Joe looked forward to his cup of tea in the beautiful surrounds; the Retirement Village he now called home was a good place to live.
He hoped that the new owners of the house he had shared with Joy for the last sixty years appreciated their garden.  After Joy’s death the sale had been inevitable. Joe was aware that his health was deteriorating at a faster rate than expected, but only he knew how hard he had held on for the last few years. It was a relief to be able to gently let go.
He had given Joy all he was capable of giving. Her dream garden was the envy of all her friends. He had toiled long hours to make it perfect, laughing when she accused him of ‘hiding’ amongst the flowers. It was the most precious gift he was capable of giving and he knew it had made her happy. He hoped it had been enough.
Turning to put the teacup on the bench, his eyes were drawn to the beautiful plum tree, its blossoms like blood on the snow. Memory coursed through him. They had been so young; two soldiers, children seeking excitement. Frank had found in Joe a brother but Joe had found in Frank so much more. Lying close together in the trenches, Frank would talk of the future, his sweetheart Joy always on his lips. Joe was content to just be close.
As memories stirred again, Joe’s eyes filled with tears. Blood on the snow! That final day as he had crawled towards his friend, his ears had captured the words spoken with Frank’s last breath. He had accepted the charge; of course he would care for Joy.
Joe brushed away the tears and smiled. It had been a good life. Joy had realized early how things stood, and a lie had been unnecessary. They had spent a lifetime together loving their garden, and loving and remembering the same man.
He sighed quietly, his eyes drawn once more to the plum blossoms. He hoped their reunion would come quickly.
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    Katerina Bizirtsaki
    Katerina Bizirtsaki(@katerina-bizirtsaki)
    3 years ago

    Such a bittersweet story! I love how you associated plum blossoms with blood on snow. Very imaginative!

    3 years ago

    “Blood on the Snow” has all the elements of success: a memorable title that pulls the reader in, sensitivity and caring, a story that spans a life well lived, in spite of pain and loss. What a great job you did – thank you for a good read that stays in the memory for a long time.

    Eric Radcliffe
    Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
    3 years ago

    Hi Mary, a sad story with hope and friendship in it, expressed through the eyes of nature. A very tender story,

    musing mind
    musing mind(@musing-mind)
    3 years ago

    Very touching story.

    Susan Dawson
    Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
    3 years ago

    Really well written. It took me a second reading to further grasp all the aspects of everyone’s love. The plum blossom was the second fleur prompt I came across this year and at first I wondered how I could write about that. It is the evocative red on white that made that month’s stories I feel.

    sanika chatterjee
    sanika chatterjee(@sanika-chatterjee)
    3 years ago

    Kept me wondering till the end.Beautifully written!! Keep going!

    Melissa Taggart
    Melissa Taggart(@melissa-taggart)
    3 years ago

    Such a beautiful story. Evoking a number of different emotions within me. You have a real talent; this story is rich in both love and loss.

    Keep up the great work!

    Carrie OLeary
    Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
    2 years ago

    I love how you don’t reveal all at the beginning, Mary. The caring and the shared sadness made such a touching story. Nicely written.

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    2 years ago

    I agree with the comments above. It is a very touching story that was expressed through plum blossoms and blood on the snow. Well written.

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