Monday, June 11, 2007

White Roses, Part 3, Final (Ghost Story)

(Just joining us? Check out Part 1 and Part 2.)

The young woman's steps disappear along the hedge. You turn back to the house and push against the weight of its emptiness.

You walk and listen. The silence reforms.

Tired and arthritic legs reach for each stair and lift you onto the porch. You sink into the chair on the left. Never the right. That is where your brother sat a lifetime ago when you were children. He slouched with his soft hat and his shoes dropping mud as it dried.

He was always the romantic one, saying hello to the ladies and blushing at the girls. He loved that old rose bush and used to offer the blossoms with his eyes shining. No one was safe in their yard on a summer afternoon, pretty or not.

You chuckled at their faces when he spoke to them and smiled. But he died before learning what their parted lips truly meant.

You fall asleep on the porch in the afternoon shade.

Your body lifts.

Just a little. And you see him. He gives you that little smile he always saved for you.

The pinch barely wakes you, and your fingers pat the thorny stem resting in your lap. You bring the bloom up and sprinkle the fragrance into your dream.

Wrinkled fingers lay it aside on wicker table.

A single white rose.

Back to Part 2.


suzanabrams said...

I get the chills already, Jason. Very nice.
In fact, you do very well on any prose that captures poetic inclinations. :-)

Scott said...

A very pretty story, Jason. Very pretty.

Kaycie said...

I think the story is a little melancholy, but in a good way. Nicely done.

Vixen said...

Personally, I like when writing in the first person. I write in the first person and the few things I put out there to read I got hammered for doing so.

Maybe I'll "republish" some stuff I posted on my old blog and get back to storytelling.

Great story. I love your descriptions. They are so colorful.

Anonymous said...

it was nice, but a little off for main stream fiction. Just my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Suzan, thanks for coming along. :)

Scott, much appreciated.

Kaycie, a lot of those old stories are bittersweet. I suppose they evoked longing for people who were lost. Very different than Amityville Horror or Poltergeist.

Vixen, this POV was a complete whim. I wanted to try it in a longer piece. It was fun, and I got it out of my system. ;) First person is difficult. Done well, it is very effective though.

Steve, I enjoy experimenting. I can see the limitations in second person voice. Thanks for coming along while I tinkered!

Kaycie said...

Yes, that's it. It reminds me a bit of a book I read long ago as a child, called "Jane-Emily", in the style and general feel. A Victorian style ghost story for children. I hadn't thought of that book for years.

mermaid said...

'But he died before learning what their parted lips truly meant.'

That mouth, that door opening into the past is ingenious, Jason. Here I was hooked on the woman, when it was really the brother who was the ghost.

The woman represents all the women, present connections to him in the past.

Terri said...

Aw Dude, you just made me cry (not in a sobbing way but in a welling-up-of-the-eyes way)
Just beautiful :)

Anonymous said...

Kaycie, I'll have to look that one up. I have several Victorian ghost story anthologies and have always been charmed by them.

Mermaid, such wonderful observations! As always, you were a pleasure to share this story with. Many thanks for coming along. :)

Terri, I was actually feeling a little bad I subjected you all to this story/experiment. However, you and Mermaid changed my mind. Thanks for making me smile!

angel said...

oooohhh... delicious cold shivers!!! i'm loving this story!

Anonymous said...

Angel, very glad you enjoyed it! :)