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Poppy's Bunch

Poppy’s Bunch

Anna Skoyles




Short Story







E-book published by Glitterball Books in 2016.

Copyright © Anna Skoyles 2016


The right of Anna Skoyles to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.


All the characters in this book are fictitious, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.


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Poppy’ Bunch

Part One

_Part Two _

I hope you enjoyed this story

Also by Anna Skoyles

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Poppy’ Bunch

Part One

[_ _]

Poppy saw him enter the florists and wait patiently behind her favourite customer Belinda. It was Valentine’s Day so she had been expecting him. She couldn’t exactly call him a regular, since he only came into the shop three times a year to buy flowers: a bunch of lilies every Mother’s Day, then a bouquet of Poppy’s choice every 28th August and Valentine’s Day.

Poppy knew that he’d always turn up on those three days. She had made a mental note of the dates and she did, of course, look forward to seeing him; although their interactions were more brief than she’d have liked.

Her hands became clammy the longer he was looking in her direction. Feeling flustered, she ended up overcharging Belinda; making the wait seem even longer to speak to him. Poppy caught his eye.

‘I won’t be long,’ she called to him across the mass of roses filling the shop, not wanting to draw her eyes away from his.

‘Such a pretty bouquet, as always,’ remarked Belinda, unaware of Poppy’s eagerness to serve the man behind her. ‘Will you do my niece’s flowers next month? It’s her 21st.’

‘I’d love to,’ answered Poppy whilst refunding the transaction to start again. ‘Kate,’ she called out to her colleague at the back ‘Can you give me a hand please?’

Kate was just about to serve the man when he interjected. ‘I’d prefer to wait to speak to Poppy, if that’s alright.’

Feeling a little offended by this, since she quite fancied him herself, Kate turned to help Belinda. Poppy was free to speak to him at last and he knew her name! Then she remembered, the shop was called Poppy’s Bunch! Silly girl. How could she forget? She’d named the place and he was obviously here to buy flowers for his girlfriend. It was Valentine’s Day after all.

‘Hello, how can I help you?’ she asked, whilst checking her hair.

‘A dozen roses please,’ he said.

That confirmed it, thought Poppy.

‘Of your choice.’ he continued.

Poppy joined him amongst the flowers. ’How about yellow ones? I always think red roses are a little cliched, don’t you?’ He agreed as she made her way to the bucket stocked full of golden blooms.

She loved yellow roses and gathered them up carefully for her customer. Back at the counter she wrapped them in paper and handed them to him with his change.

The man was about to say something but then seemed to think better of it. Suddenly looking uncomfortable he thanked her and quickly left.

‘Ooo, who was that hunk?’ cooed Belinda. ‘Very handsome.’

‘His name’s Sam…I think,’ Poppy said softly, wishing she knew more about him. Not that there was much point, since he obviously had a girlfriend.

‘Got yourself an admirer there,’ teased Belinda.

‘Hardly,’ remarked Poppy whilst playing with the pen on the counter to distract her. ‘He buys flowers on Valentine’s Day every year.’

‘No wedding ring though,’ Kate added, wanting to help her friend, ‘and he only ever wants to speak to you.’

‘You should follow him!’ Belinda suggested.

‘Yeah, go on. Find out where he’s going!’ added Kate.

‘I’m not a stalker. Besides, he’s already gone.’ Poppy stood by the window and gazed out. Amongst the sea of faces she couldn’t spot him.

Belinda joined her. ‘Look! There he is!’

‘Where?’ Poppy scanned the crowd.

‘Coming out of the bank.’ Belinda pointed to him. ‘Follow him!’

‘No, I’m not doing that…I have to cash up.’ Poppy did wonder where he was going though. Off home to his girlfriend to give her the yellow roses, she imagined.

Kate grabbed Poppy’s coat, ‘I can do that. Go!’

‘Borrow my hat, then he won’t recognise you.’ Belinda added, determined to find out more about the young man.

‘I’m not following him, and the bouquet’s clearly for his girlfriend anyway.’

‘I’ll do it then!’ Belinda was off, rushing out of the shop before Poppy had time to object.

Kate and Poppy cashed up the day’s takings and locked up the shop. They caught the bus home together. Kate’s stop was first and Poppy was soon left alone with her thoughts for the remainder of her journey. Had Belinda gone through with it? Knowing her favourite customer, she probably had.

_Part Two _

The next day Belinda returned to the shop.

‘I’ve got some news for you,’ she informed Poppy, whilst Kate appeared from out of the back carrying some of the fresh flowers from that morning’s delivery. ‘It’s about that young man.’ Belinda continued.

‘Yes, I thought it might be! Tell me you didn’t follow him Belinda!’ Poppy cringed at the thought.

‘I did! And what I found out was [_very _]interesting!’ Belinda proclaimed with a wide grin.

‘Tell us more!’ Kate piped up from behind some long stemmed roses.

‘They [_were _]for his girlfriend.’

Both Kate and Poppy groaned.

‘How do you know that?’ asked Poppy.

