Rose Queen

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Rodney burst through the front door alerting his mother to the fact he had returned home from school safely, but was greeted with no reply. He roamed purposely throughout the two-story house in search of his mother, finally catching a glimpse of her out of the large bay window in the dining room. Regally, she reclined in a black wicker chair like a queen on her throne bathing in the perfumed scent of the rose garden she lovingly tended to everyday without fail. Rodney drank in the intoxicating sweetness of the roses, quietly approaching his mother so as not to startle her.
Gladys didn’t seem to notice Rodney’s presence at first until the arm of his blue cable-knit sweater caught on a rose thorn and the tree branch snapped off falling silently to the ground. Leaping up from her chair she cried out, aghast. “I told you never to touch my babies and now look what you’ve done!” Gladys rushed to the rose bush to assess the damage caused by her son’s carelessness. Where roses once bloomed in all their splendor, now only barren, skeletal stems remained. Petals strewn on the ground whirled aimlessly about the garden in the wind. With remorse, Rodney knelt beside his mother who sat stone-faced in her chair; a silent tear emerging from the corner of her eye. Gladys reprimanded her son in a disapproving manner. “As Queen of this Court, my royal subjects demand justice. You will pay dearly for your wrong doing. Retribution is at hand, Rodney.”
Clutching a garden spade in her hand, Gladys delivered four sharp blows to the boy’s body, until he fell lifelessly to the ground. A solitary arm dangled upon a bruised branch of the rose bush raining droplets of blood as though to nourish the soil below. Next, Gladys picked up her pruning shears savagely tearing pieces of flesh loose from Rodney’s skin. Content with the job she’d done, Gladys smiled proudly at the thick strips of flesh adorning the rose bush where her prized flowers had once bloomed. “There you are, my lovelies. Oh wait, there’s more!” she cried enthusiastically. Gathering up the rest of her son’s dismembered body, she planted it carefully beneath the soil; a feast for the flowers to delight in.
The loyal queen of her court bowed before her royal subjects pledging to honor and obey them as long as she remained in their service. “There is another surprise in store for you,” she promised. “I have a guest coming to the garden tomorrow and the seeds of her soul shall be yours as well.” Gladys began to giggle, and then broke into uproarious laughter. She was laughing so hard she could hardly speak. “It’s almost too good to be true. How fitting that your next royal feast goes by the name of Rose.”


  1. I am very familiar with the work of Alexis Child. It’s a pity that you printed her name incorrectly. She is a brilliant author of Gothic horror poetry. In this short story she encapsulates a moment of sheer horror in an everyday setting. Bravo!

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