One Ginger Lily – by Susan Giles (Senior)

We don’t want to give away the punch line, so we won’t describe our first reaction to this story!  Let it suffice to say that we think this story will delight one and all, as it did our judge and our ZenGarden staff.

Congratulations to Susan Giles, from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for this very entertaining glimpse of a future wedding.  Susan describes writing this story: “Inspiration for ‘One Ginger Lily’ comes from my son’s upcoming wedding. Although his bride isn’t insisting on a certain bouquet, and I am living the groom’s side, potential wedding problems always loom large. We are, however, planning a total positive outcome for all.”

One Ginger Lily

The bride’s request was clear. No exorbitant bouquet, no expensive orchids. Simply one ginger lily to carry on her journey down the aisle.
She was adamant – he was dismayed, certain that no ginger lilies had bloomed on earth since the Great Tsunami of 2035. Its inundation combined with a rapidly spreading invasive fungus ravaging all the Eastern Hemisphere had resulted in major floral changes. Hence, no ginger lilies.
But she remained adamant! Her grandmother and mother had each carried a single ginger lily in their weddings. Tradition stated that her future happiness was contingent upon carrying such a lily.
He thought, plotted, and planned. In his research he discovered a botanist who in 2030 had amassed a tropical flower collection which exceeded all others. This collection was purported to have been placed in a greenhouse in a hidden garden on an unknown island in the South Seas. Could it possibly contain this flower? Would the lily still be propagated in this year of our Lord 2050?
Armed with this knowledge and much confidence, he began his search. After months of calling in chits from all his friends and business associates, he financed an exploration to the South Pacific. Days were spent fruitlessly island hopping, nights spent in frustrated dreams. He had now been gone for almost a year, doggedly pursuing this flower.
Finally, the day came when he discovered the island, the hidden garden, the greenhouse, and, then, the lily!
Waiting for him beside the greenhouse was a drone from South Seas-Amazon Messenger Service. The delivered telegram read:
“Stop searching. Stop. Married your best friend. Stop. Carried bouquet of freesia. Stop.”
Learn more about the author:

Susan Giles

Learn more about the contest which inspired this story:  Nutshell Narratives 2019-01

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