Using the story behind the photo above as a jumping off point for this week’s writing challenge, we want you to talk about leaving your mark. For the fiction-minded, fill in the mystery behind this photograph. Who were these flowers left for? Was there a message included? Is there a mysterious reason why these flowers are covered in dust, but still appear so young?
Every night after the lights went low, busy fairies came alive. Bustling through the cemetery. Oh there was plenty to do. Everything was groomed but one potted plant. There was trimming of weeds, picking dead blooms, applying fresh fertilizer. Each night the glow of their shiny wands made a person feel like they were seeing the reflections of twinkling stars falling to the earth.
There were many fairies. It all started in the year of 1850 when the lady of the southern plantation took ill. Annabelle had been a beautiful lady. She was not only the wife of a rich husband but her heart was bigger than any pile of gold.
She had many slaves that worked for her. In fact this was one plantation where slaves begged for her attention so they may earn a chance to work inside for her.
While her husband was attending to business, Annabelle was helping where she saw fit.
She helped teach young mothers how to bathe their new babies. She mended holes in clothing for the farm hands. At the holidays she made each of them special plates of food and each of the children could count on getting a present of their very own.
When one of the children became ill she fetched him and brought him to the main house. Here the child was nursed back to health if at all possible.
But one day Annabelle felt ill. The house was quiet. She hadn’t been seen any where outside the house.
Buzzing went through the slave quarters as questions remained with no answers. That night Annabelle’s husband had come home.
He had a rough day. Sales were low. He was hungry and tired. He needed someone to talk to. He went straight to the drawing-room where he was hoping she would be.
The room was silent. He went through the rooms looking in the sleeping quarters last.
There lay Annabelle ghostly white. He went to her and sat on the side of the bed. Speaking to her he received no response. He felt her forehead with the back of his palm.
She was burning up. He covered her gently and quickly exited their room and dashed out the main door. Hopping on his horse he took off for the five mile ride to the doctor’s office. Beating on the door for what seemed minutes, the doctor opened it.
Explaining the symptoms he observed the doctor picked up his satchel and hat and readied his horse. The two rode hard back to the main house. Once inside the doctor performed an examination.
Nodding for her husband to follow him out into the hall, the doctor explained that his wife had little time. She had come down with the fever and there was no cure.
Her husband’s eyes filled with tears as he walked the doctor to the front door. Shaking his hand he watched until he could no longer see the horse and rider.
He went directly to the slave quarters. He ordered them to gather round. He explained his wife’s condition. He told them this was very contagious, but he needed the help. Which ones would be able to come to the main house and be of service?
Several of the ladies raised their hands in the air. He nodded at each one and they got their belongings and followed him back. For eight days the fever remained. Anabelle grew weaker and paler. Food was offered but not taken. Visitors stayed a way for fear of the sickness getting a hold of them.
On the eighth day Anabelle died. Her faithful followers remained behind to tend to her and the funeral but one by one each passed also.
Ever since the last one passed, the flowers that were left by Annabelle’s grieving husband had remained untouched on her grave. The fairies which were once her helpers in distress watched over her as she had once done for them.
To this day if you visit the old cemetery, and you sit quietly in the night, you can see the reflection of the twinkling stars falling to the earth.