuously, luxuriating in the velvety softness that enveloped her and inhaled the wafts of perfume. She rolled and stretched, her movements slow and languorous. She was alone but not lonely. Her thoughts like the flowers were pure as driven snow; dark chocolate, cashmere sweaters. How she’d longed for this place and now found, she wanted to stay forever.
A field of white flowers offered so much more than that cloud she had abandoned.
White Flowers by FloridaBorne
I have a talent. The only plants that live in my yard are the ones I ignore.
There were these fuzzies with beautiful white flowers that sprouted on my lawn. I ignored them and they grew. Everywhere. Unfortunately, the common name for this weed is “stinging nettle.” They’re a great deterrent to burglars, barefoot children and potential husbands.
The latter is as hard to find as respectable plants growing in my yard. My last fiancé fell face first onto my field of white flowers and died from a fatal allergic reaction.
Perhaps I should try to ignore lilies instead?
White Flowers by Frank Hubeny
Peter had four chickens and a dog. They did not get along. The dog was chained. The chickens weren’t. The chickens approached the dog and wiggled their butts at him. He jumped. They all knew just how long his chain was. “You idiot,” the chickens thought.
One day Peter went for a walk in the woods with his dog. His dog dragged him deeper and stopped near an opening with white flowers. Peter was happy. He unchained his dog.
His dog looked at Peter thinking, “You idiot.” The dog ran back without him.
Peter now only has a dog.
Funerals & White Flowers by Ann Edall-Robson
“Ahhh well…now, who is that coming in the door? I don’t recognize them. The kids seem to know who they are. I guess they are some of their friends. Nice for them to have some of their own kind in tow at a thing like this.”
“Jeeeeze Luweeeze, who in the heck ordered the white lilies? I know, I know. I always said they reminded me of death, but I sure didn’t mean mine! Wild Flowers and lots of them would have been my choice. Guess I missed that on my checklist of ‘this is what I want’.”
Granite by Michael Fishman
On any other day the chickweed might look like pocks on the grass, but on this breezy April morning, with the spring sun angled high, the white clusters swayed, dancing to invisible music.
Dad would have liked it.
I reach out and run my hand along the top of the uneven granite, still damp with the morning’s dew. I run my fingers along the front and for the thousandth – or ten-thousandth – time, I trace the name.
“Nice morning, huh, pop?”
I blink against a sudden gust and I feel the ten-thousandth tear trail a path down my cheek.
Flash Fiction by Mark
From the park-and-ride lot, it is nine miles down hill, so I don’t have to arrive sweating and hot. At the end of the day the uphill workout burns off stress. The road from the interstate highway into town is four lane with a whole extra lane for a shoulder, separated by a rumble strip. What could be a safer place to ride a bicycle?
Except for the driver texting on a sunny afternoon who didn’t hear or feel the vibrations. On my evening return journey I stop and pause before the white ghost cycle and the white flowers.
Not All the Flowers Are Created Equal by Alexander De
She said her dress was emerald green; my tux, her flowers should work with that theme. Called Auntie Jim out in Houston, florist to the family. I said black goes with everything, don’t it? She said black orchids would be stunning, but the other prom girls might not agree; get her white flowers, throw in something purple, complimentary. The boss at BurgersRUs didn’t like my leave request for the dance, cut my hours. Thin paychecks don’t buy corsages. Borrowed some lilies from the cemetery; didn’t know about symbolism in flowers, but my date did. I went stag that night.
Wedding Flowers by Susan Sleggs
“As is customary son, we are planning to pay for the wedding flowers. I think elegant white flowers like gardenias or roses would be best.”
“Sandy and I have already chosen carnations because of how well they last. They will look elegant with some green ivy, baby’s breath and long white ribbons.
“But we would be happy to pay for something more exotic; maybe orchids or lilies.”
“Lilies are for funerals and we aren’t exotic. Carnations will represent our practicality and symbolize our expectations for a long marriage.”
“Fluffy white marshmallows if you ask me.”
“That’s why we didn’t.”
Reflection by D. Avery
“Yes, Hope, a fellow who fell deathly in love with his own reflection.”
“Mommy, that’s silly.”
“Then we’ll call them paper whites. Do the blooms seem papery to you?”
“Yes, and they stink.”
“Ha! Kinda, Hope. And I kinda like the smell. I don’t know why.”
“I like the way they stand in their pots, Mommy.”
“Me too, Hope. So bold and defiant on the cold windowsill, trying so hard to be spring. But they reflect winter.”
“If Winter falls in love with his reflection, he’ll pine away.”
“Then Hope, we’d best start ordering seed packets for spring.”
Giving Hope by Michael
The weather had been unbearably oppressive with day after day the temperature climbing into the low 40Cs. Up early I would water the plants committed to keeping them alive even though around them the grass of the lawn died off under the relentless barrage of the sun.
