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Tuzilla  (Level: 131.2 - Posts: 3769)
Wed, 6th May '09 8:47 PM



Read stories.

Post the number of the story you liked the best to the end of this thread.


The fog was thick as pea soup. I knew I was standing in my mother's garden because I could smell the roses and the basil, but couldn't tell where any of it was. The rows of corn, the bushes of camellias, the tall vines of snow peas all out of my range of vision. No, one could see the yellow flower. In front of me, about twenty feet away, was a huge, bright yellow daffodil with a ray of bright light emitting from it, but everything else was gray. Very mysterious. The bright yellow bloom glowed in the gloom and I was able to leave the garden without causing damage to my mother's precious plants. The beam of light from the flower guided me back to my home.


If my mother had told me once, she’d told me a hundred times. “Watch that road, those cars can’t see you round that bend.”

I always listened to her. I really did. But when I saw the field of yellow flowers on the other side of the road – a golden, floating sea of beauty – her words went right out of my head. I just had to feel them, to touch them, to immerse myself in their scent and glowing colour.

I suppose you can guess the rest. I didn’t look where I was going. I didn’t make sure the cars could see me before I stepped into the road. I didn’t listen to my mother.

But amazingly, the truck that hit me didn’t hurt me at all. I must have just bounced off it or something. Because I woke up in that field of yellow blossoms – their deep, sweet scent all around me, filling every pore, almost suffocating me. And I was all right!

I sprang up from the ground, wrapped my arms around a big cluster of sunny blooms and yanked them from the ground – roots and all.

But as I ran home, one by one the flowers slipped from my fingers, streaking red mud down my sky blue dress, until there was just one left. I clutched that flower to my chest. That was for my mother. “Mum, mum, look what I’ve got. I picked this for you. You won’t believe what just happened.”

I stopped short when I saw her sitting at the kitchen table. She looked like a ghost. Her face was grey. Her usually tidy hair was a straggly mess. And her eyes were dark and dull. As if the light in them had been turned off.

“Mum?” I held out the flower to her, but she didn’t see it. Neither did Mrs. Grainger from next door, who was squeezing my mother’s shoulder, or Mr. Eddie from up the road. No one could see the yellow flower in front of me. No one could see me.


When Blakely Lord first joined the Honey Bee Baking Society and Social Club, I, like everyone else, was taken in by her easy charm and youthful innocence. Over time, however, I discovered that our newest little worker bee had one helluva sting.
“Thank you so much for coming over Dee. My heart darn near broke when I thought you might be angry with me.” Her perfect little rose bud mouth forms itself into a pout. “After all, your friendship means so much more to me than some silly little prize.” She fiddles with the brooch on her scarf, a large sunflower adorned with yellow crystals and a tiny gold bee. This brooch is awarded to the winner of the Honey Bee’s annual bundt cake bake-off, and is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a Bee. Along with it comes the coveted title of Queen Bee, a title I had held for seven years running, before being dethroned by Blakely last week. I can’t help thinking that Blakely is more full of manure than a cow pasture. She simply couldn’t pass up yet another opportunity to rub my nose in her victory.
“No hard feelings. I guess the best woman won.” I take a bite of bundt cake, and find myself trying not to gag. It is Blakely’s prize winning recipe, and right about now I think sawdust would be easier for me to swallow. I take a healthy swig of my mint julep to dislodge the offensive lump of dough from my throat. “After all, there is always next year.”
A brief lightning bolt of anger flashes across her face, and Blakely quickly readjusts her features into a more genteel expression. “Now, Dee old girl, why don’t you just admit that your reign is over and bow out gracefully. I can hardly bear to imagine the look of disappointment on your face when I take the prize again next year…and the year after that.” That silly, presumptuous little b*tch, to think that I would meekly step aside and allow her to take over my place in the hive.
“Perhaps you’re right. After all, I’m not getting any younger. By the way,” I gesture to the yard of brightly colored fabric draped around her neck. “I haven’t been able to take my eyes off of your scarf all afternoon. It’s lovely.”
Blakely seems pleased by the sudden shift in conversation. After all, she’s won. “Isn’t it.? One hundred percent silk.”
“It looks so soft. May I touch it?” Without hesitation I grab both ends of the scarf and pull it as tightly as I can. My arms are surprisingly strong, and I don’t let go until Blakely’s struggling ceases. I have always prided myself in the fact that I whisk my batter by hand instead of using an electric mixer.
The Honey Bee’s were shocked and deeply saddened when they received the news that Blakely had hung herself from the rafters using her favorite scarf. The body had been discovered along with a note describing a deep dark pain she claimed no one could see.
The yellow flower in front of me glitters like a thousand sunrises. As it is pinned to my blouse, I can’t decide which tastes sweetest, victory, revenge, or my prize winning bundt cake.

