Blueberry Ill (or, Amongst the Roses)

By: Lydia Crow


The rose border had been planted by a former resident and, BIll mused, friend. It seemed odd to think of the friends she’d made over the years; all of them outcasts and rejects, often considered the dregs of the social barrel.

She’d been adamant she would not stop opening her home to those who needed it, despite there having been trouble on more than one occasion; most seriously a gentleman who’d bound and beaten her and stolen her mother’s jewellery.  She didn’t care about the money, but it had pained her that he took something so sentimental. She never saw the jewellery again, though he turned up two weeks later in a disused drain. She’d never figured out which of her other gentlemen and ladies might have put paid to him, and preferred not to think of it.

The gentleman who’d planted the rose border had been particularly troubled. She’d never seen him as peaceful as when he’d been in the garden, working away getting his hands dirty. They certainly had been dirty before she met him, too.

He’d gone to ground when he’d been tracked down. At least she hoped he’d gone to ground. No-one had heard from him in eleven years.

The bench by the rose border was her favourite spot. She always felt at peace there and visited it when she could. Especially now, in her advancing years, she needed those moments of relaxation. Those snatched minutes of her own.

The sun was starting to slip from the sky, filling the garden with a beautiful pink glow. Rose, she smiled. Rose pink.

She exhaled, then took a long, deep breath, breathing in the scent of her roses.

Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight.

How appropriate, she thought. She listened to the stillness around her, interrupted only by her tired heart. Tired, but content.

The light in the garden was almost unreal now, so perfect. Just like the roses.


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