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Flower Girl (subject to change)

As soon as her slender bare foot hit the lush green grass, she felt every inch her anxiety melt away with every step she took. Turning around she quickly slid shut the clear glass door with one hand and in the other held a thickly woven picnic basket.

Sarah breathed in a huge gulp of swaying air and surveyed the expansive surroundings before her, which told that winter was swiftly fleeting and spring was soon emerging. The warm spring air whipped around, moving as quick as lightning, billowing her light sandy colored locks then soon disappearing leaving nothing more than a feather light whisper. The sun's rays, half hiding behind the fluffy white clouds, played a teasing game of peek-a-boo. Sometimes coming out and heating Sarah's skin making her glad she wore her light white sundress and others escaping to the clouds leaving nothing but a cool breeze.

She walked farther and farther away from her house down the sloping hill towards the massive oak tree that humbly wait for her on just the edge of her plantation. Bright patches of colorful wildflowers surrounded the oak's gnarled roots which stretched out then sunk deep into the rich soil.

At last Sarah reached her sacred spot, tossing her woven picnic basket onto the ground and softly collapsing onto a bed of blooming white peonies. As much as she loved these magical, golden spring days she loved the land even more. Her sole passion; her sole purpose in life was gardening. She loved the feel of her gloved fingers through the rich soil and the ability to cultivate the land and reap it for all it was worth. A connection that had been inherited from her mother, who years ago had started a community garden for their small Southern town. This of course was her favorite place in the world with its wrought iron fences, tall looming cool trees that provided the shade and most all the gorgeous flowers.


For the longest time she only gazed up at the clouds floating lazily in the baby blue sky above as they morphed and transformed into odd shapes. As she squinted up at a particular pelicular cloud that appeared to be something like a duck riding in a spaceship, Sarah's stomach rumbled like an engine being brought to life with unmistakable sounds of hunger. Sighing, she hoisted herself up and grabbed her picnic basket.

The basket, thickly woven with multicolored stalks, was a treasured gift from her grandmother. She adored it dearly and used it just for these special early spring lunches. She pulled out her lunch and a book.

Sarah gently picked up her worn, weathered, dog-eared copy of The Secret Garden and as she devoured her meal, read over the yellowing, brittle pages for the seventeenth time. As the favorite and one of the only books she'd ever read, sixteen times was not enough to quench her desire for the beloved story. Lying back on the finely-cut grass, her stomach full of her vegetarian meal, Sarah became entranced in the pages once again when something made her freeze. The voice, soft and fleeting, almost seemed nothing more than gently breeze whispering in her ear but she was certain that she'd heard it. Either that or she must've been hallucinating. She slowly lifted herself up and hesitantly peered around the tree finding no body attached to the voice in sight. In fact if anything the voice almost seemed as if it was beneath her.

Cautiously, testing this theory, Sarah left her right ear lay flat against the cool ground until she heard it. Her eyes widened in unbelievable surprise as they called out to her once more.

The flowers. They were talking to her. The flowers were talking to her. Their voices, one dull incessant hum, that she couldn't believe that she'd ever heard before and when they came together, a sound of a unified mass it sounded clearer, sharper like someone speaking right in her ear.

Still slightly amazed and dazed, Sarah sat up blinking. Nervous laughter suddenly bubbled up inside of her and tumbled out in a mass tidal wave of choking sound. What was going on here? Was this some kind of joke? We're the peonies actually speaking to her? In all her years of gardening as much as she'd wish that the flowers she cared for would one day speak she’d never actually thought it happen.

"Sarah, Sarah," the peonies spoke swaying in the breeze as they called her name out like a sweet siren song, "Sarah....."
“What do you want? What's going on?” she questioned, reverently. She no longer needed to rest her head onto the ground to her them their voice as clear as day.
"You. We need you," they answered before ominously whispering," Sarah, save them......."
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Later that evening, on the evening news there was the rare occurrence that something actually piqued Sarah's interest. It was on a rather somber note as usual but it was an event that was happening in her area.

"In Jasonville, new reports say that the number of missing children in the area has increased to a total of six," a stony-faced beautiful news anchor announced. This made Sarah stop in her tracks as she crossed the living room from her small trip from her room. "This is after an early report on four missing children that had been kidnapped on Sunday. The other two were taken last night also in the place and police believe that the cases may be linked. No witnesses were at the scene and the Jacksonville Police Department is still compiling evidence."

Her mother, Mrs. Malbury, who sat on the couch, gave a weary sigh as her daughter collapsed next to her. She generally appeared distraught over the kidnappings which Sarah couldn’t help baffling at.

