Green Roses

November 22, 2011
By Orestes GOLD, Oakland, California
Orestes GOLD, Oakland, California
12 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Father awaited in the car.

I stood atop the green hill, shards of emerald scattered in the grass, glistening. The sunset of the clear blue sky cast a swarm of gently floating orange beams of light, like bright fireflies.

I chased them excitedly, my wind blowing them in chaotic swirls.

One of them flew into my mouth, down my throat, and hardened in my chest, for I felt a weight in my breast.

I spat it out, a shining sunstone that fluctuated in midair before me, as if waiting for my slender fingers to wrap around it. It was gold like a dinosaur fossil, with crimson spots. I grabbed it.

And upon doing so, my body felt heavier.

But stronger.

Not knowing why, I began to run, my white dress behind me, passing the shining blue rose fields; they harbored a magic more mystic than the fairies that dwelt amongst their petals, and a power more behemoth than the dragons' above the many rose-white clouds, their silhouettes barely visible. Their vanilla aroma coated my young body as it climbed a sparkling diamond boulder to witness the grand ocean.

How enigmatic and beautiful it seemed. At the same time, its vastness spoke of unfathomable adversities. Still, the sunstone in my hand illuminated meteorically, a brightest yellow that urged me to cast it away into the sea.

But I was afraid to let it go, for so precious to me was the light, so fragile the stone, and so powerful the waters of the sea.

Yet the more afraid I was, the brighter the sunstone shone, until my whole body was blanketed by a dazzling gold shimmer.

I would not betray the sunstone, the light the sun had granted me. I ran down the hill, then across the shimmering sand, composed of an array of tiny, grain-sized jewels, among them: pink diamonds, pearls, poudretteites, jeremevites, taaffeites, and musgravites.

I left a trail of stardust behind me.

Amid these billions of billions of gems, the only true beauty I sensed was buried deep within the fluidity of the vast and mysterious sea.

Only there did the sunstone inhale the breaths of adventure and shone.

I smiled widely and threw the sunstone far in the sea; it skipped endlessly, a small shower of blue light with every bounce, until it touched the horizon, where the collision cast a great white flash, like a sudden solar flare that nearly blinded me.

From within this light emerged the magic of the great wide waters: a giant whale flew slowly towards me, shining cerulean.

She hovered before me a few moments, and I reached out to touch her closed mouth.

Then, without warning, she flew into me and vanished there, until a whale-shaped sapphire emerged from my breast and sprouted two silver strings that wrapped around my slender neck. It glowed beautifully there.

Father called for me. Oddly, his voice seemed to come from deep within the ocean.

On my way back, I picked up a blue rose and watched its petals fly with the wind, each one leaving an iridescent trail on its chaotic path; the clandestine colors of the wind.

And I realized the sea smelled of chocolate.

Life becomes circuitous and meaningless amid my own confusion, stemmed from this bitter melancholy. However, I could not deny subtle comfort the clarity the ocean gives me, as does the dreaminess of great, bright, dazzling fireworks. I yearn for all the light my eyes can handle, so that through them I may be able to wisp away the heavy blackness inside my head. So fraught with sadness is my body, it's fragile. The bliss that once held me, supported me, has withered away.

My head hangs in its hopelessness as, inside, my thoughts sing an elegy:

They say the good die young.

I don't believe in beliefs, but I do believe in irony.

Even this she'd smile at. In fact, there was very little she wouldn't smile about. Even in her solitude, she would laugh very much at herself.

She didn't know the power of her smile. A marvelous white shine and prominent red lips. Her high, rosy cheeks and her chinky, pitch-black gems of eyes would sparkle lovely; an infectious smile that robbed all your affection and all the affection you didn't know you had. And her long black hair matched them so perfectly; she deserved the whole world's admiration.

She was very loud. Always ebullient, never boisterous. She could dance and sing so lovely she didn't know. She always made sure to make others smile or laugh; she found much pleasure in doing so. Her presence was enough to bring high spirits, for so great and powerful was her charisma. Even in her rare, taciturn demeanor, the sheer irony would make one smile. And any smile to her was contagious for, fortunately, happiness was her most vulnerable illness.

And she was so loud.

People loved and love her. People who never met or saw her love her. Millions. They sing her songs in summer road trips, laughing blindly, or in their rooms pensively at night, under the rain's chime. They think how a beautiful soul deserves to breathe once more. The world longs for her angelic breath, her angelic everything. They'd love to once more hear the voice of an angel, and witness the dance of a goddess.

So small were her moments of suffering, they weren't there. The pestering drawbacks of our humanity: hate, violence, envy, excessive pride...none were existent in her world. Her infectious smile would shatter these immoralities and help one see how absurd and frivolous they were...they are. Stepping into her world was encountering an enormously essential hope that made you love life so very much.

And she was so loud.

I had thought myself an unimportant man. But upon meeting her, I stood tall, having realized my heart's beat for the first time. To contain and propel that goodness was my destiny.

I failed.

What I'd give to feel her presence, to witness that magical smile and hear that wondrous voice. The songs she's left harbor a divine force that overwhelms me with a sadness I can only hope time will mend into sweetness. I can nearly feel her presence in these songs, but seldom find it. In desperation, I turn to the red roses lining the road, but the magic they once harbored has left and I don't know where. I'm left wondering why, why, why, why, why, why.

Why the good die young.

I pull over. Outside, the sea begins to hum mournfully as it begins to rain. Its waves crash against hard boulders. The sun sets and the winds begin to howl as night approaches.

Nature is loud, for it speaks in millions of voices.

And I hear none of them.


When the girl's father began to weep, she saw him for the first time, wanting to comprehend his state. There was a beauty in his depression she desired obtain, not knowing how.

Yet the more vivid those tears became, the louder his sobs, and the fiercer the crash of the rain on the roof of the car, the more he seemed to blur her world; now she saw what he did and it was all black and gray with a dark angry sea.

She could see, quite lucidly now, what was in the abyss of those great, mysterious waters. And she was quite afraid. She clung to her whale-shaped necklace, the one mother had once worn and given to her. Her father continued to cry.

She moved up and sat in his lap, and he held her in his arms and she felt safe. In response, she placed her necklace around his neck and they silently waited for the fireworks in the night.

The moonlight revealed faint green roses, swaying like pendulums. The rain continued to fall euphoniously, and the world felt very real to them.

They heard a BOOM! and got off the car excitedly. Apathetic to the rain's drench, they laughed blindly and sincerely at the great cerulean light which lit the night sky and the hollow of their hearts.

The author's comments:
The original version of what later became "Elephantine", about the blending of our imagination and our humanity to create what we refer to as "real"; this odd, mysterious, yet beautiful dimension of life.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!