Home > Fiction > Literary Lion – Stained Red

Literary Lion – Stained Red

Here is my story for Laura’s Literary Lion prompt. Mr Lion has spoken and this week’s prompt word is “flower“. I’ve left all attempts at humour behind for a slightly grittier attempt for this week’s story.




Ring-a-ring o’ roses,
A pocket full of posies,
A-tishoo! A-tishoo!

We all fall down.

The words of the old nursery rhyme run through Dravid’s head as he looks around. Apt, he thinks, but the Black Death had nothing on this.

Here a woman stumbles past, sobbing, clutching the remains of her baby close to her. There a child stares blankly, a numb look on his face as blood-tinged tears trickle down his cheeks.

Once upon a time there were “rules of war”. You can do this, but not that. Kill this person but not that one. Not anymore. Rules? In war? War is all about winning. About killing, and killing, and killing, until there’s no one left to kill. That’s how you know you’ve won. And so finally both sides unleashed the stores of chemical weapons they never admitted to having.

Delivery was always the trick, thinks Dravid as he muses on this. Too easy to shoot down missiles, planes. He drops his backpack by the side of the road, the empty chemical bomb rolling out into the dirt, its contents already unleashed. He’s done his bit. Time now to rest. Lowering himself to the ground, his fingernails already rimmed with red, he knows that his end is near, past overdue in fact. He plucks a perfect white rose, marvelling at how selective the chemical is, leaving plants and animals untouched. Something to do with DNA, he understands.

The chemical, his chemical courses through his body, and his last sight as his insides liquefy is his blood, staining the rose red. Such a beautiful shade of red.


Categories: Fiction Tags: ,
  1. Lyn
    August 22, 2015 at 8:12 am

    WOW. That is a terrifying scenario, D-man. Just so sad that it could, one day, be true. Well written take on the prompt.


    • August 22, 2015 at 8:22 am

      It was supposed to be a futuristic scenario but as I was proof-reading I did start feeling a bit worried that it could happen. It already has, on a smaller scale.
      I’m glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. August 22, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Very sad but realistic tale. The rules keep changing, worse still many blatantly will ignore the rules as the days go back.


    • August 22, 2015 at 10:59 am

      I think every country/combatant ignores the rules when it suits them. These people have just decided to make it official.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. NotAPunkRocker
    August 22, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Wow. Powerful and right-on with that section about war in general. Definitely made me a little teary this morning.


    • August 22, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      Sorry 😦 I’m glad you liked it, though 🙂


  4. August 22, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    I hope this doesn’t turn out to be predictive. I keep looking around for some intelligence in government … Deep sigh.


    • August 23, 2015 at 6:02 am

      I got chills writing it when I realised it’s not so far fetched.


  5. August 23, 2015 at 7:14 am

    Ew, Ali. How dark that was. You play too many violent video games. Great description though. That’s a differnet and darker version of “painting the roses red.” Frightening. O_o


    • August 23, 2015 at 7:44 am

      It was pretty dark, but I’m glad you liked it! It can’t be humour every week :-).


  6. gentlestitches
    August 23, 2015 at 11:16 am

    oh WHEN will we learn! wrings hands with expression of great distress.


  7. August 23, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    I’ve been dreading something like this ever since I saw Outbreak ages ago… Chilling story!


    • August 23, 2015 at 5:32 pm

      Great film, I’ve seen it many times. Let’s hope it all remains consigned to the realm of fiction.


  8. August 23, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    This is absolutely terrifying. Even more so because it could be a reality (though I hope it never is). Well written.


    • August 23, 2015 at 5:33 pm

      It was only when I was proof-reading when I got a chill and realised it could actually happen.


  9. August 24, 2015 at 7:56 am

    I liked this post, but dont like it….. if you know what I mean ……. soooo real!


    • August 24, 2015 at 7:57 am

      I felt the same way once I started proof-reading 🙂


  10. August 25, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Brutal. Well written and blunt. Impactful. NIce job.


    • August 25, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      Thanks! I thought I’d do something different than my usual humorous dialogue this week. I’m glad you liked it!


  11. August 25, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    This definitely hits the gritty mark. An outstanding dark story with so many descriptive touchstones that were disturbing gems (fingernails rimmed with red; “And so finally both sides unleashed the stores of chemical weapons they never admitted to having.”). A wow-worthy story. Great work!


    • August 25, 2015 at 7:34 pm

      Thanks for such a lovely comment! It’s unusual that I write a story without even dark humour so it was a bit of a departure for me. I’m glad you liked the imagery and my story.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. August 25, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    Such fantastic imagery there, I like it when you’re serious 😉


  13. August 26, 2015 at 12:30 am

    How deliciously dark! I love the imagery with the rose turning red. You’ve created a scarily plausible scenario. Really well done, Ali. 🙂


    • August 26, 2015 at 7:15 am

      Thanks! It is a pretty scary scenario and a bit too close to “possible”.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. August 26, 2015 at 3:04 pm
  2. September 2, 2015 at 1:08 am

Speak to me - I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: