Tuesday Tale - Roses a Penny

Because I haven't done a Tuesday tale in a while, I'd like to present to you the piece I did for 'The Inferno' over the weekend.

Roses A Penny
A Picture in Prose

"Roses a penny,
Roses a penny,
Come buy my many,
I has roses a penny."

Old and bent, shawl about her shoulders, fingerless gloves upon her hands, she walked the streets of London, selling her flowers. Her roses.

She carried her flowers in a sling across her chest and her money in a pouch slung under her breast, where it was safe.

She wandered through Soho and Covent Garden, Marleybone and Hyde Park. Selling her flowers, crying
"Roses a penny,
roses a penny,
come buy my many
I has roses a penny."

in a voice, once young and strong, now faltering, weakened by age and ill health.

When she sold a rose, she would smile and thank the buyer profusely, exposing gums long absent teeth and always saying "Thank you Love, for buying one of my many. May she bring you love and luck." Then she would tuck away her money, straighten up her sling, and again take up her call ...

"Roses a penny,
roses a penny,
come buy my many
I has roses a penny."

The streets of London are not kind. The chill of the night reaches fingers into everything, the fog leaves a wet over all. And the damp. The damp penetrates to the very quick. But a simple act of kindness is all it takes, at times, to spread a warmth throughout which can save a soul. She sells her kindness for a penny. Small price to pay for luck or love.

"Roses a penny,
roses a penny,
come buy my many
I has roses a penny."


quilly said...

Warm face, warm 'ands, warm feet,
Aow, wouldn't it be loverly?

Loverly story. Shades of Lerner and Lowe. (I have My Fair Lady on the brain right now since Amoeba is in the community theater production.)

Big Mark 243 said...

A seamless exchange of equal parts hope and kindness between two strangers from different circumstances yet inhabiting the same world. That is what I read in this story.

A passerby thinking they have done the old woman a solid by purchasing an underpriced rose and the woman giving them a token to present to a person in their heart.

Nevine said...

A beautiful story, filled with the human touch. And the whole piece read more like poetry than prose. There was a rhythm in the lady's song that carried through even in the narrative. A truly lovely piece, Lou!


Grandmother said...

"...to spread a warmth throughout which can save a soul." That's just what you do in this piece. Thanks.

Tara R. said...

Reminds me of Mary Poppins... tuppence a bag. Nicely crafted tale.

Indigo said...

Beautiful! I could picture her perfectly in my mind's eye. (Hugs)Indigo

Jientje said...

Indigo took the words right out of my mind. You're a painter with words.

lisaschaos said...

Very moving. I feel bad for her and happy about her too.

moneythoughts said...

Very nicely done. I wanted to buy a rose as I was touched by your words.

LceeL said...

Quilly: Thank you, ma'am. I wasn't going for 'Lerner and Lowe', but I guess it does sort of smack of "My Fair Lady", eh?

Big Mark 243: It's about how we each have a purpose, no matter how lowly we might seem to the observer.

Nevine: Thank you, Nevine.

Grandmother: Thank you, Darlin'.

Tara R: Thank you, Tara. I worked on her 'cry' for over an hour.

Indigo: Thank you, my friend. THAT'S what I work for.

Jientje: Thank you, Jientje. Just as you are a painter with a lens.

Lisaschaos: Oh, don't feel bad. She's fine - presently on holiday in Tenerife.

Moneythoughts: Thank you, Fred. Just the effect I was looking for.

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

Your characters are such characters! And you don't stick with one "type" when you write. There must be a whole village inside your writer's mind!

Nan Sheppard said...

Ahhh, the cold and damp of London, you brought it to life!

The sun is shining today, though!