Tuzilla  (Level: 131.2 - Posts: 3769)
Wed, 6th May '09 8:47 PM


The old photo was worn and the color faded, but I remembered the family gathering as if it were yesterday. I asked my grandchildren to point out their moms and dads and uncles and aunts and cousins. No one could.

“See the yellow flower in front of me?” I asked. “That’s YOU, Gran? You were so YOUNG," exclaimed Emily. “Well, I guess I was,” I laughed. “But getting back to that flower …”

My thoughts drifted back to the day I woke up dreading. My Harry had died from a sudden heart attack just six months earlier, and it was my first birthday without him. I missed him terribly -- and so did our children. I sat at the table, thinking I should put some lunch together soon, as the kids would be hungry after a busy morning. But I just couldn’t get moving.

The back door slammed, and my youngest, Petey, burst in with sparkling eyes and a big grin. I heard the others making their way to the house, and one by one they came in with the same big grins. What I didn’t know was that the entire family, Harry’s and my brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews, had driven up and were right behind them. They brought food and drink and tables and chairs and told me to sit.

After we had eaten until we were groaning and had laughed and sung our favorite songs, I smiled to myself; Harry would be so happy to see this. My oldest son, Max, walked toward me, saying, “Mom, you've always had flowers for your birthday. This is from us … and Dad.”

He took my hand and led me to the back yard, the family following. Sitting on the table was a gigantic yellow rose plant. One was already in bloom, for me.


They were hardly ever apart. They had plenty of things in common and separate interests too, but they soon adapted to sharing everything. He wasn't keen on opera, but they went occasionally. They both liked art. He built model boats. She quickly started to help - her deft slim fingers and her short-sightedness meant she was adept at the tiny fiddly bits. On fine days they would go walking, or maybe take a picnic, a pair of binoculars, and sit for hours bird watching. They had a circle of friends, who they saw sometimes, but not too often. Their lives were intertwined and they lived for each other.

One day when he came home she was there waiting for him. A smile on her face and excitement in her eyes. He smiled back at her. "I'm leaving. I've met someone else." She couldn't keep the happiness out of her voice as she thought of her new love. "I just wanted to say goodbye." And that was it. She walked out with her small bag and he never saw her again. A few weeks later she was dead - killed with the new love in a head-on collision.

He had still been grieving for the relationship - and now - she was gone for ever. He slumped into a huge pit of depression, and didn't care if he ever came out. Initially his friends had made all the usual efforts to rouse him out of his deep gloom. But, everything they did was met with the same despondency and disinterest and gradually they stopped trying. They couldn't help him. No one could.

"See the yellow flower in front of me?" The voice interrupted his reverie. He turned around. "Down there to your right," she added.
She was standing by a grave, pointing at a small hibiscus bush with a single yellow flower. "I normally like the red ones, but I chose yellow because it reminded me of sunshine, and I figured he would need all the sunshine he could get....." She tailed off.

He looked at her. Sad green eyes, long brown hair, and hands rammed tightly in her jeans pockets. She seemed to be waiting for him to tell her to stop talking rubbish to a stranger. "Yeah. It was a nice idea," he said. Still she said nothing. "Boyfriend?" he asked, hesitantly.

"No." Glad of the chance to answer a question. "My brother. I adored him. He was so, just perfect. Clever and funny and thoughtful and kind and generous and....." Her voice faltered. The sad green eyes had filled with tears. Without realising what he was doing, he put his arms around her and stroked the soft brown hair. Her head dropped gently onto his shoulder.
So they stood for some minutes, united by separate grief.

He stepped back and looked at her again. "Come on, let's go for a walk,"
and his hand slipped easily into hers.

