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Burning the Tear Flower


He was always there; and never quite. Burning flowers in a fragile vase, turn to the white walls and gasp at the vacuum. The room was his soul, mirrored in each stroke of white, in each dab of cream-colored paint on dry walls. Painting his blood on his dry skin. Pale skin, blue veins firing like cylinders. He was here; yes, stuck in the moment. Waiting for time and space to collide - bring down the fragile walls he had erected over twenty years. Twenty years of sweating over stones, stumbling through the ruins of whatever he called his life. Picking the perfect stones, erecting his perfect life. . .

Waiting for the tempest.

. . .but not. Even the stones had betrayed him. He could have spent a hundred years and been no better than now.

Cream-colored walls in the vacuum. In and out of time.

He needed to open the window.

There was a body in the backyard. Fool that he was, he wanted her close; oh, so close. He wanted her close, didn’t wanna forget her. Grow flowers on the spot, smell her. Instead, the flowers burned in the vase.

She had told him she wanted to be cremated. One airless night, when the drapes lay like a shroud. She had told him; she had told him her hopes and dreams - then.

She had burnt them down. I want to be cremated.He hadn’t done it. He couldn't do it.

So she lay, under the ground - under his ground. So she lay, buried. And all the while his soul screamed for release. Every night he opened the drapes; every night hoping for air, and instead, the air bore memories of her. Rocked them slowly to his side till he could smell them.

God! He needed to open the window.

Again; he refused to move

One spring the first flower had grown. Called it the Tear Flower. No water, spiteful sun, watered by his soul. Burned the flowers - cremated them. He owed her that. Smelled her memories, set her soul free. Allowed it to roam. Hers was the only free one, while his soul was in the walls.

Never quite there. Never quite felt.

Blood still on his arm.

He felt he was mad, smelling the flowers, he could feel the madness caressing him with its black forked tongue. He could feel it; yes.

He was mad.

Mad to burn the only connection he had with her, mad to smell her hair, her hands, her neck. Oh, God! He could almost feel her. So close.


The flower still burned.

He had a fool notion that if he burnt the flower to ash she might come back, that somehow the flower had become her.

“Silas?”He didn’t turn. She wasn’t there.

“Silas,” a faint buzz in the air. A flicker. “Silas, you fool.”

He didn’t turn - wouldn’t turn.

“Silas. . . the flower.” Another buzz, another flicker. “Silas.” Pleading now. Desperate.

He wouldn’t turn.

“Silas.” Gasping. Staring through cold glass. “Silas! Silas! You fool.”

He couldn’t turn. . .

. . . He finally turned.

She wasn’t there.

The Tear Flower had burned to ash.

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587 Reviews

Points: 64800
Reviews: 587

Sun Sep 25, 2022 12:52 am
Plume wrote a review...

Hey there! Plume here, with a review!

Ooh, man. This was phenomenal. Throughout the story, I noticed a knack you had for telling just enough but not overly explaining it—it felt almost like a poem in that way, in which you could honestly take a few interpretations of it. I thought it painted such an interesting picture of grief, of this main character Silas who lost an important woman in his life and continues to burn the flowers that sprout on her grave. It was equal parts haunting and touching, and you should be proud.

I think you did such a great job with the structure. You made some really interesting choices regarding both sentence structure as well as paragraph structure. I think the short paragraphs towards the end worked super nicely to build up the tension before ultimately diffusing it with your last sentence. It also served to leave the ending a little ambiguous as well, looking at whether she was actually there or simply a figment of Silas' imagination. In terms of sentence structure, I thought the choice to omit some pronouns in certain sentences like "Called it the Tear Flower" and "Smelled her memories" was super interesting and gave the story a really unique feel. It felt intentional, and almost served to show the narrator's shaky mental state. Both of those structure choices were very nicely executed, and served to make the story super unique.


He was always there; and never quite.

I was curious about your choice to use a semicolon there; I think a comma would have worked just as well.

“Silas?”He didn’t turn. She wasn’t there.

Small thing: you forgot a space in between the dialogue and the rest of the sentence.

Overall: brilliant job. I really enjoyed this story, and I hope to read and review more of your work soon! Until next time!

BEASTtheHUN says...

Thank you so much. This was more of a stylistic piece, and just showed my wacky style to the fullest. I'm so glad you like it.

User avatar
401 Reviews

Points: 175
Reviews: 401

Thu Sep 22, 2022 12:17 pm
vampricone6783 wrote a review...

Very eerie..never go against the wishes of those you love, or they will come back to haunt you. Silas should have burned her body like she asked him to. I feel like the song “Who is she?” By I monster would go well with this story. It’s got the same forgotten memory feel to it as the song. I can imagine this as a lost story of love and death, alone in an abandoned house that once shone…I wish you a lovely day/night.

BEASTtheHUN says...

Thank you so much for the review. This means so much.

You%u2019re welcome! :)

It's kind of fun to do the impossible.
— Walt Disney