FFM16-31 The Wars of the Roses

Snowcap stood tall, its white petals gleaming in the morning light, as it examined its fiefdom. Lesser flowers toiled in the fields below, ploughing seedbeds, and tending to the nursery. Delivery flowers rode by on floral vespers, delivering new seeds, and collecting mulch for recycling. Snowcap enjoyed watching the peasants at work, from its high balcony, while the white rose banner fluttered from the flagpole behind it. Such a sight always managed to rouse a feeling of deep nostomania in Snowcap, as it remembered being a bud in the springtime, and all the lesser flowers bowed their heads at its beauty.

Snowcap did not however, get to enjoy the peaceful morning for long. A violent burst rattle down the hallways, and Desdemona burst out onto the balcony, petals perked and thorns raised.

“You, wilted, curly-leafed, deadhead,” Desdemona spat. “‘How dare you proclaim yourself the fairest in the land.”

Snowcap straightened, tossing its head and flicking one leaf. “I only spoke the truth. Some of us prefer elegance over an abundance of petals.”

Desdemona stiffened, thorns prickling and leaves all but curling at the edges. Raising one leaf, Desdemona slapped Snowcap with one of its gloves, dislodging a single white petal. Both roses stopped to watch the fragment of pure white fall, as it tumbled over the edge of the balcony.

Desdemona froze in pace, suddenly realising what had happened. The lesser flowers also stopped in their work to watch the petal fall as it tumbled towards the ground. Already, the essence of fulmination rumbled through the peasants, at the sight of such weakness from their leader.

“I’m sorry,” Desdemona said, recoiling a step.

Snowcap straightened, dusted itself off, checked its gloves and thorns, then swung a punch at Desdemona.

The other rose recoiled, spitting petals. “Alright, that’s it,” Desdemona snarled. “I’m making fertiliser out of you.”

Desdemona lunged at Snowcap, drawing a thorn. Snowcap caught the blow on a thorn of its own and the two sparred, trading blows, the sounds of thorn clanging against thorn echoing across the fields. Desdemona sung a punch of its own, catching Snowcap right on the bud. The other rose howled and swung back. The elegant exchange of strikes and parries dissolved into fisticuffs and traded insults.

“Brown leaf.”

“Split stem.”

“Poisoned thorn, wild creeper, with a bud made of hip oil.”

Snowcap shot a withering glare at Desdemona. “What’s in a name?” It said, nose in the air. “A rose by any other would smell as sweet.”

Desdemona scowled. “Aphid carrier.”

Snowcap recoiled. “That was too far.”

“And so is this!” Desdemona rushed Snowcap, shoving the flower right over the rail, where it tumbled with a single scream onto the fields below.

“As sweet indeed,” Desdemona said, watching the lesser flowers converge on their former leader. White petals littered the green fields as the cries slowly faded.


FlashFictionMonth day 31! The end at last.
Wordcount: 474

Bullet; White Write a story about a duel (instigated in the time honoured fashion of being slapped with a glove)
Bullet; White That prominently features white roses.
Bullet; White Set within a historically ambiguous timezone with misleading anachronisms sprinkled throughout
Bullet; White Making use of the words “fulminate”, “nostomania”, and “vespers”

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