Tuzilla  (Level: 131.2 - Posts: 3769)
Wed, 6th May '09 8:49 PM


Do you remember 1962? If you were alive then, did the year pass by like any other when memory becomes blurred, or did some event make it unforgettable? My sixteenth birthday was in June of that year, and it coincided with the last day of the school term. I returned home to an empty house as usual, a latchkey kid with absent parents. On the kitchen table I found a dutiful present of £5.00 within a card “From Mum and Dad”. I understood, they were out there in this English new town of Pearley, a dystopia of concrete, working hard at their careers. I was happy though, and laughed as I took off my school uniform for the last time, dancing the twist as Chubby Checker sang on my transistor radio. I changed into a green and white candy striped dress as the sun blazed through my open bedroom window, and a bumble bee lazily flew in, buzzing noisily around the roses in my little blue vase.
I met Linda my best friend, in the shopping centre, and also unfettered from her school attire, she was wearing her pale green slacks and yellow blouse. “I hope this will be useful” she said unnecessarily, and as I hoped, the contents of the wrapped birthday present she handed to me, was a box of oil paints. I hugged her for her sensitivity, as she knew how much I wanted to win the bursary awarded by Pearley Metropolitan School of Art that summer. We gleefully roamed around the mall, stopping for an ice cream sundae, and Linda bought some bright red nail varnish as I shopped for a sketch pad.
In addition to an interview, the challenge of the art competition was to create a still life painting. I had considered various themes including a bowl of fruit or a tableau of other objects, but I was nevertheless searching for the right subject. as it had to be something special. I realised I was talented, but the opposition would be strong, and my comprehensive school art teacher would be matched against tutors from grammar schools.
As we were walking along Oppidans Avenue where Linda and I lived , I suddenly got inspiration. Behind a carefully tended green hedge I saw Mr Jackson mowing his lawn as the sweet smell of cut grass wafted in a gentle breeze. He moved around in perfect circles, lost in his own world.. In fact he looked liked one of the garden gnomes scattered around him, with his bald head, and short grey beard. I had passed his house many times before, but today was different as I was more observant, and I saw his tall sunflowers standing majestically against the blue sky. I knew that was what I wanted to paint.
Mr Jackson was ecstatic at my request that I might paint his sunflowers, and asked us to come back the next morning. He seemed somewhat nervous in our company and Linda was bored by his eccentricity. I did some preliminary sketches, but I knew it would take a day or two before I could capture the optimal artistic representation of a sunflower glory. Mr Jackson served us with tea and biscuits and was very attentive. He told us how he felt sad since his mother died, and he lived alone now. On the third day we were listening to “Did you Ever See a Dream Walking?“ playing on a gramophone through his open French doors, when he called from his green house saying “Girls come here, I would like to show something…” Foolishly we followed, me, reluctantly cleaning my brush full of yellow ochre oil paint, and Linda grumbling “Oh what does he want to talk about now!” It was there among the tangle of flowering plants and strawberries that Mr Jackson became a monster and trapped us. Time seemed to freeze as Linda was pushed to the ground and I heard her scream. I looked around and saw Mr Jackson looming over her with a lunatic grin on his face sneering “My little whore Lolita. Trying to tempt me weren’t you? Think I didn’t notice did you? See what a state you’ve got me in, what would mother say!” I heard him grunting like a beast as he tore her clothes off, and I heard Linda scream and scream in futile protest. I lunged towards him as I tried to help her, and then like a disturbed lion, he turned his head and snarled. He rushed forward, pulling my right arm and twisting it, but I continued to struggle. Even as I felt something hit the back of my head and everything swirled around me with a whooshing noise, I resisted and fought. Then I broke free and ran and ran, but like being in a frenzied nightmare, I seemed to gain no distance or make no impact.
I fled back home but there was no one there. So what! When I spoke, my parents never seemed to hear me anyway. So I left, and began my wandering quest. Throughout the sunshine hours and until twilight, I was restless and moved, on and on, and I saw many things. It was like a film projected before me in slow motion and I was the only audience. I was in no hurry and watched. I walked along the streets by day and night, and under a flashing neon sign, I saw my mother enter a café with a strange man, her secret affair, and they held hands as they drank ruby red wine while soft music played in the background. Then I was once again the sentinel of Oppidans Avenue, furtive and committed. As I waited, I listened to the sounds and sights of the night; a baby crying, a dog barking in the silence, a radio echoing Acker Bilk’s “Stranger On The Shore”. I noticed the young couple pull up on their scooter next door to Mr Jackson’s, and tenderly kiss near a street lamp, Later on, beneath the summer moon, I saw Mr Jackson appear from his house with a bundle in his arms, and in the shadows I saw him bury Linda under the tallest sunflower in his garden. I knew it all, and further on in time, I saw the police talking to Mr Jackson as they walked around his garden. I could no longer hold my silence and ran forth shouting at a police man who stood near the tallest sunflower that was Linda’s grave as well as her tombstone “Look here! here! This is where he buried her!” But he ignored me. Why? Was it that no one could see the yellow flower in front of me! Was it that no one wanted to hear me? “Please! Please listen to me!” I cried “Oh can’t you hear me?”
“No they cannot hear you Margaret” Linda was all of a sudden there beside me, looking as vivacious as ever, with a nimbus of light around her curly blond hair. “Your mission is over“ she said.. “Stop being earth bound, you are dead too. Come on, let’s go now”

