Sunday, 19 August 2012

Short Story: A Rose By Any Other Name Is Still A Rose

Hi everyone! This is a short story I just cranked out today and it's the first draft.  I'd really like some feedback on it, whether you're a published writer or not.  I've never written a short story before, so my first attempt might be pretty brutal and/or a total fail, so yeah.  I'm still a little concerned with the ending.  I want to know if there's any point to it or if it's just stupid. Please give me some feedback--not only positive comments but also things I could work on.  i'd really, really appreciate that. thank you. :)

The Story:
My eyes fixed on the creamy pink rose in front of me, I let my eyelashes flutter closed and will my mind to think.  My fingers just barely touch the silky petals, and it is so silent that it felt loud, like I was at a party where all the voices blended together into one steady hum.  Next, I can hear the water bubbling underneath the rose, and the world bursts into a colorful maze of pinks, creams, light reds, and even hints of lavender. When I open my eyes, the colors disappear and in their place was the rose, just that one rose, looking simple and quaint, much unlike the worlds it produced.  Again, I will myself to think.
      Not now. It was getting late.  Soon, dinner would be ready and I wouldn't have time to wish for anything before dinner. Someone would surely find me and declare me a psychopath, which I don't think would be saying something entirely wrong.  I held off with the urge to think.
      Thinking.  It was an odd concept.  Every woman and every man in the entire world was thinking something, and yet people talk about people who don't think wisely as if they don't think at all.  It always baffled me a bit, because when my mother declared that my brother didn't "think" after going skateboarding on the highway when he'd never touched a skateboard before, I had told her confusedly, "Of course he thought. He just wasn't thinking well." I suppose it's all a bit confusing to someone who's reading this, but you don't have to read it if you don't understand it.
    My sister, Delphine, comes into the room at that moment. "Camilla, dinner's ready." I blink one more time to adjust my eyes to the normal world, nodded at Delphine, and scampered down the stairs a few minutes later, my mind still swirling with the maze of rosy colors. I thought to myself if anyone in my family had the same power as me, if it could even be classified as "power".  I'd never told anyone about what I could do--to wish for anything I'd like and it would come true, after those rushes of colors.
   My power--or, I guess I'll call it "gift" for now--has its limits.  I can't wish for anything otherworldly, or weird, like for my dog to know how to talk or something ridiculous like that.  Strange wishes such as that are childish, anyway.  I would never wish for that, because it would be a little creepy if my dog could talk, let's be honest.  I can wish for things that normal people could get any day (if they were extremely lucky). The wish has the power to make my parents to believe that they have let me have this particular thing, so that they are not shocked when I bring home, say, a large sum of money. It always makes me laugh to see them in this state, even though I know it's awful of me.
   Dinner passes by in a blur, as things always do after I make a wish--or even if I don't, just let the power of the rose sink in.  I can distantly hear my younger brother, Henry, talking about school that day, but I don't really pay attention to what he was says.
   Delphine is almost exactly a year older than I am, which means she's fourteen. We've always been civil to each other but not very close.  We've never fought but we also don't do sisterly things, such as paint our nails together or have a sister's day out, like some sisters.  I've never understood why we don't connect much, because we're very similar, in terms of our manners.  We're both very quiet and don't speak often. We even look alike--the same honey blond hair, small mouths, porcelain complexion, and sea-blue eyes. Though I guess we are very different--I can wish off a rose and she can't. Not that I know this for a fact, but I'm almost positive it's true.  I'm sure I'm the only one in my family with this really weird power.
   After dinner, as I'm walking up the stairs, I catch a glimpse of Delphine sitting at her desk, mumbling something, which isn't rare--she talks to herself quite a bit more than normal people do.  But when I see her eyes fluttering open and closed, and her hand positioned midway through the air, my heart stops beating.  And that's when I see the rose.
   This rose is purple, but not a deep, harsh purple.  A beautiful lavender, almost as beautiful as my immortal pink rose. The door is open just a crack, so I stand there silently (I hope silently!) and watch her as she sits in the same position I do every time I make a wish.  My heart turns two times inside my chest.  I feel as if I might faint, or hurl, or both.  I can't make my mouth say words. Finally, I manage, "Delphine?" in a half-whisper, but she hears me.
   Whirling around, her eyes look bright but terrified.  "Yes?" she says as casually as she can, trying to hide the rose behind her back, but I can still see a few petals peeking out.
   "You're--the rose--wish?" I manage, and she understands what I'm saying.
   "How do you know?" she whispers, her eyes still dreamy and wistful, no doubt from the wish she just made. But her mouth is fixed in a frown, as if she's not sure what to make of this situation.  I'm not, either, so I can hardly blame her.
   I let my breath out and explain.  Explain that we have the same power and that I never knew where I got it, just stumbled upon it one day when I was six or seven or eight. And that I had no idea that she had the power too and that I wondered if our other siblings had it too.  She's just nodding her head this entire time, backwards in her rolling chair to her desk, her eyes not looking at me, but at the floor.  Even though she's not looking at me, I can tell she's hanging on to every word I'm saying.
  "Yes," she finally says when I'm finished explaining. "I did suspect someone else in this world had the same power as I did.  But I never thought it would be you." I'm not sure whether I'm offended or not at the last part of her speech.
   "Well, I thought I was the only one in the world," I say, and there's the first moment of silence where we reflect on what we've just learned about each other.
   "Oh, I'm so glad someone knows," she finally says.  "It's always been a weight on my shoulders and now I feel like it's gone. You too?"
    "Yes," I agree. How can I not agree? She is perfectly right.
    As Delphine and I sit there, sisters who have never connected before, I begin to realize something.  Sisterhood is a strange thing.  Yet it is a wonderful thing.  Sisters have more in common than they realize.  Although this story has no conflict, and it's technically no story, both of us realize the power of our power.  And though no one has confirmed it, we KNOW are the only two in the world with this gift--not only the gift of wishing, but also the gift of being sisters.


  1. Wonderful, wonderful short story Annie! I'm no expert, but I've read a lot of books, and I've got to admit, your writing is just fantastic! The way you described the rose in the beginning... it was like I was touching it myself!

    If I had to choose one improvement, it would be to get Delphine more involved in the beginning. Like that, I think the ending would make more sense, because I felt like I didn't know Delphine enough.

    But all in all, amazing story! I really enjoyed reading it, and I hope you post more of them!

    -Grace :)

  2. Thank you so much for your feedback! Good point--I should introuduce Delphine better. thanks for commenting. :)


  3. Adorable story. But at the end, you ended up telling, not showing.
    In the middle as well. You could show how they avoid each other subtly, and don't really know each other. Anyway, good start.

    XOXO Kim

    1. yeah that was exactly what I was thinking, that I needed to show a little more rather than tell. thank you for your feedback!!

      -Annie :)

  4. I am not a writer... but I really enjoyed reading this short story and I find it soo sweet. Somehow I was hoping that it would be a little longer.. I am waiting for another story made by you, Annie :)

    Love, Katie
    Fashion Coma


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