A Sunflower by Any Other Name

SunflowerAs mentioned in an earlier post I’m working through “Wonderbook” (Vandermeer) in an effort to boost my creativity.  For Writing Challenge #2, I had to choose a subject and gather materials related to that subject from four different text sources written in diverse styles and/or points of view.  From these disparate sources a three to four paragraph description needed to be developed.  In the final part of the exercise the passage was re-written from the point of a view of a character.

Subject: Sunflowers

Background: Two people are lost.  The description is told from the female of the pair.


Exhausted from a long day of walking, they stopped for the night at a bend in the road beside a field of sunflowers.  The cheerful scene was so astonishing they halted in their tracks to stare in wonder, realizing that this was a good a spot as any to spend the night.

He seemed perfectly at ease among the giant sunflowers.  Like the field of flowers before him they were each tall and strong.  The late afternoon sun amplified the gold of their crowns one last time before darkness fell.  They were lost, but the golden scene evoked feelings of warmth and comfort.  A large sunflower beckoned her.  Its vibrancy calmed her fears and made her momentarily forget her growling stomach.  The flower’s head was tilted towards the heavens and its thick petals reached skyward, seemingly in triumph, conveying a message of hope.  She realized suddenly that the seeds could be eaten and here the flowers were in abundance.  The thought cheered her and a long-forgotten children’s song sprang unbidden to mind.

Oh sunflower! Flower of sun!

A queen with no compare,

The summer fields are made more golden

With your bright presence there.


Oh sunflower, Flower of the sun!

 Who stands so strong and true,

Sharing hope and happiness

Within your golden hue.

If the mighty sunflower were a queen, surely than he was the king.  Both tall and golden, full of loyalty and vibrancy, a shield from darkness and despair.  Stumbling upon this surprising field of flowers had to be a good sign.  Perhaps all was not yet lost.

Revitalized, she called over her thoughts to him.  He looked up at her and frowned, as if haunted by some grim memory.   Sunflowers should lift the spirits, he agreed, but for him they had the opposite effect.  During his training he was taken to a field where an ancient battle had taken place.  The field was a graveyard for thousands of lost souls.  Small gardens of stone marked the sites of several mass graves.  The dead had been too numerous, and survivors too few, for individual graves to be dug.  Into to a pit covered with stones they went.  Overtime soil crept into the eroded stones and from this soil sprung sunflowers.  He thought they appeared to be standing vigil for all those lost and long forgotten.  Since then, the sunflower had lost all joy to him.

She sighed and sank heavily to the ground.  To him the sunflower was a harbinger of the lost and forgotten.  Perhaps tomorrow would not be such a good day after all.


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