The following is my submission to Literary Lion.
Looking at her surroundings, Maggie noticed the moss ridden tombstones, and grass, that had been trampled by deer, who frequented the garden, seeking solitude from redneck hunters and their barking dogs. She looked at the flower that had died in its vase years ago. Maggie sighed. No one came around anymore, not even the grounds keeper.
This state of affair saddened Maggie, but what could she do? No one heard her anymore because there was no one to listen. She knew it was her fault, but she had grown tired of the kids and their silly candles. It had been entertaining, for a while, but with the passage of time, their frightened eyes and shrill screams bored her. And so she kept her silence and turned a deaf ear to their begging. After a while the kids stopped coming. So now it was only her, and Maggie was lonely.
Each evening, upon the sun’s decent, Maggie walked among the headstones and whispered the names chiseled in gray. This was the only thing that gave her a sense of peace. She reasoned, within herself, it was her way of honoring the dead.
Night after night she made her rounds. She no longer needed to look at the names. She knew them all and so she drifted from one to next until each name, had been spoken in the dark. When her mission was accomplished she went back to her place to take her rest.
Her place was just as ram-shackled as others, but on this particular night, Maggie studied her abode. Once again her eyes fell to the dead flower within its vase. It had been there for as long as she could remember. The flower was wrapped within a cloak death, that was dry and crumbling. She studied the brown decay and realized, for the first time, there was none other like it, within the garden. Someone, God knows when, had left it there and had left it for her. Slowly Maggie drifted to the flower and reached to touch it with her wispy hand.
The moment her essence touched the decay, the flower dropped its cloak of death and bloomed into a beautiful rose. Maggie felt herself bathed within a golden light. She looked to its source and saw a man she knew to be her husband; and in that moment she remembered her earthly life. Her love stood with his hand outstretched and she heard his baritone voice say, “My darling…what took you so long…”
Maggie, filled with joy, flew into his arms and passed to the other side.