“Miss Price is sleeping, but stable. You can sit with her if you like.”
Nick didn’t need told twice. Quietly he entered her room. In the corner her heart monitor beeped slow and steady. He sat down beside her bed, fiddling with the rosary still in his hands. “Stay with me, Emmy,” he whispered.
Moved by an urge to be doing something, anything – he pulled out his phone and opened his last search – “How to Pray the Rosary.” He didn’t believe in this stuff, but it was better than nothing. Hesitantly, he started to pray.
Happy Friday my lovely readers! I may be on vacation, but I wouldn’t skip a week of Friday Fictioneers if I could help it! Especially after last week when I left Nick and Emmeline in a precarious position…again. (sorry, not sorry). Be sure to check out last week’s post if you missed it.
As always, special thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for providing us with these weekly prompts and this week to Sarah Potter for the photo. Even if it isn’t too obvious, I do take some bit of inspiration of each week’s photo in my story.
Pass The Time
Nick was stuck in the waiting room, again.
Behind him he could hear the clock ticking. Every second felt like an eternity, every tick reminded him of the fading blips on Emmeline’s heart monitor.
He fidgeted with his fingers.
“Here you go, son.” Nick jerked his head up to see a stout old woman in a housecoat offering him a string of beads. A crucifix dangled from the end of them. Nick recoiled.
“I’m not religious,” he blurted.
“That your woman in there?”
Nick nodded and the rosary fell into his hand. “It will help,” she promised before shuffling away.
Today’s one word prompt from WordPress is Vegetal. (fun word!) My musical inspiration for this prompt is Rose Garden by Nick Jonas and the Administration. Listen here.
Enjoy the story!
In the Rose Garden
The quiet, steady pitter-patter of raindrops on the greenhouse roof was soothing to Margaret’s ears as she worked, slowly moving along the row of flowers in various stages of bloom, trimming and gently removing dead leaves and petals. The greenhouse was mostly full of roses, her favorite. She loved their rich, velvety colors, and their ever-changing scent that made every hour with them a new experience. The roses she felt, unlike many of the other flowers, were classic. They never went out of style, and even when dried retained some of that mystery and personality that made them so captivating when first cut from the bush.
She paused in front of a particularly large bush of deep red roses whose buds were nearly all full and open. Her heart gave an involuntary pang as their musky scent washed over her. These were the flowers of love, whose scent and color captured the essence of romance, passion and desire. She had been given roses like these, once. She had been swept away by dreams of love and a fairy tale ending with her handsome lover. She had danced and rested in his strong arms and gone to sleep with this musky rose smell clinging to her hair and skin.
Without realizing it, her hand had gone up to touch her hair, her mind caught up in a distant memory. She had forgotten it was covered with veil, similar to what the nuns wore, the gentle sisters who had taken her in despite her tarnished reputation. “Enough daydreaming,” she muttered to herself. She closed her eyes and tried to remember the simple prayer the nuns had taught her for times of distraction. She opened one eye at the roses before her, their heady smell still sidetracking her. “You are entirely too demanding,” she told the bush. “Perhaps you could tone it down for a bit.” The rose bush didn’t answer, and Margaret had the impression it was smirking at her.
“You’re right, I know,” she finally conceded. “I’m the hopeless one.”
Suddenly she felt a sharp twitch in her stomach, like an uncontrollable muscle spasm. Her hand went to the swell showing through her gown. “Do you disagree, little one?” She felt the twitch again.
“Talking to the roses again, Miss Margaret?”
Margaret spun around, one hand remaining on her stomach, the other flying to cover mouth. She blushed and lowered her hand. “Yes and no, Sister Mary Elizabeth. The roses distracted me, so I started to say a prayer, but the smell was so overpowering I had to stop and reprimand them, and then the babe wanted to join the conversation too.”
Sister Mary Elizabeth gave her an indulgent smile. Inwardly, Margaret was relieved. Not all the sisters approved of Margaret, and many had opposed her staying with them. But Sister Mary Elizabeth had been kind to her from the first, and coming from a family of thirteen children, she understood a few things about childbirth. “Often a woman’s sense of smell is more sensitive while she carries a babe in her womb. If the roses are so potent to you, perhaps you should refrain from working in the greenhouse for a while.”
Margaret was horrified. “Oh no, please Sister, don’t take me away from the roses! I only got caught up in some foolish daydreams, is all. I shouldn’t have blamed the roses.” She looked pleadingly at the nun and when she didn’t reply, continued, “I’ll make extra penance today but please, please don’t keep me from the roses.”
Her plea was so earnest, Sister Mary Elizabeth laughed. “Well alright then, you may continue your work. The gardens have never looked so beautiful before you came to us.”
“Thank you, Sister.” Joy filled Margaret’s face for a few moments, then dimmed as she remembered her daydream. “I was thinking about him again.”
Sister Mary Elizabeth came forward and put a hand on Margaret’s shoulder. Margaret leaned in for comfort. “I know I shouldn’t, but I do miss him sometimes.”
“It’s only natural, my dear,” the nun replied. But now you must focus that love on God and the responsibility he has given you.” Her eyes dropped to Margaret’s stomach. “It will be a difficult road, but filled with rich rewards, I promise you.”
