Flowers of all colours covered the table, a rainbow of tiny clusters and velvety petals framed by muted branches and pale ribbons. Even if she chose one each of only half the choices on display, the resulting bouquet would be almost too large to pass through the hospital room door.
But everything looked amazing. How could she choose?
Her eyes hovered over the flowers, selecting and rejecting them in turn. All of them reminded her of the many well-meaning bouquets that populated her friend’s room. She wanted something that would stand out.
A matte black pot caught her eye. Leaning in for a better look, she found a green bud rooted in chocolate-dark dirt. It was different.
It was perfect.
“What’s this?” her friend asked when she placed the little pot in his hands.
“Dunno. You’ll need to water it until it flowers. The shopkeeper said it’ll take three months.”
“Three months?” His eyes dimmed. “I don’t have that long.”
She reached over to clap his shoulder. Even through the loose hospital gown, she could easily feel his fragile bones.
“Just do your best.” She grinned. “For your curiosity.”
The smile he made was faint, but like the bud, she hoped it would grow more over the coming months.
Even before entering the mansion, it was extravagant. Guards posted at the main gate watched for trespassers, impeccably shaped trees lined the long driveway, butlers opened the massive double doors into the foyer.
And it didn’t end there. The inside of the mansion looked like a setting straight out of a movie set. A lush red carpet covered the pristine marble floor as a grand bifurcated staircase reached for the upper floors.
Yet, despite the opulence, her classmate looked as unassuming as always.
“There’s a magpie that always come around this time to my balcony. Come see.”
Her classmate stepped through the door. The lush carpet swallowed his footsteps without a sound. She took her first step. It was like walking on the belly of a giant fluffy plushy. Her body froze. Did she really belong here?
Her classmate looked back. His lips curled in a warm smile.
The mansion was the most amazing house she had ever seen, but that hadn’t changed her classmate, and she didn’t have to let it change her.
She walked in.
Genre: slice of life
Genre: slice of life, friendship
What did one do with a roomful of durians?
That was the challenge Roxana found herself faced with when she stepped into her living room and saw the boxes and boxes of the thorny fruits.
She focused her attention on the grinning girl among the boxes and said one word.
Melanie shrugged. “They were on sale. Buy 1 free 1. And I got a free box for every five boxes I buy. How can you say no to such a bargain?”
“I can when my living room is filled with them. Did you even ask my parents before you brought them in?” Surely her parents would have stopped this madness.
“No one was home, so I let myself in,” Melanie said.
“Take them out. We’ll take one box at most, but the rest is your problem.”
“But where would I put them?”
“Your living room.”
“… How many boxes did you buy?”
“One hundred! So I got twenty extra boxes for free,” Melanie declared proudly.
Roxana stared at Melanie. “What were you planning to do with 120 boxes of durians?”
“Dunno. That’s where you come in. Ideas?”
Roxana’s first thought was that she wanted to kick Melanie out of the house. Her second thought was that kicking Melanie out still left her with a roomful of durians. Her third thought was to let Melanie deal with her own mess.
Without a word, Roxana stepped back out the door and closed it.
They gathered, each overcoming their own challenges to stand side by side. Different people from different backgrounds and different opinions united by the same goal. It was an inspiring sight.
It made her blood boil.
In these people who stood against her, she saw shadows of her former comrades. They, too, had stood united like this once, only to break away, one by one, through choice or circumstance, until she stood alone.
She pulled the flames of of anger from within her into the outside world.
Friendship. It built her up. It tore her down. But if she was going down, she would drag the whole world down with her.
They outnumbered her, but when she looked at them she was too angry to feel fear.
Genre: general, friendship/comradeship
Follows after Safe Secrets.
All they had was a possibility. A purely hypothetical, more folk story than fact possibility, but it could work, and that was good enough for them.
They divided the list of ingredients into three groups according to proximity and assigned two people to a group. They would not rest until the ingredients had been gathered and they had at least given the potential remedy to their fallen comrade.
And if this didn’t work, there was always something else to try.