The lilac hills were filled with rows and rows of primroses, lavender and tulips. Sophie sat among them, as she did each summer morn, to watch the sun roll itself from above the hills and begin to settle itself into the sky. Once the sun had begun to turn the sky the same pastel hues that surrounded her, she stood up and brushed the pollen off of her white dress; a gift from her grandmother for her 7th birthday. It had come down to her ankles at first, but now she would pull it down to reach her grass stained knees hoping it hid enough to not get in trouble for sitting among the flowers her parents seemed to fear.

As Sophie began to reach the edge of the meadow, she noticed a patch of daisies in colours of blue and pink and violet; a sight she was used to seeing by now on the Venusian hillsides. But, amongst the pale colours, a single daisy coloured just like you or I would know, caught her eye. It was a colour of plant that she had never seen before, and she most certainly had never heard about. Sophie pulled the hem of her dress close to her waist as she slowly sat herself on the balls of her feet; her knees landing only an inch or so from the flower itself. Sophie felt her hands being drawn around the petals, each feeling soft and gentle against her rough palm. She drew her hands away sharply. From what her parents kept telling her, she may have just committed a crime. I could go to jail for this she whispered, just in case anyone was close enough to hear her voice being lifted across the hills. Sophie shook the idea out of her head. She laughed. In the last couple months of her running to these hills to escape from her mother’s complaints and her father’s high expectations, not once had she even seen one person on her journey to or from the flower hills. She paused and watched as the single white daisy lost its balance against the harsh wind that had picked up from the breeze that curled around the hills. Sophie watched the daisy bend and straighten as a gust of wind whirled around her and the daisy. She began to feel her skin tingle up her arms from the lack of a cardigan or jacket to warm them.

As the wind began to settle again, Sophie’s eyes were drawn to the flower which still stood as crisp and as gleaming as before. She glanced around, checking if there was anyone else nearby. When Sophie felt the coast was clear, she held the flower between her palms again, noticing the flecks of yellow pollen dotted along each white petal.

Sophie moved her hands down the stem of the plant and pulled. At first nothing. Another pull. She heard snapping. She ignored the ground shaking beneath her. Her hands grasped tighter to the daisy. More shaking. Her body trembled with the ground beneath her.

Snap.

The next morning as the sun arose, there was no sign of Sophie. Instead, there, in the meadow on the side of the lilac hills, stood two white daisies…

Words by Beth Lancaster
Featured Image: Melissa Mjoen on Unsplash

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