Tuzilla  (Level: 131.2 - Posts: 3769)
Wed, 6th May '09 8:50 PM

What was happening to my yellow roses? They were disappearing from my garden on a near daily basis sometime between four and six o’clock, and it was ten after four. Strangely, only the yellow ones were being stolen. Nary a red, pink, orange, white, blue or multicolor was missing. It was always the yellow ones, and they were not even my finest flowers by far. Who was committing this crime, and why?
Granted, this wasn’t the crime of the century, but I put a lot of work into them, and I just had to know. Was it a neighborhood kid playing a prank? Was it Mrs. Schwann? She always seemed jealous of my flowers. Or how about that hotty Maria. She always had her black hair styled up. A yellow flower would look really good in it. Maybe it was the Yuppie guy who always passed by twice a day on the way to and from work. He seemed like the flower in the lapel kind of guy. The only people I ruled out were the three blind guys from down the street who were approaching as I looked out the window. Even if one of them was the thief, color wouldn’t be important to them, and they wouldn’t be able to see to pick any specific color.
“I think I’ll get a chair and just sit here and watch,” I thought, turning and walking to the table for a chair. I wasn’t going to lose my last remaining yellow rose without a fight.
I returned from the dining room a moment later with a table chair. “Odd,” I thought as I approached the window. Two of the blind guys were lingering within view. Where was the third.
One could see. The yellow flower was walking out of my garden in the hand of apparently not-so-blind guy number three. I shot out the door to confront them.
“WHAT IN THE $%#& *@**# @%$& DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING!” I politely inquired.
I was about two second from a genuine, old fashion throw down and dust up when two pairs of hands grabbed my arms. That is when I discovered the other two were also sighted. Turns out they were actors in a modern version of Three Blind Mice at the Palladium downtown. Two season passes later, I finally managed to calm down.

Fudypatootie  (Level: 194.5 - Posts: 1302)
Wed, 6th May '09 11:38 PM

WOW! Those are all really good. Here's to you, writers

But I'm going with #3.

Nanpaulhus  (Level: 138.2 - Posts: 338)
Thu, 7th May '09 1:05 AM

Amazing! All well done, and interesting plots. But I pick #2.

Madamec8  (Level: 79.5 - Posts: 890)
Thu, 7th May '09 2:04 AM

I also pick #2.

Surreyman  (Level: 257.4 - Posts: 2766)
Thu, 7th May '09 4:54 AM

Yep, a truly splendid crop.
But it's 2 4 me 2.

Monkeynips13  (Level: 21.5 - Posts: 647)
Thu, 7th May '09 11:45 AM

It was extremely difficult to choose just one, but my vote goes to 6. Props to all though. These stories were exceptionally well done.

Cujgie  (Level: 171.0 - Posts: 754)
Thu, 7th May '09 11:52 AM

All are terrific. If I have to choose only one, then #2.

Larefamiliaris  (Level: 135.2 - Posts: 877)
Thu, 7th May '09 12:36 PM

(I can see Hitchcock introducing that one, once the author/ess has adapted the screenplay! )

Leaston  (Level: 42.6 - Posts: 839)
Thu, 7th May '09 12:46 PM

They were all good...but I'm going with #3

Allena  (Level: 253.9 - Posts: 1388)
Thu, 7th May '09 2:38 PM

Steve, this is a fine diversion. All of the stories demonstrate hard work and creativity. I pick number 7 ... excellent prose.

Tuzilla  (Level: 131.2 - Posts: 3769)
Thu, 7th May '09 5:51 PM

I probably should add one of my own to theses...hmmmmmmmmmm


It was a dark and stormy night. I was vested guarding the Queen's first intrepid daffodil, that she might enjoy it upon her return the WInchestershirehamington. The first hints of Spring were quickly way to a wintry reprise. At first, it was cold blasts of wind. Then I was treated to a cold, stingy rain that crossed over to a pelting, wet snow. Inch by inch; flake by flake; the snow accumulated. By morning, no one could see the yellow flower in front of me.

