short story, story promptNaomi knows she has a problem with her anger management and she’s trying really hard to keep it under control. Some people just seem to know how to push all the wrong buttons though…


Naomi carefully pruned a few old flowers off the rose bush. The green buds of the new blooms were growing strong, several of them already showing signs of the white petals within. This particular bush was her favourite. The pure whiteness of the roses always calmed her. She couldn’t stand the red ones – they reminded her too much of anger, an emotion that she struggled to keep in control of. She preferred to surround herself with colours and objects that didn’t provoke her anger.

Rising from her knees, she dusted the front of her drab skirts. She should really get back to the palace. The ball tonight would have many dignitaries that she had to greet. She was going to need all the time she could get in order to prepare both her looks and her emotional state.

“Wow, so this is the ‘Secret Garden’!” A voice from somewhere nearby startled her. “I always wondered what marvels hid behind these walls.”

Turning towards the voice, Naomi frowned, her ire growing. Was someone in her special garden? Had someone invaded the very space she had created to give herself solitude? How had they gotten in? She was the only one with the key.

A young man stumbled out from behind a tall hedge. Determined to kick the intruder out of her sanctuary, she placed her hands on her hips and confronted the stranger. “What do you think you are doing?”

He turned to her, a guilty look in his eyes. “I, uh, I got lost?”

“Is that a question or a statement?” she asked sarcastically. “How did you get in here?”

His shoulders slumped and he sighed. “I climbed the wall.”

Why did you want to get in here?” she demanded. “This is private property belonging to the crown!”

“I wanted to know if the rumours about the golden roses were true, so my friends dared me to climb in here, find one and bring it back to them.”

“Golden roses?” Naomi hadn’t heard about this rumour.

The boy shrugged. “Everyone says that the Crown Princess grows golden roses here in secret, which is why she has the stone wall around the garden.” His eyes lit up. “You must be a gardener here. Does the Princess grow golden roses?”

He didn’t know who she was? He thought she was a mere gardener? She could feel her irritation fast becoming anger. How dare a lowly commoner enter her private garden? How dare he even think about stealing her flowers, even if the golden roses were complete nonsense and didn’t exist? He’d still come here with the intention of taking something that belonged to her.

She took a deep breath and tried to calm down. No matter how much she wanted to yell at him, she’d been making an effort lately to deal with things in a more level-headed manner. If she was to be the future Queen, she needed to be able to deal with situations that pushed her buttons.

Oblivious to her struggle against her anger, the boy took a step towards the white rose bush. “They may not be gold roses, but they are certainly the most beautiful specimens I have ever seen. The Princess wouldn’t notice just one flower missing, would she?”

Before she had the chance to answer, he’d picked up the shears she’d left next to the bush and clipped one of the blooms off the bush.

Unable to control herself, Naomi ripped the flower from his hand, nicking her own skin with the thorny stem. She snatched the shears away from him before he could do any more damage and brandished them at him.

“Get away from my roses!” she screeched. “How dare you steal from your future Queen!”

All the colour drained from the boy’s face. “You’re the Princess?”

“Get out of my garden, now! Leave and never return, or I will put you in a dungeon cell and forget about you!”

The boy bolted behind the hedge, presumably to the same spot where he’d climbed over. Naomi tried taking deep breaths, tried counting to ten, but she couldn’t calm down. The insolence of a stranger trying to steal from the crown! She really should have locked him in a cell.

She looked down at the crushed flower in her hands, the damaged white petals stained with the red blood from her cuts. Shaking, she let it drop to the grass and slowly headed to the gate. She still had a ball to get ready for.

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