The Rose Woman

After a worrying day, Eva meets the Rose Woman who proposes to cure her superstitious beliefs by offering her a rose that can mysteriously solve anything simply by plucking a petal.


On a Friday afternoon, Eva stopped by Palisades Park to ponder the consequences of her superstitious beliefs regarding the birth of her baby boy born last week. The sun beamed through a dark and dreary day on a peculiar woman with a rose in her hair, smiling, sitting on a park bench. Something gravitated Eva to this…  Rose Woman.

The Rose Woman in the park grinned jubilantly and without despair. Eva wondered what was pleasing. “Excuse me, mam, may I ask what there is to be joyous about?”

“Nothing at all,” said the Rose Woman. Eva noticed the air tighten and thicken around this woman she sat next to on the Palisades Park bench. “Why so gloom, young lady?”

“My baby born last week was born under bad signs,” she said, “I try not to be superstitious, but thoughts creep into my mind and I can’t cleanse them away!”

“Signs?”

“I gave birth last Friday, Friday the 13th, but before, we broke a magnificent mirror in our hallway that very morning rushing out, then a stray and suspicious black cat treaded pass near the hospital upon our entrance, then the nurses rolled my bed underneath a looming ladder, and it seemed all bad luck signs checked off that day and well, call me superstitious, but…  I’m worried about my baby!” She finished breathlessly. 

The rose woman appeared assured, pondered, and said, “I’m able to eliminate those bad signs and turn them inconsequential. See this rose?” She held out a beautiful blossomed crimson rose to Eva, who wondered where it came from while eyeing the rose in the woman’s hair. “If you accept, it’ll be yours.” The rose glowed, penetrating clouds to shine red and pink reflecting off its petals. “If you pluck a petal, you’ll lose these terrible thoughts if you wish it so. Though, in its place, a thorn will promptly grow. Do you accept?”

She held out the rose to Eva who contemplated its crimson glow. Eva drifted to the rose, grasping it. With a nod from the Rose Woman, she plucked a petal and felt a prick of a grown thorn and blood dripped from her fingertips. “As you wish, the deed is sealed.” The air loosened and clouds diverged.

Eva sat stiffly wondering what she was doing sitting on a lone park bench. It came back to her like a hammer to the head. She must return to her baby and her loving family. “Thank you, for, well, I’m not quite sure.”

“Good luck,” said the Rose Woman sitting in silence, staring at retreating clouds.

“For what?” Eva looked puzzled but accepted the gift with glee.

“For what the thorn brought you.” 

The clouds followed Eva as she rushed home bursting in the door calling out to her husband. “Honey, I’m home.” She looked at her husband sitting with his hands to his face and tears flowing out of his eyes. “What’s… wrong?”

“Nothing at all. I’m blessed to have you and Gabriel here.” He held their baby. With a solid stare of love, Eva grabbed Gabriel. She held him tight and despite all the superstitious bad signs her baby was born under, she had no reason to fear. The sun struggled to shine through the clouds with a reddish glare. Lightning lit across the sky and thunderstruck.

The baby coughed. Thoughts twisted and turned and pricked at her mind of what could and can be, and what did the Rose Woman mean when in a petal plucked, and in its spot, a thorn will grow and what possibilities that thorn would prompt?

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