Tell A Tale in 500 Words

Grow By John Morris

Darkness gave way to light which gave way to life. The world which had contained Rosie for nine-months became one lit up by a giant flaming ball and full of colours and sounds.

Rosie greeted this new beginning with a wail.

Her first steps were troublesome. She had pulled herself up onto the barrier her parents had used to separate the room. In anger she shook the bars then stuck a hand in the air in frustration. Her mother smiled at her and Rosie giggled. She let go of the barrier, although she didn't fall. Her mother clapped happily as she make her first uneasy step towards her.

A man came and knocked on their door. Rosie jumped up from the sofa and opened it for him. The man said some pleasantries, sitting in the armchair as he did, whilst nursing a cup of tea. Rosie felt strange, a pit in the depths of her stomach. Something was wrong. Her gut feeling was confirmed a few moments later when the man sat forwards, touched Rosie gently on the knee and gently broke the news.

The house had never felt so empty.

Rosie sat at her desk, staring blankly into her inbox. She tried to summon energy within her but her body and mind were spent. Rosie put her head in her arms and screamed.

Pain seared through her body. The steep, white cliffs loomed above her. She moved methodically, thinking about every step in detail. Rosie stuck her axe in the mountain, loosening the rope slightly, and pulled herself a step higher.

When she reached the top she was depleted. Her hands trembled in the cold. But when she mustered the energy to stand and view the world wrapping endlessly over the horizon, she knew the effort had been worth it.

Charlie raced into the backyard making engine noises with his toy plane held above him. Rosie's husband kissed her on the cheek before chasing after their sugar-filled offspring. He captured their child in his arms and threw him into the air.

Rosie's cheeks glowed as she sat in an uncomfortable plastic chair. Her son waited nervously on the edge of the outdoor stage waiting for his name over the loudspeaker. When his name was finally said, he walked uneasily up the stairs, wearing a mortarboard and robes. The university's Vice-Chancellor greeted him at the top. She shook his hand, then handed him a rolled up piece of parchment.

As Rosie's son came down to greet his mother Rosie embraced him tightly. He was embarrassed, but she didn't care.

Rosie reached to pull her duvet up, though her body was weak and she could barely move it. Her son, watching her struggle, helped pull the duvet closer.

Rosie could feel the cold hand of death upon her. She knew she didn't have long left but she wanted to savour every last second. Her life had changed so quickly and gone so fast.

Her son stayed until the end.


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