a field of daisies
When Elizabeth was a child, her mother compared her to a daisy.
And every time Elizabeth giggled and smiled at her beautiful mother. “What does that mean, Mama?” She asked, twirling and holding the hem of her lilac summer dress as they played in the large flower field behind the small cottage their family of two called home.
“You, my little baby girl, are a daisy because of your innocent, youthful, purity.” Her mother responded, twisting the daisies Elizabeth had helped her collect into flower crowns for her daughter and herself.
Elizabeth frowned thoughtfully, her head tilting sideways and her chocolate brown eyes tightening with adorable confusion. “But you’re pretty too, Mama!”
Elizabeth’s mother just smiled, her emerald eyes twinkling, as she entwined the last daisy on her own crown. She placed one elegantly on top of Elizabeth’s long brown curls and pinched her slightly chubby cheek. The younger brunette fell backwards and squealed, drawing a small laugh from her mother before the woman with long mocha locks, similar in color to Elizabeth’s, put her crown on the same way.
Elizabeth frowned and readjusted her delicate crown so it was angled sideways. “No, no, no,” she chanted as she fixed her mother’s crown of daisies too.
The small girl clapped and giggled with glee once she’d fixed it. “There!” She exclaimed happily. “All better.”
Elizabeth’s mother chuckled before taking her daughter by surprise, tackling the little girl to the ground on their picnic blanket and laughing along with her now squealing daughter. They laughed and laughed and cried tears of pure joy together because in that field of flowers, only happiness and love existed.
“I married your father in this field, you know.” Elizabeth’s mother remarked randomly as they laid on their backs together and looked at the pearly white clouds that swam through the bright blue sky.
Elizabeth smiled and turned to face her mother. “Was daddy prettier than you?” She asked and her mother laughed, a bell-like sound that made Elizabeth want to join in.
“Oh yes. He was much prettier than me, my little daisy. We were wedded on this exact spot, too.” She responded, smiling nostalgically at the gorgeous little girl she loved so dearly.
“But why isn’t daddy here anymore?” Elizabeth pondered. She was a curious child, always searching for the answers to things she did not yet know. Wanting to know everything so she could help her mother with the things that even the educated woman herself did not.
Elizabeth’s mother frowned slightly and turned to look back at the clouds. She pointed at one after a moment of quiet rustling of the tall grass and flowers that surrounded them. “Look, Elizabeth, that one looks like an elephant!”
Elizabeth, momentarily distracted by the imaginary cloud elephant, forgot about her mysteriously absent father and giggled. “No, that’s a himofatomus!” She exclaimed, needing to fix her mother’s dire mistake.
Elizabeth’s mother laughed at the pronunciation, but did not correct the little girl; glad she’d forgotten why her father had left when Elizabeth was a child. Glad she did not have to answer the question just yet, knowing how dangerous it was to be curious. “Yes dear, you’re right. Do you see the little kitty over there?” She asked, pointing to a large white cloud shaped like a bear.
Over time, Elizabeth’s mother had grown to understand how her daughter viewed the world, and was determined to protect that as much as she could. For innocence was one of the most important aspects of childhood, and Elizabeth was only a child. A beautiful daisy that her mother could not help but admire, enjoying the way Elizabeth saw the world so much differently than she did.
Elizabeth grinned at her mother and nodded. “But it looks more like a big scary kitty than a cute tiny one.”
Elizabeth’s mother smiled and replied, “You are exactly right, my little daisy.”
When Elizabeth was several years older, after she lost her mother, she would sit alone on the side of cobblestone roads, both hands cupping her mud and tear-streaked face. Elizabeth frowned sadly as she remembered those treasured times when she would giggle with her mother like there was no tomorrow. Times where they would dance and sing like they had an audience and wear their flower crowns and pretend to be royalty. Times where they would spend the entire day in the field of flowers, giggling and singing until they couldn’t stand their dry throats and empty stomachs a moment longer.
She frowned at these memories of happier times with her beautiful mother and the blossoms. The flowers she had learned the names to and helped sell to people in her town on market days with her mother. The days they laid on a picnic blanket and found shapes in the clouds, or nights when Elizabeth’s mother showed her the constellations in the stars and Elizabeth renamed them because she thought the names were outrageously ridiculous.
Elizabeth was saddened by the happy memories because she missed them. She always wondered why she couldn’t keep enjoying the company of her mother. No longer could Elizabeth spend days with her mother amongst flowers and himofatomus-shaped clouds and the stars that occasionally carried wishes across the universe, all because of a few simple coughs and the slowing of a bleeding heart. Elizabeth frowned and she wondered why.
Why did the field of immortal daisies have to die?
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