Mrs. Malbury sniffed and gave a stiff smile, “I feel for so sorry for the Parks and those other families. How about tomorrow we bake some cookies, and get some flowers then deliver it to them?" A genuine smile planted on her face at the thought of someone being her next charity case.

Sarah nodded but her thoughts were a million miles away as she pulled away from her mother's frail arms and slowly walked back to her bedroom. There was something about these kidnappings that plagued her mind. Even as she snuggled into the covers ready to go to sleep that night she couldn't help but let herself think back to that afternoon. The flowers had mentioned something about saving ‘them’, mysterious people who were in need of her heroism but who was that exactly? It would almost seemed like a floating dream, some lazy afternoon hallucination if it hadn't been for those haunting words that kept repeating her head like a pressing mantra: save them, save them, Sarah, save them.....

The rest of the week passed by fleetingly, an army of thundering storms causing the late afternoon lunches to come to a halt until another one of those bright spring days came again.

Sarah sat at the base of the oak again this time without the hope of getting too immersed into the pages of The Secret Garden but rather with the sole intention of becoming immersed into the peonies words.

She if thought that she would have been able anticipate the next time the flowers spoke and able to be not the least bit surprised she was wrong.

"Sarah... help us”, the words made her nearly jump up in shock, the way they crept into the air so anticipated but yet unexpected. It made her shiver.

"Help who? What do you want?” Sarah answered, apprehensively. She wasn't laying back against oak anymore instead she was sitting up alert, tense. Her body ready for something unexpected to happen but then maybe that didn't make it so unexpected.

A hot wave of wind brushed against her cheek as the flowers spoke, almost as if they were caressing her, “You have to save them...the children...you have to save the children...from the bone witch."

"What?" Sarah asked but her voice sounded faint, far away. This was really happening, this was really real. They needed her for something this couldn't be hallucination, could it?

"The bone witch....she'll kill them...help the children....save..... them.....soon...,"their words seemed to be coming in short fading frantic burst now something that made her anxious.

"How?" Suddenly the question hadn't been what is going on? And this really can't be happening, can it? But rather if she really was going to save these kids then how? How would she even be able to locate them or even rescue them or----

Before she could even begin conjure another thought or say anything really, there was a loud whooshing noise that filled her ears. And then Sarah wasn't there anymore.

Sarah felt herself imploding; exploding into a billion particles then being suddenly rearranged and shuffled then rearranged again. A kaleidoscope of color from strange places and past times blurred around as she shot like a rocket across time and space. Then a loud pop filled her ears like a bubble bursting out of existence and she reappeared.

Opening her ice blue eyes, she came to in a large field. No, not a field but a bed of soft flowers; white peonies to be exact. She was still slightly shocked that the flowers had actually teleported her here, curiously wondering what other things they had in store. Sarah felt a tiny bit woozy as she picked herself up and surveyed the area around her.

A wave of familiarity washed over Sarah as gazed upon the long, immaculate rows of blooming crisp flowers, the fading black wrought iron fence that surrounded the place and the tall looming trees that provided a cool treetop of shade but yet let just the right amount of sunlight filter in. It was garden but not just any garden but the Jasonville Community Garden. Memories of planting beds of new flowers in the spring with her mother and frolicking in the beautiful grass lawns on lazy Sunday afternoon filled her mind as she asked, “Why’d you bring me here?"

Amazingly she could still hear the flowers breezy whisper all around her, maybe because they're we're so many of them, “The children....find them...before it's too late..."

Behind her, Sarah noticed the large wrought iron gate for the first time. It was apart of the garden that she didn't recognize and a long spotty trail of suspicious crimson liquid stemmed from the gate. Without another glance behind her, Sarah stepped past the gate and into unknown.

She followed the trail of blood into the mysterious section of the garden. Cold, chiseled stone statues sprang out from the ground, long and forgotten slabs of marble---tombstones----were infested with twisting grass proving that maybe that this wasn't a garden after all but a forgotten cemetery. In the middle a weathered marble fountain stood crookedly. Sarah walked over towards the edge to find not water flowing at the base but blood and in the center of that a small child.

Sarah rushed over the aid of the child, pulling him out of the fountain and setting the boy onto the soft grass. Her hands bloody, she checked feverishly for a pulse only to be met with silence and a stone cold body.

Too late. She was too late and now there was a dead toddler in her arms. Before a choked sob could escape her lips she remembered the news report claiming that this hadn't been the only one. There were five others, hopefully alive and waiting. She would save them.

