It was on a bright summer’s day that Phil proposed to Rose. “My mother gave birth to me in the fall,” he said. “Let’s get married on my birthday! It would be a good omen! Autumn is the period for harvesting nature’s gifts.”

During the following months, he kept cultivating her feelings for him with nutritious words, “You remind me of my mother. She was outstanding!”

Phil had stayed with his mother until her death. Before that, women were nothing but weed to him. “You’re the first woman I’ve met,” he told Rose, “who has my mother’s beauty, warmth, and kindness.” 

He showered her with valuable presents: his mother’s old pieces of jewelry, her quality purses and her branded clothing. He took her to his mom’s favorite restaurants, where he would talk about how his mother had kept their house as a garden sanctuary. Now, he needed a Rose as its centerpiece, he joked. 

She was overwhelmed by all his praise and admiration. After an unhappy childhood, she was starving for love and attention. No other man had worshipped her the way Phil did.

She wouldn’t have to work, he promised. In fact, it would be better if she, like his mother, dedicated all time and effort to him and their home. Other tasks and other people would distract her. 

Since Phil was a kind, good-looking, and romantic man, Rose promised to do her best to fulfill his wishes.


Winter came early that year. The autumn morning, when they celebrated their wedding and, simultaneously, Phil’s 42nd birthday, was as crisp as a winter’s day. Only the two of them and the pastor were present in the little countryside church that his mother had loved so much.

“Harvest time …” Rose pondered, as the pastor announced, “You may kiss the bride.”  

A second before their lips met, Rose saw something in Phil’s eyes that she hadn’t noticed before. It scared her and gave her the feeling that she was marrying a total stranger. 

As they kissed, an inner voice whispered, “… and where there’s a harvest, there’s a reaper. Sometimes, a grim reaper …”

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Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
8 months ago

There are red flags throughout, but she was too love starved to realise. Cannot wait to read part 2.

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
8 months ago

What a great story, Christer! I can understand Rose falling under Phil’s spell. Showering her with compliments when she had been starved of affection would have warmed her soul. But I tend to think that ignoring the red flags in relation to his unhealthy obsession with his mother will be her undoing. As your last two paragraphs allude to. I see there is a Part 2 to this story. Can’t wait to… Read more »

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
8 months ago

Oh no, Christer. It is very unhealthy in a relationship if one still has an obsession with his mother. His obsession might result in a comparison between the mother and the wife. I can’t wait to read part 2.

Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
8 months ago

Oh wow, Christer! It wasn’t a little alarm bell I heard when she looked into his eyes but cathedral’s bells tolling a dire warning!!!
A mommy’s boy and a narcissist, that’s my take so far…

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