The Merchant's Rose

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: December 03, 2017

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Submitted: December 03, 2017

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The Merchant's Rose
 
 Once there was a rose planted on the garden of a merchant's house. Along with the vegetables and other flowers in the garden, she was taken care of the merchant's daughter, Ella. When Ella was little, the rose was given to her by her father from one of his travels.

 "I wish I could walk and dance around like Ella," Rose would say to the sycamore tree beside her. "She can sing and go the the city, too. She's so lucky."

 "Yes, but she cannot follow the sun's rays and fill the morning air with sweet fragrance like yourself. You're as beautiful as she is," said his friend.

 She had always been the envy of other flowers. She was the only rose in the garden, and for that reason, she was Ella's favorite. She was vibrant, strong, and beautiful - everything but happy. Rose envied the birds most of all. They flew into the wind to every part of the realm, learned new songs, and sang them to Ella. They sang to her too, but it was only Ella who can learn the melody. 

 Her favorite part of the morning was when Ella would water the flowers and tell them stories that her father told her. Ella would tell them about the old lady who sells wicker baskets and the jolly stout baker who always gives extra bun whenever she buys from his shop.

 "Oh how I wish I can take you with me. You'll love the people in town." She was fond of talking to the birds and mice too.

 "So why don't you? You can take me with you," Rose answered.
 
 "It's too bad that you can't understand me. Oh what lovely flowers you are. There are some flowers in town too, you know."
 
 "We understand you Ella. Can't you hear us?" Rose said.
 
 Ella didn't hear her but instead, continued talking and singing to them. It was okay with her, though. It was the closest she can get from travelling. The birds were there to tell them about the sceneries that they had seen.  At night, Rose would tell her wishes of going to the castle or the town and seeing other flowers, the baker, and the old woman.

 "But Rose, if you get picked and taken there, you'll die. You see the flowers that Ella throws away, right?"

 "Yes, but that's because they don't have roots. When I was little bud, I was planted in another place, too. Then Ella's father took me with him. He watered me everyday and tells me stories about Ella. And now, I'm here! I can travel too. I can travel again. Ella can take me to town when she's buying bread and honey."
 
Her eyes teared up of frustration.

 Tree spoke again in his most soothing and deep voice. "Oh little Rose, those were different times. You were a bud then and planted in a pot. Ella's father is long gone and her stepmother owns the house now. They even changed her name to Cinderella. You're a lot different too. Now you're deeply rooted in this soil. You can't do that anymore. Hush now." He tickled Rose's rootlets under the soil which made her giggle.
 
 She stayed teary eyed after realized the truth in Tree's advice. She looked up to the stars and found the brightest one of them.
 
 "Please. Please. Please I want to see the world. I want to travel again. Help me please?"
 
 The star shone brighter and seemed to be coming closer. As it touch the ground, the star shattered into a thousand lights and a blue fairy appeared.
 
 "What is it you want, little one?" she said in a sweetest voice.
 
 "I want to see the world."
 
 "Well, that's impossible! I'm sorry but my magic has limits. You are a flower and a mature one. You already have roots planted on the ground and you can only go to one place you want. Which one would it be, pretty flower?"
 
 "There's going to be a ball today and I really want to see the castle. Can you do that for me?" asked Rose.
 
"Well of course, but I must remind you again. My magic has limits. I can only allow you to be uprooted for two hours. When the clock strikes 12, you should be here and laid beside the roots you have left behind. Then, you'll be as you were. Is that clear?"

 Rose was filled with excitement and she agreed to the fairy's terms.
 
 "Now, how can we bring you to the castle?" The fairy wondered.
 
 "I know! Cinderella wants to go to the ball too. Maybe you can ask her to bring me?"
 
 "Yes, yes. That is a brilliant idea, my love. I'll dress her like a princess, give her a carriage and horsemen and you can be her pretty little headdress. Would you like that?"
 
