Flash Fiction

The Rose & the Onion (Sandcastle 9.03)

You liken my intricacies to that of a satin rose, but I am not so fragile, so easily frostbitten, picked apart—love me, love me not. The rose, a delicacy for Japanese beetles on a hot summer’s day, so frail the petals are swept away in a rush of cold hose water and hard beetle bodies flailing in the stream. I do not succumb to the mold or the mildew creeping between crevices, rotting from the inside out, wilting tender petals. You think with one little snip I am yours to lay broken in a state of slowly decaying beauty in your calloused hands, to be arranged in a vase and placed on the windowsill where you can admire me at your discretion?

I am not your rose.

Liken me to an onion instead, born in the dark peace of a deep place. My layers are harder to peel away. I’ll take your knife—yes, you can cut me—but my scent will cling to your fingers, your blade, a parting gift you can’t wash away as easily as my blood from beneath your nails. Every time you breathe, you’ll taste me. Every cut you make in me will put another crack in your dam until tears flood your eyes and your vision becomes a watery blur. Consume me, and I will be on your every word. You will remember me. I will make sure of it.

So cut me if you dare. Unlike your lovely rose dropping blood-red petals one by one on the windowsill, I do not fall apart so easily.

 

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