Chrondo  (Level: 89.0 - Posts: 31)
Thu, 7th May '09 6:41 PM

I choose #3. Why is there no #5? I would have chosen it, had it been there. lol

Swiper  (Level: 145.4 - Posts: 874)
Thu, 7th May '09 6:57 PM

I really enjoyed all of them but my pick is 7. Thanks for the stories.

Fudypatootie  (Level: 194.5 - Posts: 1302)
Fri, 8th May '09 1:14 AM

Good catch, Chrondo! I didn't even notice.

Morehead  (Level: 38.9 - Posts: 1)
Fri, 8th May '09 8:25 AM

It was #2 for me.

Tuzilla  (Level: 131.2 - Posts: 3769)
Fri, 8th May '09 9:45 AM

5 was the yellow flower

Nanpaulhus  (Level: 138.2 - Posts: 338)
Fri, 8th May '09 3:36 PM

Tuzilla! I liked your response on the missing #5.

Bbear  (Level: 160.0 - Posts: 2301)
Fri, 8th May '09 7:22 PM

Gotta go with 3, although 1 was very, very clever.

Tuzilla  (Level: 131.2 - Posts: 3769)
Sun, 10th May '09 10:15 AM

Aristotle has won this latest short story contest. CONGRATS!

Garrybl  (Level: 276.7 - Posts: 6611)
Sun, 10th May '09 10:28 AM

which number tuzilla?

Tuzilla  (Level: 131.2 - Posts: 3769)
Sun, 10th May '09 10:34 AM


Number 2

Aristotle wrote #2.

Sorry bout dat. Thanks for the quick catch.

Aristotle  (Level: 72.7 - Posts: 191)
Sun, 10th May '09 4:01 PM

Wow! I certainly didn't expect to win, especially against such strong entries. Thanks to everyone who voted for my story! I'm trying to think of an interesting topic that will inspire people as much as Nanpaulhus's phrase. I really hope I don't disappoint you.

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sun, 10th May '09 4:37 PM

Here I was reading all these stories and I had no idea this contest was already over! Shucks, you're entry really was good Aristotle, congratulations on the win!

Godwit  (Level: 78.1 - Posts: 435)
Sun, 10th May '09 4:57 PM

Hi...Hey I'm sorry to come in late here ...but by my count, it's a tie. I get that #3 has the same number of votes. Can you check, please? I get Five for #2, and 5 for #3. Two for 7, 1 for 1 and 1 for six.

I hope everyone had a great time. I loved reading all the creative plots.

Monkeynips13  (Level: 21.5 - Posts: 647)
Sun, 10th May '09 7:26 PM

A well deserved win Aristotle I thought your entry was beautifully written.

Aristotle  (Level: 72.7 - Posts: 191)
Mon, 11th May '09 1:44 AM

Thanks Monkeynips13 and Stoutyoungladd! I'm getting performance anxiety about coming up with a new phrase, so any advice would be very warmly received!

Aristotle  (Level: 72.7 - Posts: 191)
Mon, 11th May '09 1:46 AM

Forgot to mention to Godwit... I queried the scores with Steve, too, but he said his vote broke the tie.

Godwit  (Level: 78.1 - Posts: 435)
Mon, 11th May '09 12:36 PM

I see...didn't realize that was a vote.
CONGRATULATIONS! You had "won" either way and did a great job.

I think you could take a sentence out of a novel or magazine from mid paragraph? To skip the creation anxiety. lol. Probably would assure a good working stub, too. Unless creation anxiety is kinda fun.

Aristotle  (Level: 72.7 - Posts: 191)
Mon, 11th May '09 3:27 PM

Thanks, Godwit – good advice! I must admit, though, that I am enjoying the creation anxiety a little bit.

Tuzilla  (Level: 131.2 - Posts: 3769)
Mon, 11th May '09 7:09 PM

I only did it after 24-hours of not receiving a tie-breaking vote following my post encouraging more votes. It is the first time I have voted in any of the contests, and hopefully the last time I win need to.

Salzypat  (Level: 154.6 - Posts: 5296)
Tue, 12th May '09 12:00 AM

Good job Aristotle. All the entries were very good. What a talented bunch of writers visit the island.

Tuzilla  (Level: 131.2 - Posts: 3769)
Tue, 12th May '09 9:32 AM

...and hopefully the last time I win need to.??? should have been 'will', not win.

All of the other stories have been left uncredited, because some have requested it, unless they win. If an author wants to be credited, post contest, all they have to do is ask. Or, if they wish, they can post on their own about their story.

Aristotle  (Level: 72.7 - Posts: 191)
Tue, 12th May '09 10:33 AM

Thanks, Salzypat!

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