2nd Prize was won by Frances Gapper for her beguiling tale of a green-fingered Grandpa, with a great chilling surprise in the last line.
MIRROR ON A STICK
On his slow walks around the garden, Grandpa carried a mirror on a stick, so he could see the flowers from different angles without stooping. The hellebores in particular were more beautiful underneath, he said. Green and white and purple. In myth, Helleborus niger originally sprouted from the tears of a young girl. Grandpa wrote horticultural books, his name renowned in the gardening world. What a dear old man he was, my mother reminisces. But I remember how he used to shove the mirror under my dress, cold against my bare legs. Just want to check if you’re wearing knickers.