The Hopeful Wanderer – Jealous Grass

A person was laying in the grass, and she had been for quite some time. Flat on her back. A bouquet of big white and yellow daisies clutched in her hands lay across her chest. When she continued not to move from her grassy bed, I walked over to investigate.

Blue eyes widened when I came into her view. The woman, more of a girl, did not move at my approach, which concerned me most. My next concern being the large white daisy stuck in her mouth, slender petals folded inward between her lips.

“Looks like a ritual,” I murmured. To her, I said, “Was this on purpose?”

An emphatic head shake.

When I tried to pull her up by the arm, her back stuck to the grass. A quick peek beneath her showed grass woven into the fibers of her shirt. Sitting back on my heels, I plucked the flower from her mouth.

Gagging, the girl spat more petals into the air. One stuck to her cheek. “It’s the flowers,” she wheezed. “You have to run!”

A grass petal slithered across the toe of my shoe. I shook it off.

“What started this?” I demanded.

A tear slid from the girl’s eye as grass wove lovingly into her hair. “I picked this bouquet,” she whispered.

“Throw them away!”

“I can’t let go!”

I snatched the bouquet from the girl’s hand, stems slipping from her unresistant fingers with ease, and tossed it as far as I could, loose petals raining down in the bouquet’s wake.

Grabbing her hand, I hauled the girl upright. Grass petals fell from her hair past her shocked expression. “I couldn’t… get out,” she whispered.

“You can now,” I replied. In the distance, the bouquet had begun sinking below a layer of jealous grass. “Let’s go.”

Thanks for reading!

Summer’s latest:

With Words We Weave 2022: Hope

Featuring an exclusive Hopeful Wanderer short-story!

For over 100 years, Texas High Plains Writers has been a part of great storytelling in Texas and beyond.

This year, our anthology offers a collection of short-stories, memoirs, inspirational essays, and poetry filled with hope.

With 22 talented authors, from best-sellers to the first time in print, there is something for everyone. 

Great heroes of legends past sit side by side in these pages with the unsung citizens showing kindness to strangers. Humor, adventure, and nostalgia combine to remind us all that hope can be found anywhere. 

Buy it now: Amazon

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5 thoughts on “The Hopeful Wanderer – Jealous Grass

    1. Thank you for your kind comments. I got the inspiration purely from the strangeness of the picture – the flower stuck in her mouth where it didn’t belong, the expression in her eyes.

    1. Same with me. It is an interesting photo and a creative way to twist its meaning. This is one of the things I like about photo prompts — they allow for so much creativity. I could write a story for that picture that it completely different, and instead it is a sad tale about a girl who offered a bouquet to someone and was rejected, or a peaceful one just about her lying in the grass. You can morph photos into any genre — even soft horror. If I had only seen the picture I would have doubted one could make it scary, and so this was interesting. The fact that s/he was able to pluck the bouquet out of her hands and toss it aside without getting stuck to it left open questions for the reader to figure out. Or maybe I’m misinterpreting that. It was a confusing story, but I mean this in a really good way.

      1. You would absolutely come up with something different, which is one of the cool things about writers – we all come from different backgrounds and experiences. While my story sought to think about how one person’s hangups can pin them in place even though an outsider might not be affected by those same problems, your sad or peaceful story would incorporate elements of whatever may be happening in your life and come out wholly different.

        I limit myself to 300 words for these stories, so what I seek to express doesn’t have a lot of space to manifest into clarity, but each story usually contains some vague connection to whatever I may be thinking about or going through at the time, which, I hope, lends them at least some element of depth and something for the reader to ponder.

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