“Flowers for the Fallen” Short Story

Though I probably didn’t need to get distracted by a writing prompt this weekend, sometimes inspiration can’t be discouraged. I opted to go ahead and write a short piece for my friend Ray’s picture prompt (found here: First ever Ray-Sponsored Writing Picture Prompt!). Even though it’s a couple weeks late. And even though I may not have needed a short piece to distract from my larger projects. I just couldn’t help but enjoy writing it all the same. I hope you enjoy.


He affixed more than just a handful of flowers to the wall. He collected all the pain and grief in his mind and appended every petal to a memory. After all, the memories were the greatest burden to carry, and a painful burden. He was a coward; instead of holding her forever in his thoughts, he would rather forget her. He would rather leave her there with the flowers on the ledge where he had last seen her.

Hesitantly, his fingers brushed the stems one last time, lingering on the leaves that were soon sure to die. Which was fine, really. Maybe when the last of the colorful plants finally died, the memories would die with them. He would be free from the burden of her. With a wistful smile, he turned and fled the room.

Every step of the stairs took him further from her. Pounding footsteps echoed around the stone walls. So that he might not hear her voice crying out after him, he focused on the sound of his feet. The confining stairwell expanded suddenly into the glorious, candlelit sanctuary. Even just standing in the room purged his wrongs from him, cleansed him of her. To be sure, he moved to the water basin standing sentry at the towering doors of the cathedral.

“Forgive me Father, for I have sinned,” he mumbled, dipping his fingers in the water and raising them into a cross. As his hand crossed back to his heart, peace settled in his veins. The holy water absolved him of her. Without her, he could finally become all he was meant to be. Without her, he could be happy.

Leaving her with the flowers above, he strolled out of the church. He was free. For his own satisfaction, he even forced his path over the pavement where she’d fallen. He’d forgiven himself for his betrayal. Perhaps she would forgive him too.

Above, unseen, she watched him go – a ghostly figure observing from the window where he’d pushed her.