Bosanska Krajina – by Staci Harrington-Parker (Adult)

Ivan held his new bride, Petra, tightly pressing her against his chest as they huddled, shivering in their tiny, broken down shack in Bosanska Krajina.
The war had taken so much from them, it had become almost unbearable.
Wrapped in a worn swaddling blanket; the same blanket Petra had been wrapped in when she was no more than an infant, cradled to her Mother’s
breast, she cradled Luka, as her heart broke. He had just turned four-months-old.
She gazed lovingly at her innocent baby, as tears streamed down her face, remembering the stories her Mother had told her when she was little,
wondering if her Son would survive to hear the same stories from his own Mother.
The Winter had gotten much colder, yet it had failed to snow.
Ivan and Petra remained silent, as they sat, frozen.
All they had was each other, but maybe that’s all what truly mattered.
Ivan stood, blowing into his hands, pacing the floor. He looked down at his Wife and Son, and felt an aching in his soul he had never felt before.
He turned to look out of the window, and as he did, he witnessed the first snow of Winter.
Ivan observed the first snowflakes, gently dancing their way downwards, softly blanketing the backdrop of the perfectly formed countryside.
A single tear fell down his cheek, as his heart lifted slightly for a moment, full of hope for a better future.
In the midst of the bleak destruction of war, and poverty, the soft, gentle snow purified the small garden in which their home stood central, like a
monument to the beauty of humanity.
He saw, for the first time, the blooming of the Crocus Tommasinianus; the Snow Crocus… The pale lavender petals seemed almost luminous, as it
stretched out to welcome the morning.
Ivan fell to his knees, turned to his Wife and Son and uttered the words, “Hvala Vam, Crocus Tommasinianus”.

Learn more about the contest which inspired this story:  Fleur 2020-01 – Crocus
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