General Fiction posted October 11, 2015 Chapters:  ...30 31 -32- 33... 

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Dying houseplant competition

A chapter in the book Miscellaneous stories


by CD Richards

Dying Houseplant Contest Winner 

My Dearest Ophelia,

My heart breaks when I see your withered leaves, your weakened, drooping stem, your wilted petals with their tips brown and ragged. I weep when I think back to only days ago and remember your vitality, and the enthusiastic optimism with which you greeted the dawning of each new day.

It seems as if you have simply given up. I beg of you, please don't do this. Think of the times we have spent together. The shared joy of listening to a Bach Sonata as I carefully and lovingly prune your branches, encouraging you to grow and flourish. Do you not feel a wonderful sense of self-worth, knowing the pleasure that you have brought me? Sitting and watching the sunlight as it pours through the window, lighting every beautiful, well formed flower, each exquisite leaf, is one of my greatest delights.

If God had made you in his image, as he did humankind, then I could understand why you might not cherish and embrace this life you have been given. Your existence, full as it is of travails, might seem little but pain and hardship. The constant struggle to find nourishment from the soil in which you sit, the never-ending battle against the parasites that seek to bleed from you the nutrients that course through your veins, might all become too much. Your brief life of struggle might seem insignificant, a mere blink of an eye, compared to a future life of everlasting bliss, where the streets are paved with Osmocote, and bees and ladybugs escort you everywhere you venture (for in plant heaven, all are like triffids, and can move about at will). Why would you not wish for an end to this paltry life, with its disappointments and difficulties, and for a new, endless life of unimaginable happiness and joy to begin?

But, my dear Ophelia, God did not make you in his image. This life you have now is all that there is. There is no celestial nursery, no land flowing with milk and Seasol. The universe has existed for billions of years without you, and when you have breathed your last, it will exist for an eternity to come. Your life is not a dress-rehearsal for something bigger and better, not a chance to fritter and waste all the growing and blossoming you could be doing whilst you wallow in a mire of self-pity and dream of the day you will be perfect.

Seize the day, Ophelia! You have but one life. The time allotted to it is infinitely tiny on a cosmic scale. Embrace this life you have been given. You are surrounded by those who love you, and who derive such pleasure simply from the enjoyment of your company. Make the most of every moment. One day, the sun will rise, and you, Ophelia, will not be there to greet it - but that day is not today! Take strength from those who care for you, understand how they depend on you. Appreciate that the world will be a sadder place without you.

Rise, shine, spread your petals and let us continue to travel this journey together.

Your friend,

Writing Prompt
A houseplant is dying. Tell it why it needs to live.

Dying Houseplant
Contest Winner

Osmocote and Seasol are brands of fertiliser.

Ophelia is a plant - perhaps.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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