The garden of roses. The last part of nature in this hell of a place. The only part of the city that still grew. The roses climbed the walls of the courtyard. Different colours, red, white, and even some black could be seen. They were so in abundance that a constant pour of rose petals fell from the blue sky above onto the grass floor below. A column with spiral stairs sat in the centre and reached to the heavens. Rosemary grabbed my hand and ran with me to beginning of the climb. Her words were light and happy as she talked about the colour of the falling petals. For you see, while predominantly red, they seem to fall in different colours from time to time. With a giggle she said they predict the future with colour. I watched as the petals started to fall black. The sound of foreign feet enters the garden. She held my hand tightly as we reached the top and stood on the edge. She said the roses never fall pink. She has come here ever day and never seen them fall pink. This was one of the two things she wanted in a world that takes more than it gives. As if this sentence was a cue, a man in a jacket rounded the top of the stairs into view. For the first time in years I felt fear. I would remember his words carefully as it was the first injustice I have heard in far too long. He said but one word. “Rosel” as drawing his hand to Rosemary. With force.

Her hand still in mine I fell. As I did I drew myself under her. This is it. Ground Zero. Standpoint. Or at least that is what my name would have called it. It seems strange that I can think of this in such a short time. It seems as if everything has lead up to this point. I am fearless. I accept my fate. I have done something worthwhile. Rose petals fall, and my thoughts try in vain to block out Rosemary’s screams. If I die, I will still be buried under my name, but I am more than that. Rosemary will remember who I am, not my name.

This is it. I am ready.

The rose petals fall on the named body. Covering him slowly. Rosemary sits weeping next to him as they start to fall pink. The man walks down the stairs into view of Rosemary. The man looks at her and feels fear for the first time in years as she picks up a shovel and lines him up. As if from an act of violence she sees her redemption, Rosemary gazes upon a mirror previously obstructed from her view by the man’s body. It looks back onto her with sadness but she sees only joy. She sees herself bent over a shovel with pink rose petals falling, and me rising to my feet. I have become nameless…

Sam Rees


25 was established in 1997, and since then we have successfully completed numerous short story and poetry competitions and publications.
We receive an overwhelming positive feedback each year from the teachers, parents and students who have involvement in these competitions and publications, and we will continue to strive to attain this level of excellence with each competition we hold.


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