The Rose Stem

rose stem

© Marie Gail Stratford

The rose stem was another sign that the world was shutting down, except that a small spider had chosen to use it as a platform for dining. The grass was still green but all of the leaves were making their stately transition to reds and golds. He was entering another autumn as he continued through the autumn of his life. He could hear his grandchildren screeching and giggling as they playfully chased each other across the lawn. They were his spring now, no matter how bitter the coming winter.

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields photo writing challenge. The idea is to use the image at the top to inspire the creation of a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is (amazingly) 89.

I looked up “rose stem” on Google and only came up with a skin cream. The blossoming of roses is variable but generally they bloom from mid-spring through fall. The scene reminded me of the beginning of autumn here, still pleasantly warm days with a bite in the night air.

So I chose to write another “Grandpa” tale about the “life cycle.” Not much drama to be sure. Just a few moments of reflection as winter continues its relentless march toward an eventual spring outside of my home.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to

64 thoughts on “The Rose Stem

  1. Lovely story.
    You know, James, leaving the reader to interpret your story is part of the fun… We writers sometimes discover that our readers see things we never thought of…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Our children and grandchildren are our future. In them nature offers us comfort. I enjoyed being allowed to contemplate life through this piece of flash fiction.


  3. I like the way you hint at a bitter winter. It adds another dimension to the usual autumn of the years image. By the way, I’ve just found a whole batch of your comments in my spam folder. I wasn’t ignoring you 🙂 Now I have to try and remember which posts they are attached to so i can reply!


  4. It’s not only through children that our lives continue when we have moved on but also our contributions that have impacted those around us. A lovely contemplative story. Reflects thoughts that one faces at the winter of their lives.


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