preamble to an unwritten fairy tale

She buys the rose from a traveling merchant selling all manner of wares, likely plundered from pirates or stolen from other more reputable merchants. A twitchy sort of man, glancing nervously over his shoulders and ready to pack up his cart at any moment.

Normally, she would not do business with such a seller, but the rose itself is irresistible.

Not a real rose. A contraption of softest fabric and gears that blooms with a twirl of the hand and closes back in on itself with another twirl, moving from bud to blossom and back again.

But its scent is that of a perfect, garden-fresh rose, real and rich and deep.

She spends her last coins on it, though it is a foolish, unnecessary purchase.

She twirls it as she walks, smiling as the petals close and unfurl.

Not yet knowing that the rose’s proper owner wants it back, and has the means to track it down.

Eventually, there will be a love story, but that is a tale for another time.

About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern.

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