Spring Comes! (Flash fiction)

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spring

Crocuses flaunted bright petaled heads in the early breeze, in the hospital garden and daffodils graced the glass vase adorning her sterile environment. Jane loved spring, but this year she couldn’t enjoy these divine bursts of colour. Her world had faded to charcoal, dust and ashes.

Rabid cells had vandalised her garden, the radiation only added to the havoc. She was dying. They didn’t tell her that, but she knew. Only her eyes were free to walk among the flowers. Her aging body no longer obeyed her commands. Death waited brooding in the shadows. It had already laid claim to Frank, her husband of forty years and long ago it had claimed a tiny life, almost claimed hers. She’d escaped that time, escaped but with a barren womb and tortured mind. Frank had so wonted a son, he’d striven hard to hide his disappointment, but she knew, always felt guilty. He would have made such a good father, had been a good father to so many boys, but never his own.

Frank had been a teacher as had she. They’d met long ago when she’d transferred into a new school and he’d taken her under his wing. Now he was gone, it was all gone… all but the daffodils and the cards surrounding them, a kind gesture from old colleges that remembered. Where were they all now she wondered, all the little faces she’d taught, laboured over. They’d flapped those little wings and flown off to new horizons leaving her alone, alone in a hospital bed…

Pain surged through her body; the meds. were wearing off again. Not to worry the nurse would be here soon. A pleasant girl, but busy, always too busy to sit and talk, to hold her hand as Frank would have done…

The pain killers kicked in bringing with them a feeling of overwhelming drowsiness and confusion. Was there was a boy sitting by her bed? She glimpsed him before falling asleep. Who could he be? Which of her pupils would care enough to come all this way? When she awoke he was still there. He reached to take her hand saying nothing. It was so comforting to lay there touching another human being, oh the comfort of that hand. God bless that boy.

“Who are you?” she whispered, surprised that it took so much strength to mouth the words. He held a finger to his lips, silencing her efforts.

“Don’t talk. It’s OK. I’m here for you. I won’t go away.” And he didn’t. As early morning turned to shades of purple and green, as her exhausted body found refuge in troubled dreams, he was always there, holding her hand, stroking her hair in his silent vigil.

Just before dawn when shadows spring back before the rising sun she summoned the strength to ask one more time.

“Who … are … you?”

He smiled, “you don’t know my name, but dad sent me.” Then she knew. Taking his hand she rose from her bed and stepped into springtime.

It’s all in how I look at it.

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spring outside

I’m battling frustration this weekend. Spring is coming with the warmest days yet (wonderful for early March!) Daffodils are blooming here and there and there’s an abundance of snow drops, primrose and tiny new buds. The lakes are calling, the sun is calling and I’m fettered inside.

The fun weekend I’d planned with my grandson, while his mum and step dad are away, came tumbling down on Thursday evening when it became clear he was coming down with flu. The usually effective doses of water, fruit and prayer, while ensuring a mild case, didn’t take it away completely.

So, here we are, the third day of him laying on my couch watching DVDs and occasionally playing I pad when his eyes are not sore. Thankfully he’s not suffering too much and is a cheerful little soul. Being nine now I can also nip quickly to the shops round the corner and pick up fruit and whatever he can manage to eat (he has a very sore throat poor thing). But… he does get lonesome and bored sometimes so I’ve spent hours  cuddled up watching movies with him. Now I do enjoy the odd movie now and then but I think my eyes are turning square and the sun outside is so very beckoning.

Still, I have one comfort. I too felt flu coming on when I woke Friday morning, but thank God the prayers worked for me and I’ve been fine and healthy (just a little more tired as my body builds up its immunity). When I look longingly out of the window I remind myself at least I’m not stuck on the couch!