The Flower
by Shelley L. Moss

Mandy’s heart pounded with exertion. Branches stung her face, and tears streamed down her cheeks falling to the ground. Each tear seemed to well up from her very soul, and each one held a valuable memory she knew she would never forget. Mandy ran as fast as her tiny legs could take her, refusing to look back as droplets of blood fell with each frantic step she took. Her vision obscured by dense brush, Mandy was very nearly overcome by fear of uncertain future.

A gentle voice in her ear brought her to a halt. “Find the flower little one.” Mandy recognized the voice and quickly turned to look behind her, but no one was to be found. With all the strength she could muster, Mandy raced through the brush with her mothers voice lingering in the air.

Briers tore at her dress, as thorns scrapped a crossed her gentle skin with eyes combing through the thick forest. After a short while, hopes of finding her mother began to dwindle away. The thirsty ground beneath Mandy’s feet continued to absorb each precious drop of blood, while her journey took her deeper into the woods. As darkness swallowed the forest, new sounds began echoing throughout the darkness from its evening creatures. Each sound sent tingles down Mandy’s spine as she blindly moved forward. Her steps became fewer as weakness took over leaving her frightened and helpless. Each breath became a struggle as a cry of plea escaped from Mandy’s soul rising above the tallest of trees. Broken and weary, Mandy came to rest upon a huge oak tree. Crying frantically Mandy pulled her knees toward her chest with head hung low in fear of what the darkness might hold.

Soon, the night air became chilled as the evening creatures crept all around Mandy unknowingly. As her body heat began to dwindle so did the battle to keep her eyes open. Lost in a dream of an open field with flowers of many colors Mandy’s body began to rest as she saw herself walking behind her mother. The sun was in all her glory warming Mandy’s skin as she picked her favorite flowers to put in her basket. The wind blew gently as the invigorating aroma poured from the hearts of each flower, sweeping across the field towards Mandy who openly welcomed the familiar scent. Looking towards the sky, Mandy began to play the cloud game with her mother.

“Mother, I see a bear in the sky” she says giggling.

Searching, her mother said, “Oh yes! so do I Mandy, but I also see an angel in the sky, do you see her too Mandy?”

“Oh Mama there she is! and she is so lovely.”

Without warning, the skies became dark and the clouds where no more. Frantic, Mandy looked down from the monstrous sky needing to feel her mother next to her, but her mother was nowhere to be seen. Suddenly, Mandy woke up in a sweat as the days new sun beamed down upon her as did the realization of her dream. Standing up and without hesitation Mandy pushed herself onward, not taking notice to the pool of blood the she left behind. She ran till her feet had blisters and bled. Now walking, Mandy needed to find a safe place to rest for she was exhausted and weak and darkness was close at hand. Locating a thick bush, Mandy crawled up under and into the center where she laid her bleeding body.

Mandy’s thoughts quickly ran back in time. Was her mother safe? Was she even alive? Before Mandy had ran out the door She heard her mother begging Mandy to run away, to get help. Just as Mandy was about to run she saw a gun being held by her father and was pointed towards her mothers head. As usual, her mother’s face was black and blue with blood pouring out of her mouth. "Mandy run, and don't look back"! With no shoes and in total shock, Mandy ran as fast as she could. Not yet into the woods, a shot echoed piercing Mandy's ears. "No daddy, no!" Within minutes Mandy had clearly heard her fathers scream, "Don’t think you can hide from me little girl." Just then another shot went off; not realizing that she had been hit Mandy entered the dark forest where her journey first began.

Her mamma was gone; this she was certain of. Lying quietly under the bush, Mandy looked downwards and noticed blood seeping through her favorite dress that her mother had made with her tiring hands. Money had been tight, but Mandy’s mother had somehow managed to purchase just enough material to make a pretty summer dress just for her Mandy. Lonely and scared, Mandy closed her eyes in hopes of dreaming about the field with many flowers.

Suddenly from nowhere Mandy heard that familiar voice once again. "Find the flower Mandy."

Crying and yelling back, Mandy yelled, "There is nothing here but trees and bushes!”

What seemed like minutes turned into hours as Mandy waited for some kind of a response, but none came. What once was a tummy ache was now a piercing pain shooting through her entire body. The skies grew dark once again as Mandy held her hands to her tummy wishing the pain would go away. No longer able to concentrate, her eyes grew heavy as the blood began pouring from her hands. Her skin became cold to the touch and pale to the appearance as Mandy drifted in and out of consciousness.

“Mandy you must wake up.” Mandy stirred for a brief moment, then was still.

“Mandy, take my hand child.” Not sure if she was dreaming, Mandy opened her eyes and began rubbing them with her bloody hands. Staring out from under the bush now, Mandy saw a glimpse of a movement. Just as quick as the movement before, so was the hand that was reaching inwards towards her.

“You must walk to the flower with me Mandy.”

“What flower? Who are you?” Pulling back, Mandy suddenly noticed a bright light that seemed to touch the ground and rise towards the sky. Not sure what to do, Mandy began crying when she heard the soft voice again.

“Mandy, you need to trust me, I have come to walk you to your flower.”

Sobbing, “ Will you make my pain go away?” asked Mandy.

“I cannot take away your pain child, but I do know who can so please take my hand.”

Without further hesitation, Mandy dragged herself out from under the bush and much to her surprise, she saw the most beautiful angel ever standing before her. Hand in hand they both began walking towards the bright light.


“Yes little one.”

“I hurt real bad and I cannot walk much more.”

“We are almost there Mandy, hold on.”

Mandy’s heart was close to an end and her pulse was barely there, but she did as the angel asked of her. As the angel and Mandy came around a tree, there stood the most magnificent flower that Mandy had ever seen! Standing around the flower were many other angels who smiled at the abused child.

Now near death, Mandy’s body gave way and crashed to the ground. Barely breathing Mandy noticed someone walking toward her. Turning her head sideways to look up, Mandy saw her mother. She had never looked more beautiful than right then thought Mandy.

One last word escaped from Mandy’s body, “Mommy!”

Feeling her mother reach down to pick up her child, Mandy smiled one last smile.

“Mandy my dear, this flower represents you and will remain here on earth for all time,” her mother said. “I love you Mandy and we will be together forever without pain.”

Mandy’s eyes closed as her heart came to a stop. Wrapping her shimmering wings around her child, the angel descended toward her heavenly father, where peace and love create total harmony, where abuse and suffering ends.

About the Author
Shelley is now doing outreach work thru You can reach her directly at:

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