by Lovina 🐕🦺
March Entry for The Bard's Hall Contest (Word count = 1,536) - 1st Place
|Today is Mommy’s birthday! Her first birthday in our new house, there are boxes everywhere, and Mommy doesn’t look happy today. She should be happy. Birthdays are supposed to be fun! But, she is too busy trying to get everything unpacked and put away to think about having fun.
Oh, flowers! That would make Mommy smile! There is a whole bunch of flowers just down the hill and across the road. I saw them the other day when we were coming back from town. Lots and lots of pretty flowers! Purples, pinks, whites, and yellows – it would be like getting a rainbow for a present!
But I’m not supposed to cross the road without an adult. Daddy’s at work and Mommy can’t go, it’s supposed to be a surprise. If I am very careful when I cross the road, I will be okay, and when Mommy sees all the pretty flowers I bring her, she won’t be mad.
When I get to the road I stop and look for cars, just like Mommy taught me. Left, right, left, nothing there, it’s safe. I run across, as fast as I can. I am seven years old and I can run really fast. Ughh. Ow! I was running so fast my feet couldn’t keep up! Stupid rock! Now my knee is bleeding, oooo, it stings!
Hey, the ground is not supposed to be purple! Hehe, I landed on a big pile of purple flowers! I will start with these, awww, look at those tiny yellow ones! Those white ones are huge! I need some of those too. Mmmm, they smell like one of Mommy’s candles.
Okay, I have purple, white, and yellow, I only need some pink ones. There they are, down at the bottom of the hill, it’s not too far, especially if I run. Running through flowers is fun! Bee! Ahhhhh! Wait, Mommy said don’t scream, it makes bees mad. I will just run faster than him and he won’t get me.
Ohhhh, these ones look like bells! Big pink and white flower bells that smell like lemons. Mommy is going to love these! She loves bells; she has lots of different ones, all kinds of colors and sizes. These are the best ones yet!
Okay, I have all of my flowers, now I just need to get them home. Oooops! There are too many! Well, let’s see, if I use both arms and hands I can hold them all. I don’t need my arms to walk home. There, that’s much better. I’m gonna have to walk slowly, so that I don’t drop anymore. Huh, all these flowers smell just like Mommy’s favorite perfume!
Almost there, the road has to be close by. It’s hard to see past all of these flowers. I can’t wait to get home. Mommy’s going to be so happy!
My eyes feel funny. I can’t use my hands! I have to hurry up and get home! Mommy will make it all better!
Mark slammed on the brakes, praying that he stopped in time. He thought he was going to make it, then came the small thump. Oh God, oh God, oh God! No way he hit that child! It was just a big pile of flowers slowly moving across the road, he hadn’t realized in time that there was a small child under all those flowers. The sight so strange; it took a moment to process! A moment too long.
He threw his car into park and jumped out. Terrified of what he was going to find, he ran to the front of the car. A small blond child lay spread eagled in the middle of the road, many beautiful flowers lay all around her. She looked like a tiny princess asleep in a garden. His heart practically stopped as he watched a trickle of blood slowly make its way down her forehead.
Grabbing his cell phone out of his pocket, he knelt next to her as he dialed 911. Please God, please God, please God. The mantra kept going through his mind as he felt for a pulse with one hand and held the phone to his ear with the other. The operator came on the line just as he detected a faint pulse in the child. “Oh, thank God!” His relief went deep to his soul.
“Sir?” The operator thought he was talking to her. Quickly he told the woman what had occurred and his location. They had just started discussing the child’s condition when his eyes fell upon the large white and pink flower that was lying next to the girls head. “Oh, no”, his dismay was evident to the woman on the other end of the phone connection. “What is it, sir?”
He could not answer her right away, his thoughts were in turmoil. “Angel’s Trumpets”, he stated flatly.
“I’m sorry sir, but I don’t know what that means.”
“Angel’s Trumpets are a flower, extremely toxic. The child had been carrying some mixed in with other flowers. I can’t remember what it does or what I’m supposed to do to help her.”
“Hold on sir, I’m looking for the information now.”
Mark picked up the offending flower and flung it as far as he could. When he looked back at the little girl her eyes were open and fixed on him. “Mommy’s birthday flowers.” A small tear made its way down her cheek.
“I am so sorry, honey. I didn’t see you in time. What’s your name?” He tried to remain calm as he talked to her, knowing that the tears flowing down his face would give him away.
“Monica”, came her small reply.
“Where do you live, Monica? I want to go and get your Mommy for you.”
She slowly raised her hand and pointed to the hill in front of her. “Up there.”
Seconds later a police car pulled up next to Mark’s car, an ambulance close on its heels. In a matter of moments Mark and Monica were surrounded by four men, everyone talking at once. Mark managed to tell everyone the child’s name and where she said she lived. One of the police officers ran up the small hill and disappeared over the top. The 911 operator informed Mark that the paramedics were aware of the Angel’s Trumpets then disconnected, her services completed.
Chaos reigned supreme for only a few moments, it felt like an eternity. When Monica’s mother came running over the hill, the police officer trailing behind her, Mark thought that he would just die right then and there. His very soul was torn and broken. He has hurt a child. It didn’t matter that it was an accident; all that mattered was the result. His life would never be the same; he would never be the same.
It has been one month and one day since he hit Monica with his car. Today is the Fourth of July and Mark has just pulled up in front of the house that lay just over a small hill. He got out of his car and opened the trunk to retrieve the package he had in there. Suddenly he was grabbed from behind by two small arms. He was being attacked by a giggling and overly excited Monica.
Since she had not eaten any of the Angel’s Trumpets the only problem caused by the toxic flower was the over dilation of her pupils. The pollen had gotten into her eyes as she carried the flowers close to her face, making them “feel funny”. She was distracted by what was occurring with her eyes, afraid, and in a hurry to get home to her mother. She had not realized that she had made it to the road.
Luckily for all concerned, Mark’s car was almost at a complete stop before impact with Monica. The result: five stitches to close a cut on her head and a slight concussion. She had some minor scrapes and bruises as well, but she said that some of those happened when she ran across the road the first time and fell down into a pile of flowers.
He turned his attention to the giggling child, handing her the item he had taken from his trunk. She stared in awe at the tiny, pink, bell-shaped flowers of the Lilly of the Valley plant. “It’s okay, Monica, these bell flowers are not poisonous in any way.” Gifting him with a radiant smile, Monica grabbed the potted plant from him and hugged it close to her chest as she ran for the front door, hollering for her Mom the entire way. Mark had a huge grin on his face himself as he closed the trunk of his car and followed the child inside.
Mark was truly amazed how quickly things could change. A month ago he was a confirmed bachelor well on his way to making partner in the law firm he worked for. Now, he was also Monica’s “Uncle Mark”. The concept so difficult for him when he tried to understand it. So, most days he didn’t bother to try, most days he just accepted it: he was happier now. Go figure.