SS: The Flower

It was Sunday morning. The day shined through the window, white and bright as it just snowed a twinkle last night. The sun's rays reflected on my face as I woke up. I looked at the clock and realized I was late! I rushed out of bed and silently checked my grandma's bedroom; she was still asleep. Perfect. I had time to go to the supermarket, buy all the groceries, pick up her favorite tres-leches cake, and, most importantly, get her flowers before she woke up. I knew how much my grandma loved her garden. I quietly changed into my clothes and fled out of the apartment.

I drove to the supermarket first. With the weather cold, I knew I could store the groceries in the trunk while I resumed the rest of my day's objectives. Then, I passed by the church. Seeing everyone leaving reminded me of how my grandma would always wake me up to attend church, making it impossible to miss one every Sunday. But this Sunday wasn't just any ordinary Sunday. It was her birthday. Still, she would treat it as any regular day. She always liked going to the last Mass hour at noon. I hurried to the bakery and retrieved the tres leches cake. So far, so good. I had one more hour left before she woke up. The final task was to get the flowers.

The streets were indeed quiet. Of course, a regular person wouldn't be out early in the morning with temperatures below freezing. Considering the roads were covered in white sheets of snow. But in this city, ambitious people don't permit the weather to discourage them, especially if they have to make ends meet. As I searched around the main roads, I finally saw a flower boy, alone and wrapped in multiple scarves, holding flowers for sale. And it so happens that the boy had my grandma's favorite flower; the purple tulip. Its color lit bright with all its wonders in contrast with the winter color. I stepped out of the vehicle and walked carefully to avoid slipping. My vision of the flower boy became more prominent and focused as I got closer. The cold winds blew hard near my ears. And the snow that traveled with the wind started hitting my face fiercely. Which explains why I didn't notice the bandit sprung out of nowhere and attacked the flower boy.

With a swift swing to the temple, the flower boy drops the bouquet, and the robber snatches it from the ground and sprints away. I remained shocked and in awe for a brief 5 seconds. Then, attempting to process what had just happened, I shook my head and began to chase the thief. I had no clue where such bravery arose from me. Could it be the adrenaline that's rushing over my body? Or perhaps I was seeking justice for the flower boy's unatoned pain and suffering. It could be neither of those reasons too. I just wanted to give my grandma the best birthday ever.

I ran fast as I could. Even with the snow on the ground as resistance, I began to trail the culprit. The man did not seem too athletic. I could hear him gasp for air with every step he took. The winds were in my favor; pushing me from behind gave me a sudden boost. I was in arms-reach of the robber. Ready to unleash justice on his scarf-covered face. Little did I know, the robber had been anticipating this for a while. He reaches into his pocket, takes out a 9-millimeter, and pulls the trigger.

I felt paralyzed. The snowflakes hitting my face began to melt. The wind suddenly stops beating my back. I thought I wasn't in the real world anymore. I felt a soft cushion on my face. Had he shot me right on my complexion? Is that why I feel numb? I wondered how my grandma would figure everything out without me. That thought pained me the most—more than a bullet inside me. My heart felt heavy. I wasn't ready to die. Not today. Not on my grandma's birthday. Especially not by a lowlife who unjustifiably attacked an innocent flower boy. I waited to fall to the ground. I was looking for the bullet hole, awaiting blood to start pouring from it. But then I noticed the robber looked at me even more terrified. I was so confused. His eyes grew wide. And suddenly, he resumed running away. It seems like he missed! I regained consciousness and once again went after him.

Once again in pursuit, I chased down the robber towards a bridge. The frozen metal ground was too much for the bastard. He slips and falls hard near the edge of the railing. I finally start to catch my breath. The cold breeze made breathing difficult, but my focus on the thief made it easy to neglect that fact. I approached him and stepped on his right hand as he slowly tried to reach into his pocket again. He yells out a painful scream. I quickly picked up the flowers that belonged to the flower boy. Finally, the long goose chase was over. I gave him one last long stare into his cold dark eyes before walking away. And just when I thought it was over, he speaks:


I remained silenced. Yet, I felt my composure letting loose. I turned around, leaped on top of his body, and started beating his head. There was no time to hold my fists back. Every impact felt like it was getting softer and mushy. I let my anger get the best of me; it filled me with rage and power. I was going to kill this man.

As I continued my assault, I started to rip out the scarves he had on. Little by little, I kept tearing up the cloth that once protected this man's face from the winter's brutal weather. Finally, the last scarf falls off his face, and I suddenly stop. Frozen in time again, the wind stopped blowing, and the snowflakes halted in position. My eyes grew wide as I realized this man wasn't just any man. From the color and texture of his skin to the structure of his face, I couldn't fathom what came to be. This person on the ground was me.

Looking at this doppelganger beat up to the core, I slowly let my guard down. I was so confused as to how all of this was transpiring. I slowly started hearing this ringing in my ear, getting louder and louder by the minute. I start to get up, but then the unthinkable happens. The doppelganger wakes up and grabs both my wrists and yells out a might cry:



I abruptly woke up with a heart rate that was off the charts! The alarm clock on the nightstand was ringing loud as ever. I rub my eyes to clear the sleep crust. Then, I shut off the alarm and walked to the window. It was snowing bright white. I see a car pull up the driveway and honk twice. It was my parents who were picking me up. I looked at the clock and panicked.

"Crap, I'm going to be late."

I rush to get ready. I changed into my church clothes, took a quick bite of a loaf of bread on the kitchen table, and drank water. Then, I grabbed the purple tulip from the living room shelf and rushed downstairs. While sprinting towards the exit, I felt a slight chill crawling down my spine as I passed by the empty room where my grandma once used to sleep.

Written By: George M.

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