The Dandelion Islands

by Brittany Clark

The Gardner house was the last on Eighth Street. It had white siding aged ivory by the sun, grass a bit higher than Second or First Street standards, and beautiful dandelions sprinkled along the walkway to the front door. Julia Gardner always begged her husband not to cut the dandelions, especially when their son, Benjamin, was younger. "You know how he loves them, Eric!" Eric used to find this endearing, and he would tease her about it by calling her the "Dandelion Spokesperson." He would cut the yard around the patches of the flowering plant, creating islands that Julia would soon run to with her gardening sheers, cutting the few blades of grass to match the freshly cut waters around them. That was when Benjamin was still living at home, or perhaps it happened a few years before he left. Eric couldn't remember. After that, he just scoffed and replied, "They're weeds, Julia. They're annoying, ugly weeds." His stone-faced scowl mocked her from his seated mower as she cried from the kitchen window, watching the last dandelion island be bulldozed away.

BIO: Brittany Clark is a graduate student at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. When she is not writing, she can be found figure skating.