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Scott Francis
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Postby Scott Francis » Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:18 pm

There’s a strange sensation that can often take over the most sensible person. You’re driving down the highway; it’s late summer, but still sunny and warm. Your windows are down and the balmy breeze from driving fast is so overwhelming it feels like an intimate embrace. There’s no one else on the road and you feel like the last person on earth. There are no rules. Just you, your car, and your bravery.
I tried to convey this sentiment to the police officer, who pulled me over for speeding, but it was to no avail. I had way too much respect for myself to try to use my feminine wiles, so I reluctantly reached over to open my glove compartment, expecting to find nothing out of the ordinary. But there it was, to my utter surprise, a yellow daffodil, my favorite.
“Uh, ma’am, sooner rather than later would be much appreciated,” the officer said in reference to my registration and insurance.
“I’m sorry. Here it is,” I smiled cheerfully at the officer as I handed him the appropriate papers. He looked it over and looked at me. I grinned brighter. I guessed it wouldn’t hurt to bat my eyelashes just a little bit.
It didn’t work, of course, and a few minutes later I was driving off, at the legal speed limit, with a ticket that would probably take half my paycheck. I was fresh out of college with a degree in English. Not the smart choice in degrees, according to my parents, but it’s what I loved. I had recently broken up with my boyfriend, the giver of the daffodil I assumed, because I was just not in love with him. I was at a crossroads in life and completely unsure of what the right direction was, or if there was even such a thing.
The whole summer was wasted on routine work and long pensive nights of debating over my future, while living under the constant supervision of parents who were all too eager to get rid of their nearly mid-twenties daughter. So, pulling up to my house, already in an awful mood, I was none too pleased to find that my parking space was taken. My neighbor, a mean old bird in his late 60’s, had to park his car so precisely on the street that it didn’t matter if he took up two parking spaces.
I parked a block down, muttering to myself, flower in my hand clutched, ready to do battle. I looked at the dainty gift in hand, the yellow petals shining up at me. This flower was meant to make me feel something that I was incapable of feeling. It wanted to remind me of the good times; a last ditch effort to convince me I was wrong or temporarily insane. But the truth was I did not want to be tied down any longer in a relationship. I did not want to work my awful job. I certainly didn’t want to live with tyrants. And I definitely did not want to have a parking war.
So, as I walked closer to my house, I thought of what had made my neighbor the way he was. He was a single man, and had been single for the two decades that I lived in my family home. I didn’t think he had children, he rarely had visitors. I saw him mowing his lawn, cleaning his car, bringing groceries in once a week. He barely said a word to me or my parents; generally, it was just a grumpy expression.
To me, a life of occasional solitude was not a thing to pity. It was a valid life choice. Some days, I wanted it; or more accurately, needed it. But the loneliness of this man, I related to and it made me pause before cursing his name as I passed his car. He was only human and he was full of experience and emotion that I might someday learn to identify with; that idea frightened me. So walking lightly, flower in hand, I snuck over to my neighbor’s house and I placed the daffodil in his mailbox. It was my hope that when he opened it, expecting to find nothing out of the ordinary, the intentions of the flower might pass through to him; and he would feel something, anything, to reconnect him to the world, if even for just a brief second.

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Re: Daffodil

Postby Jonayla » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:20 pm


Okay…first…spaces between paragraphs would be nice…it’s easier on the eyes than seeing it all scrunched together the way you have it.

So…had to wonder what the heck was happening. It seemed to sort of meander around the woman’s thoughts and experiences (and life)…and seemed to be going nowhere—at first. But then it suddenly made sense to me…and I really liked the ending. You brought in the yellow daffodil right away (almost) and closed with the woman giving it away—in hopes that she’d brighten someone else’s day. Excellent! :mrgreen:
"An author is a fool who, not content with boring those he lives with, insists on boring future generations" ~ Charles de Montesquieu

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Re: Daffodil

Postby Detrout » Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:27 pm

This entry shows some solid writing and good insight into the main character. However, as far as the action goes, the opening scene serves the purpose of revealing the yellow daffodil but then segues into what feels like a lot of back story and summative narration. The crotchety old man was significant enough a character that time might have been better spent in a revealing scene with him instead of just speculation about him.

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