Ferns by Susan Tepper

So many ferns in bright porcelain pots and woven baskets. They seem to take the air out of the room. A narrow room with double doors— what people used to call a parlor. It seems to have lost its function in modern times, aloof and lonely in this house of other rooms, where people probably watch TV and listen to music and have snacks. Or maybe even read a book sometimes. This room is like an old Grandma left behind in a house full of screaming toddlers. You’d like to sit down on the wicker settee near the windows. It seems to be calling you, a voice unseen, a body not heard from, gone, not from you, yet gone all the same since no one can see or remember. You touch the fern leaves. Lacy, fan-like; recalling how he loved you back then.

.

Return to This Week’s Flash

10 Comments

Filed under Susan Tepper

10 responses to “Ferns by Susan Tepper

  1. ‘They seem to take the air out of the room.’ Is that what happened in the relationship too? I like the idea of a room speaking its history to you, without the corny aid if ghosts …

  2. Beautifully done, Susan. It leaves that soft “Oh” in me at the end.

  3. randalhoule

    I love the nostalgia woven into the six sense here. I would trade my laft screen for a parlor anyday.

  4. Strong landing. I wasn’t ready for the ending, but it fits perfectly.

  5. guy

    I have heard that the parlour was reserved for wakes, i.e., the display of the dead.

  6. Beautiful poignancy to this story. The way the ferns draw the air out of the room. Peace…

  7. such a good image for a place: “This room is like an old Grandma left behind in a house full of screaming toddlers.”
    and yes, the ending. took me by suprise, and felt so real for it, like a hidden emotion suddenly springing open.

  8. This felt nostalgic to me. I could almost smell Grandma’s house.

  9. Pingback: Week #21 – Unseen « 52|250 A Year of Flash

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s