Kat Stiles is the readers’ choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge.
The winning entry is rewarded with a special feature here today and a place in our collection of winners which will be published as an eBook at year end.
Without further ado, here’s the winning entry:
Flowers for Free
by Kat Stiles
“It’s for Angela,” Brad rationalized, as he plucked a few of Mrs. Broomfield’s pink flowers. A malodorous scent wafted up, which he guessed was the fertilizer. He glanced up at the old woman on the porch. Still fast asleep.
Brad chose the most vibrant blooms. He figured nine should be enough but not so much that Mrs. Broomfield would notice.
He plucked the last stem and gathered them in a bunch. “Angela’s going to love these.”
“No doubt,” Mrs. Broomfield said. She stood directly in front of Brad, her gray eyes fixed on the flowers.
He staggered back. “Oh, I…uh, I’m sorry, you were sleeping—”
“It’s quite all right, dearie.” A tired smile formed on her lips. “Please, you must come in for some tea.”
Brad felt more than a pang of guilt. Though anxious to get home to Angela, he was caught taking flowers. “Of course.”
Mrs. Broomfield led Brad into her home and to the kitchen.
“Always have some ready.” She poured him a small cup and handed it to him, on a saucer.
Brad took a sip and smiled politely. He looked around the quaint kitchen. A monstrously large meat grinder sat on a dedicated table in the corner of the room. What was that next to it…a dog collar with tags?
“That’s quite a meat grinder you got there,” Brad said nervously. He felt his muscles twitch. His vision became hazy.
“Growing flowers takes patience,” Mrs. Broomfield said. “And an awful lot of fertilizer.”