Everyone knew about the Red Daisy B&B and why it stood empty. Almost.
It was an urban legend of sort, one that fascinated teenagers. Mostly boys. They were often found lingering around the old building, trying to peer through the windows. Shutters and curtains were long gone and one could see the inside without much effort. But nobody could enter. Nobody would. The doors were barred. And only for the chosen would they open.
The Red Daisy widow was the one they tried to see. But she was as elusive as the yellow crested finch, which would only come for the chosen one. It was said that once the bird rested on a young man’s shoulder, they were marked for the widow. It was something the young men feared and expected. For no one knew what happened to those who crossed into the Red Daisy.
That evening, the finch had alighted on Jimmy’s shoulder. The young man had observed for a couple of weeks. Not like the others, who would come as a group and stride noisily around the house. No… Jimmy – shy as he was – had climbed a tree, a set of binoculars in his backpack. From one of the largest branch, he’d looked inside the house. He’d gone through each window. And one night, he’d noticed the light burning in one of them.
The vision he beheld would have made him the envy of every stud in town. The widow was there, her naked body barely concealed by the foam of a bath. Her raven hair piled over her head in a hasty knot, the curves of her hips and breast merely promises between the white foam. She’d turned her head and he feared she might have seen him.
He hadn’t intended to go back after that. But the finch landed on his shoulder. And he could deny the sign no more than the excitement of maybe seeing more of the widow. He came with an offering of red daisies: it seemed appropriate. The door opened for him: she stood behind it. And he understood. He was a wanted guest in a life of loneliness, the gift of pleasure desire and life for one night.
Jimmy left the Red Daisy the next day, a changed man, a new man too. But like those who came before him, he would never speak of that night. But it would never leave him. He would never claim to have been inside nor what he did there or what he saw. But he would never forget. The Red Daisy wasn’t meant to welcome more than one guest at a time. Because the widow was the Daisy. And her daughter – not his – would be after her. For one night only, he’d been invited. He’d given what he had, she’d gifted what she could. A week later, he moved out of town.
In response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie writing prompt #187 Collage #34