It seemed a futile hope that anything might survive the harsh climate and I resigned myself to starting again once the hot days passed.
Then one morning as I desperately watered I looked down and saw a tiny white flower on my struggling capsicums.
That single white flower filled me with hope.
Flash Fiction by Pensitivity
In her dreams she saw masses of white flowers in an ocean of green.
The view was unfamiliar, with islands of trees in the waters, but no bridges, roads or pathways to reach them.
She always felt a sense of loss when she awoke.
This time something was waiting for her in the sea of white flowers.
It stood and ambled towards her.
‘Jess.’ she whispered.
The dog came to her side and nuzzled her hand.
‘I knew you’d come,’ he said.
She was so happy to see her childhood pet, she didn’t think to question he could talk.
Flight by D. Avery
“The king will be very angry with you for freeing me. How can I repay you? Name it.”
“Oh no”, said the girl. “You have brought birdsong back to the kingdom. That is all I need.”
“Take this”, said the bird. He pulled a white feather and handed it to her. “With this quill your words will sing and your spirit will soar. And yes”, he said as he flew away, “There will be pain.” She held the quill like a white flower; she held it like a sword; she held it as the key to her own escape.
Blossoming by Reena Saxena
“There’s a different feel about the house.”
His roving glance met the same furniture setting and décor. He was perhaps missing the fragrance of the white Mexican tuberoses Leila kept in the room on his visits. He had missed the subconscious association with the smell.
Relationships do change with time, and Leila was embarking on a solo journey of her own. She took a deep breath to inhale the different notes of outdoor smells. The ‘Rajnigandha (fragrance of the night-’ as it is called in Hindi), was blossoming into a garden. The companion of nights had joined the university.
They Weren’t Red by Rugby843
She had been in love with him since the age of ten, best friends, spent all their time together, and now as an adult, he was still her best friend.
The time came when she felt she had to tell him she wanted to be more than friends. Being near him caused such passion to arise, her face flushed at his touch. However, he didn’t seem to notice, She asked him to dinner, only this time she dressed provocatively, offering candlelight, soft music, and his favorite dish.
He arrived, awkwardly surprised by her dress, bouquet of only white roses.
The Scent of Jasmine by Jan Malique
The scent of jasmine pulled strongly on her memories, like a fishing net it scooped up the darting pieces of her past.
She peered intently at each and every bejewelled creature, for her memories were sentient and potent presences.
Piece by piece they rearranged themselves into mandalas of mystery, symbolic of lives lived with passion, lives lived in tear filled intensity.
She looked out over the landscape, now covered in a sea of white flowers. A blessing from the Old Ones for one of their own who had gone beyond the veil. She was now infinite wisdom and power.
White Christmas by Billy Quealy
Giant white CalaLillies in California last only 3 days in water. Pulled some from landscaper’s junkpile. Mysteriously still blooming 2 weeks later!! The music ?, the sex ?, my semi-autist GF reading holybooks aloud??
Christmas morn: “Fetch us some coffee so I can surprise. ” Return to see she painted wall behind flowers black. “Shiny now, and look ‘little friends’!!!” placing little white potted bloodwort-plant. Stolen from someone’s yard no doubt. Landlord not gonna like painted Mahogany panel, fumes gonna wilt flowers.
“It’s beautiful honey!!!”
“Oh let’s have coffee with the flowers…..we’ll have a white Christmas billy!!!!
White Flowers by Robert Kirkendal
The man stopped when he came across a pleasant sight of white flowers arrayed in front of him. He wistfully contemplated the field of new growth. The beautiful daisy, he sighed to himself, Bellis perennis if memory serves me. He looked across the many bright yellow dots surrounded by snow white petals atop thin green stems and silently thanked Mother Nature for providing him with such a lovely site. It’s like a…carpet of prettiness, he beheld, a gift from the natural world for all the world to enjoy.
He then restarted his mower and chopped them all down.
Helleborus Niger by D. Avery
“Hey, Kid, I see yer saddlin’ up.”
“Yep, Shorty’s got us on another roundup.”
“What direction ya headin’?”
“Don’t rightly know, Pal. Headin’ for the border, not sure which one.”
“I reckon you’ll head north. Don’t fergit ta git white flowers.”
“That dang Shorty. White flowers. In winter. Bloomin’ hell.”
“That’s it Kid! Hellebores. Christmas Rose.”
“Oh, yeah, Pal. Blooms in winter.”
“See, Kid. The darkest day is past. Ya’ve rode through a seasonal borderland. There’ll be snow an’ cold yet, but there’s always somethin’ bloomin’, somethin’ ta be picked.”
“Thanks, Pal. Feelin’ lighter already.”
“Yer hoss’ll ‘preciate that.”