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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Spring (as in the season) (11/28/05)

TITLE: The Promise of a Rosebud
By Julianne Jones
12/02/05


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1990

Kalika turned from her position near the French doors. “The sun is shining, there’s no hint of rain, and the garden looks lovely.”

Jenna eyed her daughter. "You look lovely.”

“And not the garden?”

Jenna laughed. When Kalika had told her she wanted to be married in the garden in spring, Jenna had pleaded with her to wait until summer. The wisteria and daffodils would be out in spring, but it was in summer that Jenna felt the garden was truly beautiful.

There’d been no house when they’d first seen the garden - just an old arch that had been covered in vines. They had worked hard on the garden: Jenna tending the plants and Aaron building arbours and arches – not as skillfully and masterfully as the original from which he took his inspiration – but still beautiful in the spring when the vines came into bloom.

It wasn’t until the garden was complete that they’d turned their attention to building the house. Like other houses built after the war it was plain and box-like, but over the years they had extended it with another wing and added vine-clad pergolas to soften its facade.

Now spring had awaken the garden once more and their youngest was about to be married. Kalika had insisted on standing under the old arch with its canopy of wisteria and early roses when she recited her vows. Spring had always been special to Kalika. Perhaps it was because it had been in the spring when Kalika’s life had become inextricably woven with theirs …

*********


Jenna’s Diary, 1969

She is so tiny. I never thought a two-year-old could be so tiny. The social worker said she’d been neglected. … How could anyone neglect someone so tiny and helpless?

She reminds me of a rosebud filled with the promise of spring. We just need to know how to nourish her and water her and encourage her to bloom.

Are we up to the task? All we have to offer is our love. I hope it’s enough.


*********


“You’ll wear daddy’s pearls won’t you?”

Jenna tucked a few wisps of stray hair under Kalika’s headpiece before catching her daughter’s eye in the mirror. “I thought you could wear them.”

“Uh-oh. Daddy gave them to you for your thirtieth wedding anniversary. You should wear them. I’m going to wear the diamond rosebud he gave me for my twenty-first. It suits me better.”

*********


Jenna’s Diary, 1972

Kalika has a friend. A new family moved in next door: their son Nathan is three years older than Kalika. At first she took an instant dislike to him. I never thought I’d be pleased to see my daughter do such an un-lady-like thing as poke her tongue out. But he told her he was going to marry her some day and she poked her tongue out and turned and walked away! It’s the first sign of spirit I’ve seen in her.

Nathan’s mother’s ancestors settled in this area. I wonder if it could be the family who built the original homestead? I told her about the arch and how we’d restored it and the garden and she seemed pleased. I like to think that generations of that family live on.


*********


“Here,” Jenna tucked the sweetheart roses into the bouquet before placing it in Kalika’s hands and standing back to admire the effect. “Perfect.”

“Will he think so?” Kalika turned anxiously to the mirror.

Jenna smiled. “I know so.”

*********


Jenna’s Diary, 1989

Kalika and Nathan announced their engagement last night. I cannot begin to describe how pleased we are …

Nathan is like a tree – strong and solid, unbending in the face of the worst of life’s storms. Kalika is the rose that flourishes beneath his protective care. It is only fitting that they join their lives together.


*********


“Ready?”

Jenna looked to her husband standing in the doorway. He was still the most handsome man she had ever seen.

“You look beautiful,” he added.

Jenna blushed beneath his loving gaze.

“What about me daddy?” Kalika pretended to pout.

“You, my darling, look just like a newly opened rose. Gorgeous as always.”

Kalika laughed and kissed his cheek.

Aaron held out both arms. “Shall we go then?”

They placed a hand on each arm - the woman who had been his bride and the woman who was a bride - and he turned and led them out through the open doors, into the garden and toward the waiting guests.


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This article has been read 1125 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Pat Guy 12/06/05
Since I am the mother of a 'Rosebud' myself, this was especially touching to me. A beautiful story, written beautifully. I loved the interwoven lives and events. Beautiful!
Val Clark12/07/05
Beautiful description of the garden, could smell it. Sooo long since I've been in a spring garden! Roses don't thrive where I live. This is a delightful slce of life story of growth. Growth of a child and family, growth of love, growth of a home and garden. Loved it. Just one iddy biddy bit of info dumping: “for your thirtieth wedding anniversary... he gave me for my twenty-first.”
They would both know when they rec'd the gifts and wouldn't mention it in the conversation. Yeggy
Jan Ackerson 12/07/05
Very well done.
Sandra Petersen 12/08/05
This is so sweet and creatively composed. I liked the back and forth between last minute preparations and reflections on Kalika's wedding day and Jenna's diary. Nicely done!
Denise Stanford12/08/05
Oh this is lovely, like a painting that moves...
You handle the time lines very well...I wonder...for me it continues a story from last week... I'll have to wait and see if I'm imagining that!
Very pleasant reading, thank you
terri tiffany12/08/05
Very nicely laid out! This story flowed back and forth and I think you did a great job showing emotions!:)
Marilyn Schnepp 12/11/05
"And Spring had awakened the garden once more"..and such a lovely story of family, love, adoption and a Spring garden being the host at a wedding!
Such beautiful Thoughts flooded my mind as I read this piece...as it was a complete opposite of my, (I guess you might call it "dysfunctional") background; and the tears flowed from the beauty of it all. Great story! Kudos!
Shelley Snyder12/11/05
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I really enjoyed reading this and liked how you wove the diary entries into the piece...I love that sort of thing! Great job!!
Beth Muehlhausen12/12/05
Artfully crafted; deeply involving. Good job! I could "feel" the depth of relationship....
Suzanne R12/12/05
I love the way you go back and forth in time. This is just beautiful. You've described the setting so well that we're there, the family relationships can be felt, the symbolism is lovely too - well done.
B Brenton12/12/05
Wow. You do a lot with this style of writing Jules.
It brings out so much.
I would love to see a longer version.
Or all of these that you're writing like this in a collection sometime...
Intriguing
Julianne Jones12/13/05
Author's note: "Kalika" is a Greek name meaning "rosebud". I thought it was a particularly lovely name and suited the story. Thank you all for your kind comments.