Roses Are Red: Important Details
So, I've gotten a lot of reviews, where readers have asked about the significance of a certain detail, or asking if I was referencing literature. In response, I'm posting this informative (though somewhat unnecessary) list of references, quotes and important facts for Roses Are Red. I hope all your questions are answered.
This was something I planned to play with for the entirety of the story, but eventually it got cut out. At one point (around chapter four), I had the idea of making Helga have a dream that she herself tried to dig up the rosebush, only to find nothing under it, and then wake up the next morning covered in dirt. When I decided to go with the "Backyard Party" dream sequence, this was taken out.
Blood/"Mysterious Red Liquid"
The mention of blood first came in chapter two, when Helga noticed the "redness" of her rosebush. The actual MRL didn't make an appearance until chapter three, in Dr. Harrison's office. I received a lot of reviews, saying that parts of the story reminded them of Lady MacBeth, and this was my tiny tribute to that.
Despite the fact that it was never confirmed what exactly this MLR was, it was never referred to as blood until chapter four, and even then, Helga refused to acknowledge it as blood. In truth, it wasn't real blood, it was just supposed to resemble blood. I repeat, IT'S NOT BLOOD. IT WAS NEVER BLOOD. HELGA WASN'T BLEEDING. YOU CAN STOP SCREAMING NOW.
The Number "4"
This is something very few (actually, only one) reviewer caught, and I'm glad,. Because that means I'm very sneaky. Or, very bad at writing in clues. The occurrences of the number "4" are as follows:
All chapter titles either add up to "4" or add up to factors of 4.
-Chapter 1: 11 hours, 17 minutes. 11+17=28. 28/7=4.
-Chapter 2: 4 days, 13 hours, 5 minutes. 4+13+5=22. 2+2=4.
-Chapter 3: 9 days, 4 hours, 18 minutes. 9+4+18=31. 3+1=4.
-Chapter 4: 2 months, 3 weeks, 6 days, 8 hours, 54 minutes. 2+3+6+7+54= 72. 72/18=4.
-Chapter 5: 5 months, 2 weeks, 15 hours, 14 minutes. 5+2+15+14= 36. 36/9= 4.
-Chapter 6: 5 months, 2 weeks, 15 hours, 18 minutes. 5+2+15+18= 40. 4+0= 4.
-Chapter 7: 0. 0 goes into everything. Duh.
In Chapter one, Helga leaves work at exactly 4:44 PM.
In Chapter Three, when Helga is on the train home from "staycation", a train vendor offers to sell her a rose. They are 3.50 each. She pays $49.00 for all of the roses. 4+9=13. 1+3= 4.
In Chapter Five, Helga's water broke at 8:41 PM. 8+4+1= 13. 1+3= 4.
In Chapter Six, Helga had 4 steps in getting ready to go to the hospital.
Also in Chapter Six, Helga stopped counting at "Mississippi two hundred and eleven". 211. 2+1+1=4.
In the addition to Chapter Seven, Olivia is 4 years old. Her nickname from Arnold is "Babycakes", and her nickname, from Helga, is "Pumpkin". "Babycakes" has 9 letters in it. "Pumpkin" has 7. 9+7=16. 16/4=4.
(I could just be grasping at straws with this one) Olivia Rose Shortman. Her initials are ORS. O is the 15th letter of the English alphabet. R is the 18th, and S is the 19th. 15+18+19=52. 52/13= 4.
Go ahead and say it, we both know the NUmber 4 thing is kind cool/freaky...
MacBeth/Lady MacBeth references
As aforementioned, a lot of people caught on to the Lady MacBeth references quickly. Here they are:
Helga sees blood first on her hands. If she sees it anywhere else, it's source is always her hands. She is the only one who ever see it.
In a vain attempt to quell Nancy's curiosity, Helga replies to her saying, "Present fears are less than horrible imaginings…" This is a direct quote from Macbeth (Act 1, Scene 3). "False face must hide what the false heart doth know." is also a quote from Macbeth, that I used in chapter five, when Helga was answering Phoebe's question, as to why she looked "sick".
Do I even need to go into this one? They were everywhere. You saw them. Moving on.
"The Tell Tale Heart" references.
As a child of Baltimore, Maryland, I could not pass up the opportunity to use the city's most famous writer's twisted sense of humor to fuel my own…twisted sense of humor. "The Tell tale Heart" is essentially about a man who works as a butler for a rich, older gentleman, who has a glass eye. The glass eye is a very scary shade of blue, and the butler admits that it taunts him; he feels that, even when the man is asleep, the eye is always watching him. So, he decides to kill the old man. He scares him, late one night, and it's suspected that the man dies of fright (or a heart attack), but to be safe, the butler cuts him up and hides him in the floorboards. Later on that night, the police come by, because the neighbor heard a scream. The butler says that the old man is out of town (or something like that, I haven't read this in a number of years) and invites the policeman to search the house. All the while, the butler hears a ticking noise, that he describes as a "pocket watch muffled with cotton". he likens it to a heartbeat, but tries to brush it off. The entire time the policeman are searching the house, he hears only the heartbeat, until he goes crazy and rips up the floorboards where the old man's body is, screaming, "He's here, under the floorboards! It's the beating of his terrible heart!" or something to that effect.
I only quoted it once, but it was in Chapter 4, when Nancy finds out the Helga is pregnant and asks why she doesn't want to find out the baby's gender:
"True! Nervous- very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am, but why will you say I am mad?"
This isn't terribly important, but I added it for two reasons: One, I'm addicted tot eh stuff. No Pepsi for me. I'm a Coke Girl all the way. And two, I went to the dentist the weekend I posted this, and they said I had to lay off the Coke because it was wearing away at me teeth. My dentist made a joke, that gave me the idea for Helga; he said, "We're going to have to swear you off Coke like they do pregnant ladies!", and then he explained that caffeine is bad for babies and stuff. But JaeB assured me that it's not bad, unless in excess. So, that's why Helga's obsessing over it for most of her pregnancy.
That's all of them folks. If you saw anything else in the story that catches your attention, let me know, and I'll try to explain it. Thank you for reading my fabulously twisted story!!