Margaret nodded, tears gathering in the corners of her eyes.
Sister Mary Elizabeth smiled again and started for the door. “Finish your work my dear, and do make sure you are on time to vespers.”
“Yes, Sister.” Margaret watched her leave and step out into the rain, which had thankfully slowed. She stood there for a moment more, cradling her stomach and wondering at the grace she had received. The nuns hadn’t been required to shelter her, a runaway mistress, a fallen woman, but they had. They had given her a place to sleep and food to eat, and work to do in their beautiful gardens. And here, surrounded by growth, life and beauty, Margaret appreciated even more the tiny life growing inside her. As she finished her work she prayed God would continue to guide and care for her and the babe just like she guided and cared for these roses. “Amen,” she finished, and stood for a while longer admiring the lovely flowers.
Just then the clock struck four and the bells began to ring. “Vespers!” Margaret cried, and hurried to the door, once again feeling the babe inside her move, as though he (or she) was running too. “We won’t be terribly late,” she said, silently offering up a prayer for forgiveness. “I was only admiring the roses.”
“For the Lord will comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places, and will make her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.”
This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge is Symbol. It asks:
This week, share a symbol with us, and tell us what it means to you.
When reflecting on this challenge, I decided to take a photo of something I use everyday – my rosary beads. For those of you who don’t know, the Rosary is a series of prayers and mediations said by Catholics. If you’d like to learn more particulars, read here.
For me the Rosary is a symbol of faith, hope, and love. Saying these prayers everyday help me feel closer to God and give me time to mediate on God’s love for me and the world. It is comforting during times of struggle and helps me keep holding onto the hope that things will get better. Life is rarely easy, but in this prayer I find strength to persevere.
Happy late Friday, dear Readers! Today I am going to post my Friday Fictioneers on time! Woo hoo! As always, a special thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, who spearheads this marvelous group of writers, and to Bjorn Rudberg for today’s photo. Enjoy the story!
All She Has Is Faith
Hush little baby, don’t you cry, mama’s gonna sing you a lullaby…
Tasha holds her little one close, rocking him gently.
“Daddy doesn’t know you yet, but he will. I’ve sent him a letter.”
The baby whimpers and whines, and Tasha continues to rock him and speak softly.
“When he gets it, he will come for us, and we will be a family.”
Tasha lays her son in his cradle and watches him fall sleep.
“He’ll come, I know he will. He said he’d love me forever.”
She thinks if she says them often enough, the words will be true.
To all my readers and friends here in America, Happy Thanksgiving! To everyone else, I hope you are having a fantastic week and that today will be particularly fine.
Around this time of year, and especially on Thanksgiving Day, many people will reflect on the things they are thankful for. Your social media feeds will likely be filled with people giving thanks for their families and homes, their food and their jobs, and a whole plethora of things in their life. There will be the cynics too, the one person who has to inform everyone they should be thankful for these things everyday, not just on Thanksgiving. The point these people are missing is that we are all thankful for these things everyday. It just sometimes we forget to say it. Thanksgiving is a perfect opportunity to do so.
In light of both of these things, here’s a list of things I’m thankful for, both today and everyday:
1. First and foremost are these goons:
My family gives me a reason to smile everyday, and I couldn’t be more blessed to have them. I’ve never met a better group of people in my life.
2. Second is my faith, which brings purpose, solace, joy and fulfillment to my life. No matter where I am or what I’m doing, my faith is always there to lend support and guidance. I am glad my parents brought me up with faith in my life.
3. Third is my boyfriend Ryan, who makes me feel beautiful, smart and one of a kind. I am glad to have found someone who loves me for everything – my extremely family oriented, faith-driven, uber geeky, obsessive fangirl, slight perfectionist, sometimes childish, imaginative, homebody self.
4. Fourth is my friends. I have some truly wonderful people in my life who inspire me, support me, laugh with me and stick with me through thick and thin. You know who you are, and I thank you for being a part of my life.
5. Fifth is for the good things in my life. I have a home, a good job, I own my car, I’m debt-free, in good health, and I’ve had the ability to travel this year. All things considered, I think I’m doing pretty well.
6. Six is for all the things I fangirl over – Smallville, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Merlin, Once Upon A Time, Bones, Arrow, Once Upon A Time in Wonderland, Superman, DC Comics, Johnny Depp, Harry Potter and so many other things. If I keep going, I could be here all day. Suffice to say there are many things I find enjoyable in life, and I’m glad they’re there to obsess over. 🙂
7. And finally seven, since they released a special Live album just to their fan club members yesterday (officially making my week) is the Jonas Brothers. I’m still sad they called it quits as a band, but I’m so thankful for the ten years of performing they did give us Jonas fans. They’ll always be my favorite band, and I look forward to see what else they accomplish as individuals.
And that wraps it up! But before I go, I’d just like to extend a special thank you to all of my readers. Your comments and likes always make my day and have helped make this blog something really special in my life. You guys are the best!
Now I’m off to help with preparations for our family feast today. I hope everyone has a safe, happy day and that things run smoothly. I’ll see everyone tomorrow for Friday Fictioneers (another thing I’m thankful for…)!