Written for a friend. Her challenge was, “Write about inanimate objects with feelings” (or something like that.) Unfortunately, I’ve been lazy. I gave it to her weeks late, and I’m posting it here weeks after I gave it to her. (And I’m a little embarrassed because it’s shorter than the cute little story about fuzzy spiders she wrote for me.)


Mom’s old vase was white with a long neck. Christine had inherited it from her mother after she died and it was so full of her memories that she was afraid to throw it away. On Saturday, when her boyfriend brought flowers, she told him, “Wait a bit. I’m going to put them in Mom’s old vase,” even though it was already full. The red flowers and the pink and orange flowers looked the best in the vase.

Mom’s old vase never complained about the things put inside of it. Sometimes they were nice things, like cattails or flowers. Other times they were childish, like straws or dandelions. The names of the flowers Christine stuck in it now were Aster and Chrysanthemum. They were a little annoyed at being stuck in such an old vase, so they complained about it. Mom’s old vase was used to everything, so she let them complain.

Christine was happy with Jeremy–that was his name, the boyfriend. She kept the flowers well watered. The blooms began to open up, and the flowers stopped complaining for a while to show off. Mom’s old vase stood and held them up proudly. She couldn’t remember ever seeing such pretty flowers before. She was sure their relationship would last.

Two weeks later, the flowers had begun to wilt. Christine grabbed them in a bunch over the kitchen sink, poured all the water out of Mom’s old vase, and tossed the fistful of flowers into the garbage pail. It was just about time, too. Aster and Chyrsanthemum in their last few days had begun to scream, as though their fading beauty caused them pain. Mom’s old vase was tired of hearing it. But, while she was happy to see the flowers go, it distressed her to see Christine in tears as she threw them out. It was also the day that Mom’s old vase noticed that Jeremy stopped coming to see her. Christine spent many days in bed after crying. If she had put in a bit more effort and helped those flowers retain their blooms, would the relationship have lasted longer? The memories that those flowers inconsiderately left behind stained the inside of her belly. When Christine tried to wash it out, it stained the tips of her fingers, too.