 She couldn't contain her glee imagining how it would be to sit on Ella's head and watch everyone at the ball. Fairy Godmother went towards the terrace and as she walked she slowly turned into an old woman. Her back became hunched and her skin, wrinkly. Rose patiently waited while her Fairy Godmother went inside the house to fulfill her wish. She waited and waited. There was a sudden flash of light inside the house. They heard Ella's yelps of delight when she was told that she's going to the ball. She was equally filled with delight.
 
To their surprise, Ella went out of the garden and looked for a pumpkin. She couldn't see what happened because the animals all went to the glasshouse. They just saw the colorful lights in the sky which marks the beginning of the ball. A large carriage appeared before Rose and Tree and one of the horses said, "Hey Rose, it's me, Gus! I'm a stallion!" She's too excited but she also felt anxious that the Fairy forgot all about her.

 When Ella was about to enter the carriage, Rose cried out to the Fairy. "Wait! Godmother! You forgot about me!"
 
 "Oh, yes. Ellaaa! Dear something's missing. Why don't you take this Rose with you to the ball?"
 
 "Oh not that one, Godmother. She's my favorite flower in the garden."
 
 "Yes, but wouldn't it be fitting to wear her on your soon to be favorite night of your life? Hmm?" She plucked Rose from the stem and put her to Ella's hair.
 
"Don't worry. If you get back here before the clock strikes 12, she'll be good as new. You just have to place her exactly where her stem is and she'll be given a second life."
 
 Ella smiled from ear to ear and squatted a little so Fairy Godmother can put Rose on her golden locks. She blew a kiss to Rose before sending them - Ella, Rose, and the animals - to the ball.
 
 Ella was looking out the window on the way to the castle which allowed Rose to see the fireworks, trees, and lamps on the street. The time was past 10 in the evening when they arrived the ball and everyone else has gone inside.
 
 "I wonder if they'll still allow us to get in," Rose said.
 
 The birds were flying alongside the carriage and they were reassuring Rose that she'll be able to fulfill her wish tonight. The gate opened for them. Before they climbed down the pumpkin carriage, all her friends wished her luck. Inside the castle, thousands of trees and flowers welcomed them. There was a huge staircase and a magnificent door opened by the two handsome butler. No one knew who Ella was but when she entered the hall, everyone looked her way.
 
 "This is everything I dreamed of and more," said Rose.
 
 They met with the prince and Ella courtsied in front of him. Rose was at the back of Ella's head so she cannot see the prince clearly but she can see all the other guests there. Their clothes were very big and colorful. They even had huge feathers and hats whilst Ella only had a rose on her head. They also had face paints which made Rose chuckle. The prince and Ella danced round and round. The smell of roast pig, cakes, and flowers made Rose even more dizzy from spinning but she didn't mind.

 She was trying to remember all the things about this night because she knows this might be the only time that she can explore the world around her. "Fairy Godmother is right. This is going to be my favorite night in my life!"

 Time flew and the prince didn't dance with someone else aside from Ella. They were taken by surprise when the clock struck midnight. Ella hurriedly went out of the castle and she was followed by her pets. She ran so fast that rose fell off her hair.

 "Oh no! Rose are you okay?" asked Mindy, one of the birds.

 Mindy took her by her beak and hurriedly flew back to their mansion. Rose knows that she should be afraid but the thought of the party was still playing back in her mind. She was still filled with bliss. My dream came true today. She thought.

 When they arrived at the mansion's yard, Tree was already sobbing because it is past midnight. Rose's bottom stem had already dried up. Mindy carefully laid her down the stump and sobbed. Rose feels the strenth coming out of her body but she didn't mind.

 "I'm sorry, Rose. I tried to ---- I tried to fly--as-- as fast as I could. I'm sorry," cried Mindy.

 "Oh my sweet Rose, I told you it's going to be dangerous," said Tree.

 "Don't worry, I'll be okay. I'm happy I went to the ball. My dream came true. Don't you see? Had I stayed here, I would have lived longer but my life would be such a waste. It's not about how long my life has been. I'll never forget you, my friends." Rose closed her eyes and slept blissfully for whole eternity.


© Copyright 2018 Maia Stone. All rights reserved.

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