The Shine Journal

Exceptional Flash, Poetry, Art and Photography!




Winter Offering  




Elizabeth Hardman




A student crush; glancing up now and then from beneath her lashes, her lecturer breathing life into new words, revealing new worlds, every syllable settling with a whoosh into her consciousness awaiting nocturnal replay. 


Lunchtime;  gazing upwards to the window where she sits marking their essays on Wordsworth’s flower of love, his ‘chaste Snowdrop.’ Music drifting downwards  – what is it? Tchaikovsky? Swan Lake?  Until at last the bell summoned them back to her learning and she teaching. Mutual longing silently acknowledged burning and fanned now by Plath’s poetry, read aloud in the still air of the crisp winter afternoon.


Later on that February day - fully ignited - she offered up a small earthenware bowl proudly labelled: ‘Galanthus.’ the tangy aroma of moist soil heavy in the space between them. The bulbs’ resting place speared with sturdy supports that held the tented muslin cloth suspended above the delicate stately heads atop slender stems.


Each tender heart-shaped inner flower, unfurling, creamy with dewy promise – inviting a blush of acceptance; ultimately to be snuffed out by the stultifying gas of duty.








ELIZABETH HARDMAN is a freelance tutor and mentor with a distance learning college in Cambridge, England. She tutors History, English and Creative Writing.


ELIZABETH tells us, "I enjoy spending my leisure time writing, reading and I sail. I have been producing creative writing for many years. I find flash-fiction challenging because I love writing with tight word limits – sometimes using a maximum of only 150 words."




"My inspiration for this piece was exploring the teacher/student relationship from a totally female perspective, with the hope of reflecting empathy for both characters."


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Editor: Pamela Tyree Griffin

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