“Tattered Flower” Author Commentary

cover for "Tattered Flower" a flash fiction by Annaliese Lemmon. It features a woman kneeling beside an empty cradle on a hillside.

The idea for this story came from the fairy tale Tatterhood. I had to laugh when the queen didn’t follow the woman’s instructions for how to conceive a child. Then I wondered, what would happen if someone did follow the instructions for once?

The story went through many drafts trying to get it right. I initially had an additional scene where Kamila and her husband decide what to do with the second flower. I decided to cut it because with such a complicated issue, it was better to leave the ending vague so the reader can decide for themselves what is best. After all, I’ve never had to wrestle with infertility, though I do know people who have.

Many thanks to my many beta readers from my writing group (Emily Debenham and John), Critters (Col, Patricia, Emily, Jeff, Shawn, Kendra, Des, Genivieve, Daniel, Reginald, Darla, Jeff, Lane, Alicia, Rustin, Elden, Richard, Rebecca, Harry, Raymond, Remeres, Wayne, Joel, Dan, Juan, Jordan, Kevin, Rebecca, Christopher, Russell, Russ, and Jeff), Futurescapes (Holly, Elizabeth, Mary Robinette Kowal, Ben, and Sofia), and elsewhere (Rajeev).

This story is dedicated to Kayla.