Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Will Bly would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Consolation of the Rose

By Will Bly All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Drama

Consolation of the Rose

He loved her dearly.

Just two kids from Long Island -- two lovers with a destiny. For thirty-five years they grew together. Built a marriage, a family, their dreams. She chose him first, of course, as the one with the sense of will and purpose -- the engine that would push them along to a nice house in a nice suburb with a dog and two children. A well-manicured lawn braced by patches of old forest. Neither one could understand the innate suburban drive to pave over all things wild with the green of a grassy lawn. A shed and a bird-feeder in the back. A little man-made pond, and voila: their patch of happiness completed.

It wouldn’t always be easy, of course. A son with a free spirit and a taste for trouble. A daughter disproportionately naive for her intellect. Getting laid off in his forties resulted in a real mid-life crisis. They argued, they fought. But they persevered. And they came through -- until the sickness happened. The first sickness.

They were told she might not walk again. They were told she might die. The disease was rare -- of course -- rare in a way that it could only be given to them and survived by them. They were told she might die. She didn’t. She retired but she didn’t die. She made a new business -- a business she could manage through the residual pain of survival. Reflexology, wellness, consultation. She put her time in the local breast cancer support groups. What was left of herself she gave to others.

And then she got sick a second time. Fourth stage, non-primary origin cancer. He really didn’t get what it all meant. Again, she’s sick again? It was another bump in the road to happiness. A bump the size of Everest, but she had the will to take it on. She took it on for her family and friends. She took it on for herself. She wanted to see her kids get married. She wanted to meet her grandkids.

She saw her kids get married. She met her grandkids. It took everything she had. He sat next to her and they looked at each other in silence. Understanding passed between them, the sort of understanding that only a bonded pair could feel. She lay down and he knew she wouldn’t get up again. She spent the next week making her peace, saying her goodbyes with her family and friends, and then passing quietly from our world.

The wake and funeral came and went. Numbness mixed with pangs of intense, unbearable pain. Everything too soon and too fast. Too many plans left unfinished, so many places left unvisited. So much life left unlived.

He now stood next to the fresh dirt of her grave. The flowers still looked flush with virility, bright yellows like the sun. He stood alone. But he wasn’t alone.

A terrifying phantom stood across from him. Black, shapeless, tall and menacing. His heart seized in terror to think this creature of the shadows lurked near her grave. From the inside of the shadows came a red rose.

The shadow creature told him that the rose was magic. All he had to do was dig up his beloved and waved the rose beneath her nose three times. Then he’d have her back. She’d wake with a gasp as if from sleeping, normal and healthy as ever.

Needing to hear no more he turned deaf, broke into the cemetery’s storage shed and grabbed a shovel. He attacked the loose dirt with the ferocity of vengeance. He would have her back. The end was no longer the end. Dirt filled his nose and choked his lungs, he worked so fast. His arms and back burned with strains that reminded him of his urgency. All that she had been to him he put into getting her back. Her power of will and her strength became his. He felt awake with purpose.

“Rick, stop.”

He looked up from the hole in which he now stood. “But I’m so close.”

She stood above him cloaked in a translucent glow. “You can’t.”

“Why not? We could have you back.”

“You might, but then another would get sick. There’s only so much room for life and death in our world. One must be traded for the other.”

“But why should we accept this? How can I? If I have the chance to bring you back -- why wouldn’t I?”

“Because the strongest backs bear the heaviest burdens, my love. My burden is finished. You have to endure yours.”

He stuck his shovel into the dirt and was met with the hollow thud of the casket. “But you’re right here!”

“I’m much closer to you than that. I’m in and around your heart, keeping your soul warm when it feels coldest.”

Tears tumbled down his cheeks. “It’s too hard.”

“Let go of the grudge, the anger. Make amends with the shadow. Kiss my grandchildren for me. Hug our son and daughter. Set up the camper and breathe the salt air of the ocean. Live, my love, for both of us.”

He threw down the shovel, climbed from the hole, and sat at its edge. He wanted to take her in his arms, but he knew she wouldn’t be there. So he looked at her and she met his gaze. They shared the same understanding as when he laid her down for her final rest. She said no more as she walked from him into the forest. Beyond that forest was the sea. Beyond the sea danced the Northern Lights. Beyond them floated all the planets of the solar system. Beyond that sparkled the galaxy, and further still the edge of the universe laid in wait.
Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Will Bly
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

ga1984: I really enjoyed it! Characters were deep and plot was pretty complex. A bit on the violent side but it doesnt detract from the story. Very dark but situations make sense. Ends kinda abruptly and later chapters will need some editing work. I'm assuming there's more in the works?

Carolyn Hahn-Re: I really liked this story! The writing was well done, and the plot was suspenseful. I couldn't stop reading chapter after chapter, on the edge of my seat! The characters were well developed, and true to form. Thank you so much for this wonderful read.

Marijana1: The melancholy present throughout this story has the power to influence and etch into the minds of the readers, to stay there and refuse to leave even after they have finished reading the story. This is a deep, powerful story, making the readers wonder about everything – about love, about their e...

Felisa Yoder Osburn: I really enjoyed the story. Civil War stories are some of my favorites and the intertwining of the past with current times was wonderful. I look forward to reading the next stories.

Elizabeth Robbins: 4.5 starsAs far as apocalypse stories go, this one took a new direction. I'm glad someone finally addressed the need for a vampire apocalypse! This is sort of a multi-genre festival of delights. With hints of forced societies, vamps, hunters, romance, apocalypse, government conspiracy, and thrill...

Schaelz: I was intrigued from the second I started reading, and it kept my interest the whole way through. Chelsea has a way with words that will enchant you until the very end. She is very poetic with the way she mixes genres and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The main character is also very relat...

JWalker: I loved this story from start to finish! It flows at a really nice pace and the story world feels so real. The fight sequences are a treat especially when Isanfyre is training to become a warrior. I found the names really cool and thankfully easy to pronounce. Personally I have always struggled w...

Alice Liu: Whoa! I've been wondering how would the Maurauders react to Harry's life and here we go! YOU ARE THE BEST! All the characters are consistent with their personalities shown in the book! I love how you compare Lily with Molly and it's definitely true for her being a mother! I wish Peter comes have ...

jessiehs: This was absolutely amazing. I loved how it went back and forth between perspectives. I actually cried at the end I was so happy. This was amazing. I can't even think of another word to describe it. Thank you for writing his.

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!
King's Lament

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!
Spectra

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."