A Yellow Rose (short story, approx. 3000 words)

Saturday, 16 Apr 2022

A story about our interaction with the natural world, the importance of roots, and how every soul in this world needs a place of their own, however small.


…Hannah held tightly to her father as if to a storm-tossed raft in a gale. He was warm and solid, his rough stubble scratching her cheek, like a cat pawing at the door to her thoughts. 

“Steady on, darl, you’ll knock all the air out of me,” he said, taking her firmly by the shoulders and moving her back from him to get a better look at her. “My Dellabelle. Can’t believe you’re here.” 

Jaime hovered behind them, making an awkward show of putting away his passport. Then Darryl put out a weathered hand and Jaime grasped it, feeling the callouses of a lifetime pressed against his palm. “Daz,” he said by way of introduction. “Come on then, let’s get you two home.” Darryl took control of the luggage trolley and manoeuvred through the crowds at the arrivals gate. 

“Dellabelle?” whispered Jaime to Hannah.

“Delaney… Delly… Dellabelle… he used to call me that.”

“I might adopt it,” smiled Jaime.

Darryl rolled through the sliding glass doors, and they stepped from the sterile interior of the airport into the glare of the Sydney sun. “Hot already,” her father said needlessly. “Gonna be a scorcher today, they say. Top of 42. But we’ll head down to the beach, if you like? Brought your cossies, I hope.” 

A crow, hidden somewhere in the foliage of a gum tree shading the taxi stands, cawed sorrowfully. That crow call, melded with the cadence of her father’s speech and the echo of her long-lost name, assaulted Hannah, kneading her involuntarily back into her childhood. She was suddenly, almost brutally, pressed into a familiar mould, that she was surprised into finding had never left her…

Want to read Hannah’s full story? Contact me