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My lilac tree was in full bloom. Twelve years earlier, I had brought the sapling from our rented house and planted it, by the garage, of our newly purchased home. It now had a sturdy thick trunk which supported dozens of luscious deep purple blossoms. Snipping the stalks, I was filled with joyful anticipation of my home being filled with the heavenly aroma. As I came up the back stairs, laden with branches, my drunken husband blocked the doorway. "I don't want them in the house. The smell bothers me", he grumbled.

My marriage was over.

"Tigers bloom where there's oodles of room." Zodiac Zoo

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The following comments are for "Rights of Spring"
by Pen

Hi Pen, Concise and to the point. My guess is that the marriage was over before the lilac incident. She was so happy and her drunken husband made her life somewhat miserable by the sounds of it.

Was this the last straw before she made the final decision or confirmed in her mind it was over? is spring a time of new beginnings? I like the change of mood from the beginning to the end.
Good writing!

( Posted by: sandra [Member] On: May 7, 2011 )

On Burning Scent

Not much luck with the lilac
Not what some hearts desire
Then spruce it up with pine
Then watch out for the fire

Good to have a sharp memory
when you see the funny side

( Posted by: Fairplay [Member] On: May 7, 2011 )

Sandra & Fairplay
Sandra - thanks for stopping by and yes, the marriage was over prior to this incident but it hadn't been realized. The issues of control and stealing joy are fundamental in this story. While the category is flash 'fiction' the vignette isn't. Getting the message across in less than 100 words is a great exercise in brevity. If I'd delved into the smell of stale beer and cigarettes contrasting the intoxicating bouquet it would have, in my opinion, had less of an impact.

Fairplay - My lilac tree, which I had to leave behind when I moved to the island, was one of my few horticultural success stories. When I bought my place over here I didn't realize I had an absolutely magnificent star magnolia tree in my front yard. It's still in bloom and gives me immense pleasure each spring. I have lilac bushes too but they don't hold a candle to that tree with the foot long deep purple blooms on E. 26th.

I too, like the humour of this piece.

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: May 7, 2011 )

Communication Breakdown
what we fail to and/or don't grasp about each other, even after many years together..

what and when we decide to share and/or express..and why..

"My lilac tree.."
"..our rented house"
"..our newly purchased home"
" home"
"He "grumbled", "I don't want them in [the] house."
"My marriage was over."..interesting progression

There's an extensive study within this compressed offering.

( Posted by: Bobby7L [Member] On: May 7, 2011 )

Very astute observations you've made Bobby. I didn't notice the 'our'/'my' transition and it's telling.

For him, the marriage wasn't 'over' because he didn't 'see' what was happening. Alcoholics are users in more than one sense. Their habit takes precedent. When he realized I wouldn't cater to his 'needs' anymore he left. Oddly enough, he rarely called it 'his' house until he no longer lived there. heh heh .. but that's another story.

thanks for popping by ..

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: May 7, 2011 )

We Will Survive!!
Great story Pen...but I'm surprised that a strong willed woman like you would have stayed as long as you did!

I think it hilairious that I'd never heard the song of the 60's or 70's..."YOU DON'T OWN ME!" until we started rehearsals for our spring concert next week! The stories I keep hearing from some of the women there are so poignant, that they didn't really realize they didn't have to put up with what they did!

This song should be played over and over and never disappear from the air waves! I was soo lucky that my husband believed it my doing "my own thing" long before the women's movement surfaced!

Of course one reason was that he was free for his friday night poker fest with the guys!

Loved your story!


( Posted by: Beatrice Boyle [Member] On: May 7, 2011 )

I never felt like a doormat .. just was committed to making my marriage work until I realized I couldn't do it alone. Compromise never felt like capitulation until he left and then I realized just how much I'd sacrificed. Don't get me wrong .. there were benefits too.

My parents were great role models on how to have an equality based marriage .. I just never discovered a suitable partner. Some of it's my fault ... and some is fate.

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: May 7, 2011 )

He who smelled it
Loved this, Pen! No unnecessary deviation from the topic. Succinct with a punch.

( Posted by: toscano [Member] On: May 28, 2011 )

Thanks Francisco - flash writing is a wonderful tool to develop brevity skills. I use a 100 word limit to hone mine.

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: May 28, 2011 )

Not Lilacking
A great little piece, lacking nothing. it's very like a poem.

( Posted by: Poeteye [Member] On: May 28, 2011 )

Felled it? Quelled it?
Finish your thought, Francisco.

( Posted by: Poeteye [Member] On: May 28, 2011 )

Yo Popeye ..
Thanks so much. Like a poem? hmmm ... have to look at this again perhaps.

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: May 28, 2011 )

Rights of spring.
joyfull anticipation,drunken husband blocked the doorway,i dont want them in the house.Mean man.
Kinda of a sad poem.Good work.

( Posted by: Michaelpatrick [Member] On: July 10, 2011 )

Michael Patrick
Thanks for your comment on this piece of writing which is reality based. Mean man? Not really. Just so incapable of recognizing his resentment of my joys were grounded in his incapacity to take pleasure from the same things. A small joy for me had to be squashed because it may be liberating. I'm sure he didn't realize what irked him any more than I did. A dear friend suggested to me that perhaps struggling in a hopeless relationship was probably making both of us miserable. Astute observation which was very welcome.

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: July 14, 2011 )

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