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Rated: E · Fiction · Contest Entry · #2290603
Flash Fiction
Smell the Roses (280w)

Candy owned a flower shop in the town square. She kept the shop immaculate. Everything was in its proper place. The flowers were ordered by colour, creating a rainbow effect along the shelves either side of the shop. She wore blood-red lipstick and a black lace dress and waited behind the counter for her favourite customer. He always came in on Valentine’s Day.

The bell above the door jingled when he arrived.

“Morning,” said George.

Candy liked George. She liked the way he kept his beard neatly trimmed. She liked how his tortoiseshell glasses rested on the bridge of his nose. And she like the way he always smelled like coffee and aftershave.

“The usual?” said Candy.


“Twelve Valentine’s roses coming right up.”

As she prepared the red roses, she asked George if he might like to go for a drink sometime, as friends, of course.

“Candy,” said George, “like I’ve said, I’m married. I’m sorry but what would Shirley say if I agreed?”


“Candy, it’s never going to happen. Stop asking. Give me my flowers.”

The way he spoke to her broke her heart: she couldn’t stop her feelings for him.

“Sure, sorry, just a moment,” she said, taking the flowers to the storeroom out back to finish preparing them. When she returned she looked different, strangely composed.

George took the roses, paid for them, and then left without saying thank you.

Afterwards in the storeroom, Candy washed her hands vigorously with hot water.


Next morning, Candy purchased the daily newspaper. The front page read: Man arrested on suspicion of murdering his wife with poisoned flowers.

Candy sang to herself on the way to work that day.

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