Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring (Alternative by Daniel Hanawalt)

[caption id="attachment_718" align="aligncenter" width="420" caption="Photo Courtesy of"][/caption]

Sunday. It's a warm evening; the kind that makes a man want to be outside with a cool drink in his hand and enjoy the last hour of nature's good gift. I take a sip. I stand in the silence of my yard, blankly observing the world around me, pondering over the myriad of tasks to perform and decisions to make in the coming week. I take a sip.

Monday. I take a sip. There's that cursed flower bush in the neighbor's yard… Oh, how I hate that thing. Earlier today a guy came walking along and decided he was going to eat one of the flower buds. Poor old fool doubled over and choked to death right there on the front lawn. It was all over the news. I guess some people just have no common sense… I take a sip.

Tuesday. I take a sip. Another beautiful evening. Made some good moves at the office today; got the right people on my good side. It's good to feel empowered at my job. I glance at the newspaper. Looks like some neighborhood kids got into the flower bush today. When some adults finally happened upon their bodies, it was far too late. Probably trying to get some kind of thrill. Poor miserable brats. Someone ought to chop that flower bush down… I take a sip.

Wednesday. I take a sip. A gentle breeze makes me reconsider the cool drink, but I shrug it off. After all, I've worked hard today and I deserve a little time to relax, don't I? My thoughts of entitlement soon subside, however, as I admit to myself that the drink just isn't as refreshing as usual. The neighbor's flower bush looks deceptively pretty this evening. Tell that to the dead birds lying all around it. They thought it would be a nice afternoon snack. They thought wrong… I take a sip.

Thursday. I take a sip. It's cool tonight and the lights are on in the house. The wife must still be getting ready for bed. The paramedics left only a few minutes ago and I can hear the sirens blaring in the distance. They're rushing my neighbor to the hospital. This evening he had picked one of his flowers, intending to use it as a boutonniere. It was his anniversary and he was trying to be romantic for his wife. apparently the poor guy seized up and began vomiting all over his kitchen floor. He's not going to make it. I hate to think it, but I know very well that it's true. Can't say I blame him, though. The flowers are really pretty and would have made a handsome boutonniere. I take a sip. Man, this stuff tastes off tonight. I must have gotten the mixture wrong…

Friday. I take a sip. It's got to be well past midnight by now. Still reeling from the shock of hearing the doctor pronounce my wife, I bury my head in my palm and weep. After a number of heavy sobs I attempt to pull myself together. I take a sip. The drink tastes bitter and nearly makes me choke. My head bows low as the tears mingle with it in the cold air. It's so very cold tonight. So cold… The neighbor's flower bush seems not to care about the frosty weather and looks as bright and beautiful as ever. My wife had accidentally cut herself on it while trimming the bushes on the edge of our yard this morning. The poison did it's evil deed and stopped her heart, only after taking her last ounce of dignity with it. When I found her she was lying in a pool of her own vomit and blood. I choke down another sip. Well, at least I still have the flowers to remember her by… I look toward the house. The lights are on inside. I take a sip and nearly gag.

Saturday. I take a sip. My word, this stuff is awful! My stomach turns and I nearly vomit with the bitterness of it, but somehow manage to keep it down. Trying to shake it off, I stare at the beautiful old flower bush. Perhaps I'll plant one of my own. It would look nice right out next to the sidewalk where everyone could see it and smell it as they walk by. I take a feeble step and slip on the snow under my feet. I land face-down in the cold, wet mess. What's going on here? I manage to pick myself up, and seeing the warm lights of the house, I decide I had better go inside. As I limp toward the door, my foot catches on the edge of the patio and I tumble headlong onto the cement cutting a nasty gash into my cheek. I'm dazed and bleeding. With my head pounding I slowly crawl over to the doorway. Lifting myself up against the door frame, I look up at the cold gray sky as the wet snow falls onto my face. I want to take a sip. Realizing my glass is gone, I begin scanning the yard to see where it might be. Oh, I hope I didn't spill it. I need a sip. I need it. Just one more sip of flower juice…

© 2011 Daniel Hanawalt

This above story was written by Daniel Hanawalt. It is an alternative to the interpretation and story written by B.C. Young. Vote for your favorite interpretation in this poll: Weekly Poll V - Flash Fiction