The Floral Arrangement by Susan Gibb

“No, the other one, the little one,” she said.

“Si?” The man held up a rose-colored spray of flowers fit for a funeral.

“No,” she pointed, “the blue, azure, aqua, blue…”

She held the flowers as low as she could but still could not see well around them. Muttered “watch its” and “hey, look out!” synchronized with the bumping of bodies as she ran into one after another to make her way home through the twelve blocks of the city, up three flights of stairs.

She kicked the door closed, set the bouquet in the sink. “Shit.”

“What’s up?”

She turned to look at her lover. “I couldn’t get the flowers I wanted for the dinner table tonight because the man didn’t understand me.”

He came over and stared at the sink full of pink. “Sister?”

“Oh Lord, I didn’t even see that,” she said and she cut the glitter-written ribbon off the stems.

“You can cut them down,” he said, “fill about three vases.” He was laughing. “You’ll get it. These people understand you, they just pretend so they can sell something that costs more.”

The roast was burnt. The potatoes glazed with a hard air-dried shell. The string beans were thrown out after they’d waited two hours.

“Try again,” she said, and he punched in the redial. He nodded and mouthed, “ringing.” “Hello?” he said into the phone. His face changed and she knew something was terribly wrong.


Return to This Week’s Flash


Filed under Susan Gibb

13 responses to “The Floral Arrangement by Susan Gibb

  1. Oh dear … yes, sill mistakes in translation can be put into perspective by terrible understandings. I was not expecting the ending, which is good.

  2. Thanks, Matt! I was the afraid the ending was a bit trite, but nothing else came through for me.

    • i LOVE the ending because it makes me wonder and scratch my head. that’s the best thing in the world after a flash. well, next to some other things. like this a lot. nothing trite and i’m not being nice.

  3. great dark humor scenes – walking through a street with a bouquet that has a glitter-white funeral ribbon on. and then turning it into several flower arrangements.
    didn’t saw the ending coming.

  4. Robert Vaughan

    This flows beautifully and what a turn at the end…completely took me by surprise! Nice job.

  5. The turn is very well executed here.

  6. Kim Hutchinson

    Nicely done, Susan. I like the way the funeral ribbon leads to the burnt roast and finally the ending.

  7. guy

    I’m with Marcus wondering what might have been said and how it connects to what we have here. Come to think of it, that’s what we do when something is lost in translation: connect what might have been said to what is said. Clever.

  8. Oh no! I hope her guests are alright!

  9. Al McDermid

    Seems like a whole lot was lost. I love how you’ve worked in some many miscues, and I still don’t know what’s going on! Well-played.

  10. That ending came out of nowhere and I love it. All seems normally wrong, but then — woosh! Peace…

  11. Pingback: Week #27 – lost in translation « 52|250 A Year of Flash

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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