Gently letting the boy fall from her arms, Sarah proceeded towards the small shabby shack that was at the end of the cemetery. Her bloody fingers pried open the weathered door as she slightly feared for what lay beyond. She prayed for the rest of the children, well and breathing to behind the door and not the horrible bone witch come to offer the same fate as the little boy.

To her relief and joy, five children were huddled in a corner. Their faces dirty and eyes round with terror and pure fear. Tattered clothes hung loosely over their skinny, unfed bodies and coughs racked the bodies of the older ones and tears ran silently down the faces of the younger ones.

Sarah ran over to children wrapping them up in a huge hug overcome with love and peace, "Your safe now, your safe...,"she murmured

"Or are they?” A sinister voice cackled behind her and Sarah turned to see her worst nightmare.

A woman, or rather a skeleton of a woman stood over them. Her green, decaying, hanging skin sagged on her frail figure and black hollow eyes stared at them blankly like she didn't have a clue at what she was looking at. Her features were pulled back into a tight grimace that bared her sickly yellow teeth and could only be described as a "smile". She wore a long dress of assorted bones that clanked when she moved and had a femur bone lodged between her nostrils. There was no doubt in Sarah's mind of who she was. The bone witch.

"Run!” Sarah barely got to choke out before the bone witch's arm shot out and she began to mutter her evil curses.

The children didn't need to be told twice they all scrambled out of the shack with Sarah at the back left to fend off the bone witch's attack. One of the bones on her dress flew out to meet Sarah, missing her head narrowly. She sped out of the shack as quickly as possible, the witch hot her heels.

"Go! Go!” she frantically urged the children, “Past the gate!"
The bone witch smiled evilly as Sarah scrambled away from her reach, “Don’t think you just escape me, girl!” she rasped, hurling more of her bone arrows in Sarah's direction.

At last Sarah reached to gate, joining the children and commanding them to gather around the flowers. She was only steps away from the bed of peonies when the bone witch aimed a sharp bone straight for her heart.

A loud whoosh resonated in her ears as she gripped the children feeling her self being sucked into a warping black hole. A pop cracked the air and Sarah found herself alive on a mat of soft familiar grass with the five children next to her.

She stood up, her breathe ragged and hitched and her mind still reeling over the past events. She had no idea what to do next---tell her mother? Deliver them to their parents? ----but that didn't matter because they were safe. And most importantly alive.

And if anyone asked her how she found the children, she'd just crack a wry smile and tell them that the flowers had told her.



Join the Discussion


This article has 20 comments. Post your own!

WOWritingThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Apr. 23 at 12:42 pm:
Hi. I thought this story was really great, but maybe too many adjectives? I used to use about a dozen per sentence so I can relate ;) Still really great story tho and some good ideas, maybe could have extended it to have some sort of chase or fight? Loved it other than that!
 
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CammyS said...
Nov. 1, 2012 at 5:07 pm:
Hey! Well, I really liked the story but woah! there was way too much description! There were also a few grammer errors, but otherwise your only problem is description. Tone it down a little.
 
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LadyFreeWill This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 13, 2012 at 12:11 pm:
  Hey there! So, off the bat, you’ve got too many descriptions. As a reader, I tend to shy away from stories that add everything single detail possible. You’ve got ‘slender bare foot’ and ‘lush green grass’ in the first clause, and so the story starts out with a sluggish feel. Then there’s a small error –“she felt every inch [of] her anxiety…” <== Don’t forget the ‘of’!     Since I ha... (more »)
 
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DanielM said...
Aug. 12, 2012 at 1:14 am:
I really like this. Great Imagery. Great descriptions. I really like your message! This is story had a great plot line. Suggestions: few grammar issues but no worries
 
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Black_Rose_Princess said...
Aug. 3, 2012 at 4:20 am:

A very interesting story with a very interesting plotline. You have great descriptions and a lot of imagery; however, just remember (and you did do this in the beginning a bit) too much description isn't always a good thing. You don't have to focus on every little detail.

I really liked the idea behind this story and now for some comments, questions, and suggestions:

1. There were a couple of grammar mistakes and typos, but I'm sure you can find them if you read through it one m... (more »)

 
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WhenItRains21 said...
Jul. 21, 2012 at 11:40 pm:
First off, there were grammar mistakes. Besides that, I liked it. It was an interesting concept, with something around every figurative corner. Personally, I loved the description you put into everything. I would say with a bit of editing, this would be a nice, polished story. Keep it up :)
 
