Chapter 1:

Flowers Bloom on Asphalt

A Flower Blooms on Asphalt [Short Story]

Today I saw a flower bloom on asphalt.

Her leaves were tiny but verdant. Her stem was flimsy but strong. Her petals proudly wore the hues of life like the costume of spring. With her heart beating like festival drums, she painted the grey cityscape with the sun’s yellow and the forest’s green.

Under the concrete bridge, she sprouted up from the grime. Forever in the shade of skyscrapers, she flourished without the warmth of the sun or the taste of the spring breeze. She only knew the odor of exhaust, the texture of blackened gum, and the sounds of screeching metal. But she didn’t mind that.

She makes do with what she has. Her roots treated sewage like fresh water. Her leaves treated street lamps like sunlight. Her petals treated turbulence like valley winds. Smog was her pollen and cigarettes were her caterpillars.

And she bloomed.

Blooming for all to see, even though no one paid attention. Her flexible stem bent and shook but always stood straight up. Her roots crawled through cement for nutrients but she never withered. She was by all means, more than capable of thriving for herself.

But the city is no place for flowers. People move without caring for her. Cars rush by without noticing her. The trains rumbled far above her and the subways groaned far beneath her. But she didn’t mind that.

A flower blooms on asphalt.

She blooms by herself.

The feet of businessmen hurrying to offices crushed her, but she got back up. The winter winds froze her, but she warmed herself with her heart. The pigeons and crows gnawed at her, but she still stood strong.

But day by day. The shoes grinding on her, the smog choking her, and the heat scorching her slowly took its toll. Although she could stand back up, the damage never disappeared.

Yesterday I saw a flower bloom on asphalt.

Now I see a withered stem run over by a car.

She was strong enough to thrive on her own in a city toxic to her, but the trampling of others murdered the flower’s heart.