By Gabrielle Lee

On the desk, there is a vase of dried twigs that once were flower stems. One by one, the lush petals curled off the shrinking stems and dropped onto the glossy surface below, where they slowly decayed. Now, little heaps of flower ash lay haphazardly around the crystal base. Across the room, an ornate bed frame prostrates itself over one-third of floor space, consuming the threadbare rug in sturdy devotion. Flowers immortalized in the carved headboard jeer at the long-dead desk flowers. They tell them that they’re looking a bit parched. Is there anything they could do to be of service, from their lofty position on high? The piles of petals do not respond, speechless in death. The carvings will come back to abuse them later, but now they are distracted by a creaking floorboard. In the stillness, they wait as the noise repeats, insistent, closer. “I’m coming” the floorboards relay, but the flowers have heard such messages before. They have learned not to expect a thing. “I do wish you could pull yourselves together,” one of them tells the heaps. The creaks continue, but now they are receding, just as the flowers suspected they would. Just as they always do.

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Gabrielle Lee is a Senior creative writing student at Utah Valley University. She loves reading, writing, and enjoying the outdoors. She has been published in Touchstones, a UVU student publication, and writes mainly fiction and creative nonfiction.

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