The White Lilies

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Each week, we pick a short fiction piece from our Fairlight Shorts archives to feature as our story of the week. This week, we’ve chosen a story about memories by George Nevgodovskyy.

George Nevgodovskyy was born in Kiev, Ukraine, but has lived in Vancouver, Canada for most of his life. He currently enjoys a career in education, and gets his best writing done after everyone’s gone to bed.

George has been dabbling in various forms of creative writing since high school, but has only recently gotten serious about it. He has previously had short stories published in East of the Web and The Lyre magazine, and has work forthcoming in Literally Stories.

‘The White Lilies’ follows a man reminiscing about his lost loves.

Enjoy!

 

No matter how much he loosened his tie, Joe could not seem to get enough air into his throat – as if some unseen force was gripping his trachea as hard as he was now gripping the leather of his steering wheel.

White lilies.

They had ordered pink azaleas and the florist sent them white lilies.

‘And where will you put the coffin?’ the lady who delivered the flowers asked, with the fragile delicacy that people affect when speaking to those in mourning. It was then that Stella – at last reaching her tipping point – stormed out of the church, making the Christ fixed above the entrance tremble on his wooden cross. Joe immediately signaled at their videographer to quit filming.

‘Is she the daughter of the deceased?’ asked the delivery lady, holding a black pen out to Joe so that he could sign for the sympathy flowers. It was at this point that he first began to tug at his tie.

‘Death is not the problem,’ he said. ‘The problem is that no one has died.’

It wasn’t just the flowers.

Stella and Joe had been communicating back-and-forth through their wedding planner all week.

Joe says he doesn’t like the playlist.

Stella says she’ll be home late tonight.

Joe knew he wasn’t blameless. He had never believed in cold feet, which is why he hated to admit to himself that his feet now felt so frozen that they could shatter to pieces in his brogues with a single love-tap. His feet were the cold, dead feet of a corpse.

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