Crimson’s Creative Challenge #69: Upended


Madge slipped into her boots and headed for the garden. The boots slipped back and forth on her feet, still heavy with mud from the previous day.

She’d always enjoyed this time of year. The spring pruning, the pot scrubbing, righting the gnomes upended by winter storms. There was an excitement to it, an anticipation of summer in the scent of compost and the rows of brightly coloured seed packets.

She hadn’t sown any seeds this spring. She wouldn’t see the cherry blossom break pink against a blue May sky. She wouldn’t sink her teeth into an apple fresh from her own tree. Those thoughts gave her a pang – who wouldn’t want just one more summer?

But the garden would grow lush without her, the bees would still come and visit the trees and plants she’d tended.

The world turned. And that was enough.


Written for Crimson’t Creative Challenge #69. See here to join in.


“I’m covered in bees!” ― Eddie Izzard


Thanks to Jane at Making it Write for nominating me for this challenge.

Papery temptation has been falling through my letterbox of late, flashing its bright colours at me like a roadside trollop’s knickers, luring me with its heady promise of soft, blousy afternoons.

No- it’s not a Victoria’s Secret catalogue, but literature of a muddier nature. I’m talking plants and seeds.

Problem is, I can’t stop myself. I have a postage stamp front garden, a patch of cat litter tray gravel at the back, but I just have to have more plants. These stamen-packed mags are all designed to manipulate the weak – so vibrant and dazzling, each perfect petal soft as velvet, warm as skin, sweetly scented as Palma Violets. The names are there to entice: Dizzy Heights, For Your Eyes Only, Awakening, Atomic Blonde… And they’re only the roses.

Experience should have taught me better- every chubby little root ball that enters the house becomes a leggy, slug-nibbled skeleton of its former self within weeks, my lack of horticultural skill in limp chloroplastic form.

I do it for them, you see. Those furry-arsed, nectar guzzling, pollen junkies… the bees. They need an oasis of floral voluptuousness in this urban sprawl, right? A haven where they can buzz and bumble and waggle-dance their stingers off.

That’s what I tell myself, as I hunch over those shiny pages, my back aching, squinting through the small print. And as I reach for my credit card I cry, ‘It’s for the bees, man. All for the bees.’

The Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge rules require you to post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. I have chosen to use photographs from Pixabay as I’m terrible at taking them myself! It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or simply a short paragraph – it’s entirely up to you.

Then each day, nominate another blogger to carry on this challenge.

Accepting the challenge is entirely up to the person nominated, it is not a command. Today, I’m inviting Samantha from fictionwriterwithablog to join the challenge.