The snap snapping sound of the clippers echoed across the garden as the crowds of adolescent starlings kept peck pecking at the old dry twigs that had crumbled under the heat of the sun. Yesterday was sweltering, hot and uncomfortable although the clear blue skies were glorious with not a cloud to be seen. Today the trails of planes were blanketed by an Ombre monochrome sky and the wind had picked up enabling the lush green bushes to swish and swash among the quiet scenery.

Eva was stood, covered in mud from head to toe, her trainers a swamp for her feet and her long blonde hair kinked and curled in all directions. Gripping a pair of shears with the gardener’s gloves abandoned at her feet, there were scratches up her bare freckled arms and her eyes were like pin pricks of blue focused on the task at hand. Frantically she tore at vines that had spun and twisted around the thorns of the white rose tree, freeing the petals that drifted to the ground with only a few buds left to bloom in future.

The more the starlings squeaked and fought, the more wound up she became as beads of sweat dribbled down her forehead and the more the desperate the thorns became, scratching her skin as if suffocated from the creeper that had slowly wound itself around the stems and branches of the rose tree. Eva had watched over the months as it had crept closer and begun to coil itself, but in her heart felt the rose tree could withstand the suffering and fight through, killing at its murderer.

Two years later and the rose tree was grey, ashen and clippings of bark slipped to the ground. Barely a flower had bloomed except for a single white rose tall and proud despite having been swallowed by the climbing plant that had delicately reached out and taken hold. In these moments of grief, she had grabbed the shears, ran to the garden and the rose was free. But instead she was swarmed, surrounded by the braided vines and as she glanced down, she realised it was creeping up around her own ankles.

In her anger, she kept snapping but the longer she stood, the more she became the new victim as the single white rose began to bloom brighter and brighter and the more she became shrouded in the grief of her own making…


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