WITHERED ROSE

She had withered over the cold winter. The gradual process of ageing had taken its final undignified collapse.

Francis wheeled her mother outside into the garden, where the morning sunshine had evaporated the dew and birdsong brought promise of the arriving spring.

As the rays of light beamed over the frail figure, the hunched back straightened, the fingers uncurled, the wrinkled eyes widened.

‘I’ll walk, I think,’ Rose stood and took Francis’ arm in hers.

Leaning on her daughter, they shuffled slowly round the garden.

‘I should like a trip to the seaside when the summer comes.’

Francis smiled.


mg-rose-stem
Copyright Marie Gail Stratford

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

98 responses to “WITHERED ROSE”

  1. A hopeful seasonal story Iain

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Neil, nice to have a hopeful tale now and then 🙂

      Like

  2. Great one.
    Please do checkout my blog and leave your comments.
    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Iain,

    So sensitively and beautifully told. Went straight for the heart.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Rochelle 🙂

      Like

  4. God thats beautiful … well written! And I felt the spring coming almost … except have you seen the forecast for UK next week?????

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know – back to the the middle of winter, just as it was starting to feel a bit warmer – so depressing! 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh this is lovely Iain. It brought a lump to my throat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I’m happy it had an effect.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a beautifully written story!
    I really liked that her name is Rose too. I am glad she is healing, at least, temporarily. I feel her real spring is her daughter.
    I am going to go re-read.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Moon, that’s a lovely thought that her daughter is her spring 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I left a comment on your story, but it didn’t seem to appear, perhaps has been put in your spam folder by mistake.

      Like

  7. That was beautifully done, Iain. Nothing like Spring to give one some “get-up-and-go”!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, just wish it would hurry and get here! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Please. Cross the pond and THEN tell me you wish it would hurry up…

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Very touching, Iain. Reminds me of seeing my Dad walking along with my grandmother pushing her walking frame along while he was walking beside her. My Dad was one of six sons and she was so proud of them and how they towered of her, so strong. It’s lovely to reflect.
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Such a nice memory Rowena, thanks for sharing it.

      Like

  9. Something tells me the summer never comes for her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe one last hurrah before winter comes round again.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. A touching story, it is fascinating how the sun and the sea, can lift our spirits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, thanks Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Okay, I can’t help but wonder if the trip she longs for is metaphorical. Beautifully written & tender tale.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Interesting reading, it certainly could be.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This is a lovely tender story, Iain. One thing confused me though to begin with—Francis is the masculine form pf the name, for women it’s Frances.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re right, and I have no idea why I choose to spell it that way. I think it can be used as a female name these days, but traditionally it is male.

      Like

      1. You could be right. If you can call girls Bailey and Riley and Jamie…why not?

        Liked by 1 person

  13. What a warm and hopeful story. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. A sunny garden can give us all a little lift I think! Lovely story Iain

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I could do with one right now! Thanks Lynn 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Lovely story, Iain. I like the way you use her wish to go to the seaside in the summer to tell us how much better she’s feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Lovely sweet story, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. A beautiful story Iain, full of hope. I love the relationship between mother and daughter portrayed here.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I know that winter is what ages you… love that the mother looks forward again. I have seen this in my mother in law.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Bjorn, I hope she is looking forward to spring returning.

      Like

  19. So lovely to see the mother become hopeful and bloom. There’s something about the promise of spring that makes the world look bright. You really captured that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Alicia, I think most of us feel that way when the days get lighter again 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Awwweee, such a sweet and touching story.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. There’s nothing like a little fresh air.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. A poignant tale of a “withered Rose”. I loved the first para and as the story begins and ends in a hopeful wish by Rose.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Loved the way you told this tale full of hope.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. So touching — I love mother’s optimistic approach toward life. Spring is just around the corner, and then summer too, and let us not think about next winter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly Joy, thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Its amazing what the sunshine will do to lighten a heavy heart. Beautiful story Iain

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amazing the difference the weather can make to us. Thanks Laurie.

      Like

  26. beautiful story. i guess it’s the time to enjoy every moment while they can.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely the intention I was going for. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. If we don’t have hopes and dreams we might as well be dead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, never to old to look forward as well as back.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Wonderful. I love how she straightens up. No more withered!
    I am only troubled about Francis’ smile. Its pretty enigmatic.!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Enigmatic because she ran out of word count to respond any other way 🙂

      Like

      1. 😀😁😂😂😂😂😂

        Liked by 1 person

  29. Oh, that’s lovely. That’s what Spring does.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It certainly does – looking forward to its arrival soon 🙂

      Like

  30. Such a bittersweet story that speaks deeply to how I’m sure we all feel at times, especially those of us who are older or have older loved ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Very nice, Iain. I really like the picture this paints.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Oh I love how she uncurls out of her wheelchair as she’s taken outside- like a rose in the sun. I love that her name is rose that she’s hopeful for a future even as she physically ages. This is so beautifully written – what a lovely story. I’ll go read it again now 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Anna, such lovely feedback. So glad you liked it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  33. This is so beautifully penned Iain. Initially I wanted to pen something along these lines but I couldnt translate the images into words, unlike you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, very kind 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Beautiful and touching, I love hope, its so charged with life 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  35. March and April always puts a spring in my step too. I love her aspiration and the ray of hope. Well done, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. I hope warmer weather returns, if only for your sake! A hopeful story. Perhaps she still has a few more years left in her.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. What a lovely tender story, and close to my heart this week, when I’ve been helping my mother move to may brother’s hoouse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Liz, it is pleasing it struck a chord with you.

      Like

  38. I like how you captured the determination of the old lady, nicely written.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Sometimes hope is all we have. Well done ,Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. This was beautiful, probably one of your best.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. It’s a really beautiful story…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much 🙂

      Like

  42. I hope this is Rose’s rallying for the year, and not a short-lived one. The line ‘The gradual process of ageing had taken its final undignified collapse.’ is such a strong one, allowing the imagination to run and run.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sarah Ann, it might be short-lived, but she will definitely make the most of it.

      Like

  43. Heartbreaking at the beginning, and heartwarming at the end. I love how the approach of spring mirrors her recovery.

    Like

  44. Pulled my heart strings. I am currently taking care of a disabled loved one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, glad it meant something to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  45. Such a tender and moving story, speaks of love and caring.

    Liked by 1 person

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