Distant Spring #atozchallenge #flashfiction

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter T

While the stories are linked, each is a standalone. However, if you’ve missed any and want to read them, you can catch up here.

red and white petaled flowers
Photo by João Jesus on Pexels.com

Distant Spring

“I’d like you to plant tulip bulbs everywhere you can. When the first bit of spring arrives, I want every color of tulip to erupt from the soil. Can you do that?” Marie Toller asks, as she snaps the edge of cigarette to remove the barrel of burn.

I nod. “Of course. How many do you envision?”

She glances over her yard. “Hundreds. All colors.”

I try to see what she’s seeing but can’t. I imagine it must be a personal vision, but that’s okay. I can work with that.

She glances at her cigarette, bemused, before looking at me. “I have until May.”

I frown. “Sorry?”

She wags her cigarette at me. “Everything they say about cigarettes is true. Lung cancer. Smoking death rays. I’ve got til May, if I’m lucky. I want to see my yard abloom. I want to see every bit of it alight with natural color.”

And, suddenly I do see her vision. Words balk in my throat.

I look at her. “I’m sorry.”

She seems too stoic. “Don’t be. There are things we do to ourselves even when we know better. No use blaming anyone else. I want to be here for the spring you’ll give me.”

I nod. I can do that. I can give her tulips and more. I can do that. I can make it the best spring.

I will.

Sascha Darlington

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