October Daffodil, by Richard Malloy

 

Every autumn after the first frost, hundreds of resplendent daffodils mystifyingly bloom behind the old gristmill. Teens, Dick Ladson and Callie Ewing will always remember the moonlit haven where they loved, hoped, and dreamed.

In October 1960, they defy Callie’s controlling mother, vowing to share a life together. “Let’s lie in the mill flowers ’til it’s time for you to go,” Callie whispers, her words garbled with sobs. They exchange poignant goodbyes, with hope that his enlistment in the Army will provide the means for their marriage. The strength of their love will be challenged relentlessly for many years to come.

In October 1989, Dick stares at a flowerbed outside his cabin window. His hope nearly dissolved, he awaits the outcome of his yearly endeavor to dupe the daffodils into blooming after the first frost. Will October daffodils ever reappear, and will he ever again feel the warmth of her sweet whispers?

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