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eurasian_hybrid said...
Jul. 19, 2012 at 11:21 pm:
Interesting story. The beggining was a little dragged out and there was kind of a lot of description. The descriptive words you used were really good, though. I probably would never have been able to think of them. ;) But try to leave some of it to the readers' imagination. The beauty is in the eye of the beholder right? So let every reader see something different. And try to shorten the beggining a bit too. No offense but honestly, I kind of skimmed and I also think that the end could have been... (more »)
 
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eurasian_hybrid said...
Jul. 19, 2012 at 11:21 pm:
Interesting story. The beggining was a little dragged out and there was kind of a lot of description. The descriptive words you used were really good, though. I probably would never have been able to think of them. ;) But try to leave some of it to the readers' imagination. The beauty is in the eye of the beholder right? So let every reader see something different. And try to shorten the beggining a bit too. No offense but honestly, I kind of skimmed and I also think that the end could have been... (more »)
 
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AlwaysAbditive said...
Jul. 19, 2012 at 11:07 pm:
I really liked this piece. It was different and I never knew what was coming next. It definetely reminded me of Alice in Wonderland. I would prefer a little less description, even though your details are phenomenal, but that's just my opinion. Also, your word choice and style are very strong. The only thing I would change is when you would use a strong adjective twice because then it sounds dull. This happened with "wrought" "weathered" and a couple others. Also, the story would be perfect if yo... (more »)
 
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Apollo77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 17, 2012 at 8:01 pm:
I like this but it was soooo rambly. Way too much unneccessary description, you have to hold my attention. The beginning is dragged out and the end is rushed, but the idea is cool and you are a great writer
 
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Waffuleez said...
Jul. 17, 2012 at 7:18 pm:

Just a few notes I took while reading. Don't take them the wrong way, they're meant to help you improve your writing.

 

1. There are some places where you needed commas and didn't use them, and there were places in which you had unneccessary commas

2. When Sarah found the children and said, "Your safe now, your safe..." you used the wrong word. You should have used you're

3. "The children didn't need to be told twice they all scrambled out of ... (more »)

 
KenyaLove41This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 19, 2012 at 5:21 pm :
Thank you, Waffuleez for your criticisim I really apreciate it and this stuff is what is going to make me a better writer.(:
 
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luv2bLDSThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 27, 2012 at 12:03 am:
Very interesting idea! I like it! You are very good at descriptions, but my only advice would be (like the others) using less adjectives. Instead, find other ways to describe things, like similes, metaphors, strong verbs and nouns...I love your imagery, by the way. Overall, a very nice story!
 
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lizerina776 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 8, 2012 at 4:27 pm:
nice job! you're definitely good at descriptive writing. i agree with the others, my only criticism is maybe use a few less adjectives, because i think it could flow better with not as many. keep writing! :)
 
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jeseer This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 17, 2012 at 1:22 pm:
I haven' read the whole story, but I can't get past the adjectives. It may be me, but you use a superfluous amount of adjectives. It makes it hard to read. I'm sure it's a good story, though. Less is more;)
 
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WSwilliams said...
May 8, 2012 at 8:08 pm:
I'll be generous and give you five stars. I agree with the ithers, their are a few grammar errors and words missing in some sentences. as for the title, it's okay. But, what I do is think about the story and find some very good words to describe it as your title. I felt this story could've been a little bit shorter, but I started out writing long stories like these too, so keep try to keep it a little bit shorter. I also liked the dark twist you put in the middle, it really struck me and got me ... (more »)
 
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TheWordSmith said...
Apr. 5, 2012 at 12:14 pm:
- There were quite a few grammar & spelling errors, so I would read over your piece of writing one more time to correct those.
- You had excellent word choice. I, personally, didn't feel that it overpowered the story, but rather, added to it.
- The plot was very intriguing and kept me interested the whole time. However, I felt like the end was a bit rushed. Sarah saved the children and then... well, The End. I felt that it left me hanging. I wanted to live in the moment. So perhaps... (more »)
 
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Starflyer423 said...
Mar. 31, 2012 at 6:16 pm:
A couple of grammar mistakes and a few too many adjectives but overall not bad. I really like the story. Please keep writing! and if you find the time can you check My Name is 57? thanks!
 
AthenaMarisaDeterminedbyFateThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 29, 2012 at 8:16 am :
There are a couple of grammar mistakes that I noticed, and a bit too many adjetives (just a little suggestion: try using similes and metephors instead), but overall, this is a brilliant story, and I absolutely loved it
 
AthenaMarisaDeterminedbyFateThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 29, 2012 at 8:16 am :
There are a couple of grammar mistakes that I noticed, and a bit too many adjetives (just a little suggestion: try using similes and metephors instead), but overall, this is a brilliant story, and I absolutely loved it
 
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