Saying it with roses


A 130 word piece of flash fiction for the dverse prompt, including the line from Jane Hirshfield’s poem, I want to be surprised:

I don’t know why I was surprised every time love started or ended.


He brought roses. I put them in a vase straight away while he opened a bottle of wine. It was our anniversary, a whole year of being together. I’d prepared something special for supper. Shame because I won’t ever be able to bring myself to make it again. He had always enjoyed my cooking, said I was better than the restaurant. Cheaper too.

He waited until the meal was over before he told me. Well, that was predictable, I suppose. Apparently ‘we’ were over. The sparkle had gone; it was time to move on. I looked from the roses to his face—concerned, but probably only that I would get unreasonably upset. I don’t know why I was surprised. Every time, love started or ended the same way, with flowers.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

45 thoughts on “Saying it with roses”

  1. Flowers so often fall short of their intended spell over a situation. It was clever how well you worked in the prompt line; breaking it up, and adding to it was brilliant.

  2. I lived this. I baked a man a batch of blueberry muffins after he dumped me because he said he’d miss my muffins. Love is why I can no longer eat blueberry muffins.

  3. I like the way you played around with the prompt quote, Jane, the punctuation certainly made a difference, and the significance of the roses topping and tailing the piece. I must say I was disconcerted when he said her cooking was better than the restaurant and cheaper, a backhanded compliment if I ever heard one. She was well shot of him.

    1. Thanks Kim. I find having to use an entire phrase written by someone else very awkward. They are not my words so I try to fiddle around with them to make them at least less of the original author’s!

  4. That was different, bringing flowers to a breakup. An oddball! I like the way you worked the line in. I especially liked the idea of breaking it up. Nicely done.


  5. Ah you’ve woven a complete tale and used the line so well. Love its connection to the flowers here. Much better to have it end with flowers…full circle, perhaps….than that old line, “It’s not you. It’s just me.”

    1. Thanks Frank 🙂 It’s a form of egoism, I suppose, not confined to men, but a lack empathy, not seeing someone’s pain, concentrating on devising an ‘honourable’ way of wriggling out of the situation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s