Better Off Red

Better Off Red

All he could do was watch in complete silence as the pretty red petals fluttered away into the night.

published on November 23, 201713 reads 11 readers 0 not completed


It’s hard to stand still sometimes.
He’d known this since his first day on the job. But this compared to nothing he’d ever experienced.
The soldier stood quietly at his post, staring distantly at the face of the clock tower. A white paper mask hung over his face, splatters of crimson blood decorating it from the inside out. It’d been three days since he’d awoken to the flowers, blossoming within his chest and tearing him apart from the inside out.
He listened quietly to the honks of distant car horns and waited for the clock’s next chime.
Everything felt heavier as the seconds went on. With each tick of the clock tower, he felt his rifle sagging in his grip. He felt the black hat that he wore, heavier than it had ever been, sinking over his face. His entire uniform, felt so much heavier than it’d ever been.
He felt his stomach lurch and he brought a hand to his face and pulled down the mask.
Red roses fluttered through his parted lips and slowly fell onto the red ground beneath his feet. A soft breeze swept them away, and he watched as they rolled into the distance, so beautiful, yet such a pain. A trail of red blood was left behind as the petals gracefully flew away. He pulled his mask back up and brought himself back to attention, just before the chime of the clock bells.
He gave a shaky sigh of relief and began to walk towards the gates, hanging his head and lowering the mask again. This time, he brought his hands to his mouth and brought up another blood-painted rose.
A small smile tugged at his lips as he inspected the flower. He admired each beautiful petal, and each pointed thorn. It seemed to match perfectly with his scarlet tunic and even the rose-shaped badges on his epaulettes.
He found it hard to believe that something so beautiful was causing him so much pain. And would, eventually, kill him if he didn’t do something about it.
He glanced up into the night and sighed heavily, his throat ragged from the thorns of the plants shredding his throat. A cough tore through his body, and all he could do was watch in silence as the pretty red petals soared away into the night.
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