Friday Fiction – Marigolds

As ever, thank you to Madison Woods for the pictorial inspiration, although this week I should also thank Mary Shipman who submitted the photo. You can see their stories, and the responses of the other fictioneers, in the comments to Madison’s post:

Here’s mine – As ever, I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments.


I haven’t seen that paper since I was a child. Bright orange marigolds covered white walls then; both are yellowing now, behind years of paper and paint.

“Children see things in black and white,” my Grandpa used to say, “The agony of a playground fall, the ecstasy of Christmas morning.” But he meant the opposite: children see things in vivid technicolour, in contrasting extremes.

It’s only as adults that we’re imprisoned by shades of grey. We feel neither fear nor delight unadulterated, because life and experience have taught us that nothing is permanent.

Not even orange marigolds and white walls.


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

49 responses to “Friday Fiction – Marigolds

  1. This is a very poignant piece. It sounds like the narrator is going through some sort of crisis right now. I really enjoyed reading it.

  2. I like the reference back to Grandpa’s saying, and the contrast perceived by the narrator (‘the opposite’.)
    Mine’s at

    • Thanks Joanna – it’s an interesting contrast, isn’t it? The Grandpa and the narrator are actually saying the same thing, but using opposing metaphors. I just got back from a trip, so I’m going to try to catch up on reading over the next couple of days.

  3. Russell

    You waxed philosophical on us this week–and did so extremely well. Sometimes we miss the joy because we’re too busy dodging the sorrow.

    here’s mine

    • I did indeed, Russell. I wasn’t sure it counted as a story, but it was what came to me from the prompt. Pleased you liked it, I’ll get to yours as soon as I can!

  4. magic with just a touch of melancholy, lovely.

  5. There’s a statistic which says something like children laugh over 300 times a day and adults less than 2 – your piece put me in mind of that difference, thank you. Note to self, be more vivid 🙂

  6. Amazing how this prompt sent you down memory lane and back to the present, presenting us with philisophical insights along the way. Good show. Here is mine:

  7. Philosophical yet cynical, something that happens to many people as they age. I think it’s happened to me already, which is unfortunate considering I’m only 28! 😛

    My story is nearly 200 words this week:

  8. nice how you brought it back. i read it more like a poem.

  9. Very Poetic, indeed. I enjoyed. Thank you for sharing.

    Here’s mine:

  10. rainang

    like how it all tied in without being preachy….nice. here’s mine:

  11. TheOthers1

    True words. A very true thought. Nice.

    My link:

  12. Very poignant, emotionally charged. As writers, we morn the loss of our inner child more than most. So many have tapped into that emotion this week, it’s eerie.

    Here’s mine:

    • I’m looking forward ot seeing other takes on this one, tesch. I think in a way writing might be our way of looking for a way back to our inner-child!

  13. Lora Mitchell

    Poignant and poetic. Loved the last line. Nice work. Here’s mine:

    • thanks Lora. I definitely wanted the last line to come back to the picture and the sight which had prompted this musing from my narrator. She is not thinking in a vacuum here. I’m glad it worked for you.

  14. Wow! There have been soooooo many exceptional offerings this week..This was one of my favorites–loved the white walls and marigolds and the memoir-type feel of the piece. Well done!


    • Wow, thanks VL. I’m really looking forward to reading everyone’s stories this week, but I am certain you are being very kind to this little writer!

  15. Boy, you sure hit the melancholy button this week. This is a sweet take on the prompt, or rather a bittersweet take on the prompt…

    • LOL, funny how some commenters have seen more sadness than others. A function of our age and shades of grey perhaps?! I’ll try to be cheerier next time, but … you know me!

  16. A really strong, very real take on the prompt. And it’s not just that the point develops nicely and comes full circle to the paper at the end (with a poignant observation) but word-to-word the writing hits me as just right. Nice piece (and sorry it took me so long to get to it) !

    Brian (Mine’s here:

    • gee, thanks Brian. And don’t worry about the delay, I haven’t even started reading other people’s yet! thank you for your kind words, it means a lot to hear when I’m on target.

  17. Madison Woods

    I loved your story. Such truth throughout and told in so entertaining a manner.

  18. Very philosophical. I read it with pleasure.

    • Thanks Sandra. Not my usual tone, I’m not even sure it counts as a story, but it’s a snapshot of thought, and one I can imagine many people having!

  19. “It’s only as adults that we’re imprisoned by shades of gray…” How very observant and sadly true. So true that when you return your piece full circle, we see why adults get burnt out, because the old wallpaper is faded, is yellowed. One of the greatest feats of all in life is the ability to hang on to the bright colors of our youth despite being worn down by the years. You do that well with your writing this week (and always). I think your reflective missive hit just the right tone and really struck a chord with your readers. Well done, my friend.

    Thanks for your comments on The Nerve. Now get ready again, Friday’s just around the corner!



    • Thanks Doug. I think as writers, seeing the bright colours through the faded version is one of our jobs – and bringing it to our readers is part of that. Those flowers were once bright and vivid, with a little imagination, they can be again.
      You’re not wrong. Madison has posted the next prompt already, and I’ve only just finished reading last week’s posts. There are so many of us now!

  20. Your story left me feeling emotional and grieving for the lost sight of youth. Well done.

    • Thanks Lindy, I’m sorry it left you feeling sad though. Youth wasn’t always bright – remember how much it felt like the end of the world when we lost a favourite toy or fell and grazed our knees?

  21. I agree, very philosophical 🙂 Really liked “children see things in vivid technicolour, in contrasting extremes.” Wondered about “I haven’t seen that paper since I was a child. Bright orange marigolds covered white walls then; both are yellowing now, behind years of paper and paint.” — first half suggests (s)he’s seeing the flowers, second half suggests they are not visible (how can they be yellowing, but behind paint?). If (s)he’s imagining what the marigolds look like now, I really want to know why (s)he’s imagining them. What prompted her to think of them if they are no longer visible?

  22. Pingback: Friday Fiction – Tea Party | elmowrites

  23. Enjoyed this as well as your newer offering. Great writing, insightful story.

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