Mrs. Ephemera entered the dining room; flashes of light sparkled from mobile phones aiming at capturing her amazed face in a photo. All her family was there, clapping at her.

She reached for the table gaining the place of honor behind the cake. Eighty little candles shone like golden fingers. Eighty spheres glittered reddish under the flames.

Cherries. Her memories came flooding back to seventy springs before.

She was ten; snow was falling. That was not snow! Under the cherry tree in her family’s backyard tiny flowers stretched downward; from long brown branches they caressed her temples like pinky locks of hair. “Please, let me meet a prince,” she whispered to the cherry blossom tree.

Fading sounds echoed in the distance, as if they came from another world. Cheers, laughs; then the song, happy birthday to y...

Back in her dining room she was standing behind the cake, surrounded by her grandnephews for the group photo. She blew out the candles.

The door slammed open; wind came rushing in. Happy birthday to you. Happy…, the song told; her grandnephews cheering up. Nobody else felt the wind, nor saw him entering the room.

Cherry blossoms in his hand, her prince was back. “Happy birthday, my lovely wife,” he whispered. Petals floated in the air landing on the cake.

“This cherry cake is delicious,” her youngest grandnephew exclaimed, his mouth full.

“Let me tell you how I met your grandfather,” Mrs. Ephemera said. “I was ten; our cherry tree was covered with thousands of blossoms. I made a wish before they fell… They were as beautiful and fragile as life is.” Then she whispered, “I seized that moment as the most precious thing. Everything is ephemeral; but if you catch beauty and love in your heart, your beloved ones will always be with you.”

The day after, her oldest grandnephew showed her a picture. The cake… the children… but those tiny flowers floating in the dining room? ‘As if from the ceiling a gentle prince’s touch shook an invisible cherry blossom tree,’ Mrs. Ephemera thought. Her nose upwards, she smiled.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
1 year ago

Beautiful story Santina and very nicely written.

Brigitta Hegyi
Brigitta Hegyi(@brigitta-hegyi)
1 year ago

Lovely story!  ? 

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Brigitta Hegyi
Brigitta Hegyi(@brigitta-hegyi)
Reply to  Santina Forlenza
1 year ago

Thank you!  ? 

Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
1 year ago

Brava Santina!! I like it so much, mi piace davvero! I could just feel the simple emotions during a nice party and the little undercurrents going through, the said, as well as the unsaid…

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Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
1 year ago

Lovely, Santina. And your original art work adds so much to the atmosphere.

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Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
1 year ago

Enchanting Santina and full of birthday magic!  ? 

Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti(@dipayan-chakrabarti)
1 year ago

As I read your story, I couldn’t help being not just nostalgic, but wistful too.

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Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti(@dipayan-chakrabarti)
Reply to  Santina Forlenza
1 year ago

No problem, Santina. It would be a privilege if the piece of cake is sliced by Mrs. Ephemera.

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Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti(@dipayan-chakrabarti)
Reply to  Santina Forlenza
1 year ago

You’re welcome.?

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
1 year ago

Hello Santina, what a lovely heart warming story, you said it beautifully – to be blessed with the beauty of the ones you have loved, and have been loved by, then you do carry it in your heart. A very emotive story. Well done!

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Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
Reply to  Santina Forlenza
1 year ago

I now know, thanks to you Santina, having thought a little more about the symbolism behind the birthday cake! The cake, the sharing of all the happy years, wishing you the same too.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
1 year ago

The name Ephemera and the word ephemeral stand out in the story. “Catch the moment” is the message of your story, Santana. Good piece of advice!

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Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
1 year ago

A beautiful story, Santina! It gave me goosebumps, happy ones, and I feel like I’m in the room with them. Well done 🙂

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Chris
Chris(@chris)
1 year ago

Greetings Santina – What a beautiful story! I especially like your line: “Everything is ephemeral; but if you catch beauty and love in your heart, your beloved ones will always be with you.

I look forward to reading more of your stories, and maybe hearing your voice recordings on the Voice.club ? !

Chris
Chris(@chris)
Reply to  Santina Forlenza
1 year ago

Santina – I am glad you enjoyed my articles about slowing down, and the study of piano. It is great to have this club, where I can practice my writing and get positive feedback. Also, you said “My sing-song Italian accent refraining me a bit“. Do not worry, as previously I tried to sing the old Italian song “Caro mio ben“, and my American accent did not sound very authentic – haha ?. I even bought a nice book to learn Italian, and someday, I hope to continue that pursuit. The main gift of the Voice.club is to enjoy language and writing, and improving our digital voice, as those are the bonds that connect all our friends here!

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Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
1 year ago

Hi Santina, the stories have been selected, but that should not mean that we do not have our own favourite ones. Yours was one of mine. We all see and take different things from the stories we read. I think yours had the right balance of sadness and happiness, all within a moment. Just one thing more, never presume, never listen to the ego. Just record your story – live in the moment before it is gone!

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Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
Reply to  Santina Forlenza
1 year ago

Always remember you become what you think. Just do it, if it makes it any easier, do it for the person that you love most.

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
Reply to  Eric Radcliffe
1 year ago

??? Let me know ????

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Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
Reply to  Santina Forlenza
1 year ago

2023> Still working on it Eric???

Last edited 1 year ago by Eric Radcliffe
Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

Hello, Santina. Your story is awesome, and the emotions are well balanced. I really feel it; I think I’m in the room with the whole family of Mrs. Ephemera celebrating with them. Plus your artwork makes it more interesting. It is a well-written piece. Hope to read more from you.

Last edited 1 year ago by Lotchie Carmelo
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