‘She must have seen him meeting her after he left here. Is she pretty?’ Kate enquired.

‘Yes, and much younger.’ Belinda whispered, as if someone else might here when the shop only had the three of them.

Kate didn’t look surprised. ‘That explains it. No wonder he hasn’t asked you out then.’

In walked Sam. The women stopped their gossiping and pretended to be talking about the bouquet for Belinda’s niece.

‘Hello,’ he said to Belinda. ‘This is the third time I’ve seen you in 24 hours.’

‘Oh is it?’ Belinda laughed, acting coy. ‘I’ve only seen you twice!’

‘Plus the time that you followed me when I left the bank yesterday’ he added.

Belinda looked sheepish.

Kate interjected to defend their favourite customer. ‘Belinda was probably just going the same way, weren’t you?’

‘Yes, visiting my husband’s grave… that’s where I was going. I go there every Friday’ Belinda was glad of her quick thinking.

‘But it was Thursday…….’ Sam paused for a moment, he didn’t want to upset her. ‘I’m sorry to hear about your husband.’ he added.

‘Oh that’s alright. I didn’t like him much anyway.’

Sam didn’t know how to respond. He turned to Poppy. ‘May I speak to you for a moment?’

Belinda rushed out of the shop, glad of the excuse to leave what was fast becoming a very awkward situation. Kate went out the back to tend to the rest of the day’s delivery, giving Poppy a brief look of warning en route.

Poppy and Sam stood amongst the shop full of flowers, the sun shining down on them through large front windows.

‘Was there something wrong with the bouquet?’ Poppy asked, trying to remain professional.

‘No, not at all. They were beautiful, as always….I wanted to ask you something actually.’

Poppy waited for him to continue, wondering what he had to say.

‘It’s something I’ve been meaning to ask for a while. Would you like to go for a drink with me sometime?’ He looked relieved to have finally said what was on his mind.

Poppy felt insulted. ‘But you’ve got a girlfriend!’

Sam looked perplexed. ’No, I haven’t. What makes you think that?’

‘Well you always buy flowers on Valentine’s Day…..and Belinda saw you with her yesterday. You gave her the roses that you bought.’

‘Belinda needs to stop following people. That was my colleague: Sarah.’

‘You buy flowers for your colleague?’ Kate was right, thought Poppy.

‘No, I bought them so that I could see you.’

‘Oh’ said Poppy as a smile spread across her face. ‘So, who do you usually buy all the flowers for?’

‘I don’t have anyone to buy flowers for; except for my Mum on Mother’s Day.’ Sam added.

‘The lillies.’


Poppy was confused. ‘So what are doing with all the flowers then?’

‘All the other times I’ve been in here and bought flowers…well they were just so that I could see you.’

‘Oh’ was all Poppy could manage to say. She hadn’t been expecting this.

‘I’ve been wanting to ask you out for ages.’

‘Then why didn’t you?’

‘You’re never on your own. That Belinda woman and your colleague are always here…’

‘But you’ve been coming in here for years.’

Sam felt a bit stupid. ‘Yeah, I know…but now that I’ve finally got around to asking you… how about that drink?’

‘Yes, I’d like that.’ Poppy replied with a smile.


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Also by Anna Skoyles


On My Back Paws

Kindle and Paperback Editions

A fun, fantasy about friendship and trust’ 5 STARS – Readers’ Favorite.


Do you love dogs? Then you’re going to fall in love with Seamus, the golden retriever and his exciting dog story!

This is Seamus’ story, told in his own words. Seamus is lonely. He has a lot he’d like to say; especially to his best friend Sophie, but he’s just a dog. He wants to know why she keeps on leaving him all day; has she found a new best friend?

Sophie, meanwhile, is having trouble with her new job. She can’t find the right actor to play the leading man in a film she’s working on. Seamus would be perfect for the role but he’s just a dog… until one day, with the flash of an old magic wand, both their lives change.

Can Seamus save their friendship by helping Sophie? And can he really resist being who he truly is?

The perfect book for dog lovers of all ages.


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[_ _]


On My Back Paws


Short Stories

[Poppy’s Bunch

Poppy's Bunch

He keep buying flowers…… if only they were for her! Poppy the florist has a crush on one of her customers. The trouble is, she only sees him three times a year…..when he buys flowers for someone else. This mysterious man has turned up on exactly the same dates; including Valentine’s Day, every year. So, he’s obviously got a girlfriend, hasn’t he? This fun short story is perfect for fans of Miranda Dickinson, Giovanna Fletcher and Carole Matthews. Download, sit back and enjoy some lighthearted flash fiction; sprinkled with a touch of romance! (Reading time approx 10-15 minutes). Looking for a longer read? Take a look at Anna’s first novel ‘On My Back Paws’. Out now! (more details in Poppy's Bunch or from Anna's website www.ajsbooks.wix.com/woof )

  • Author: Anna Skoyles
  • Published: 2016-08-02 11:40:09
  • Words: 1907
Poppy's Bunch Poppy's Bunch