Wonderful flowers

flowers and thorns

By the blurry old window sat an old man watching the gorgeous May rain accompanied by a merry thunder conquer the world outside. Children played under that rain, jumping into a puddle with a splash one minute, playing tag the second. They seemed happy enough to old Lymor. He couldn't say the same thing about himself, though, for rainy weather always made his old wounds ache. That was the reason why he was a bit more grumpy that day. He wrapped a warm blanket around his aching legs to feel better.

The world looked like a colourful blur through the wet glass. An elegant phantom figure crossed the yard and headed toward the house. Soon, Lymor heard someone gently knocking at the door. The door wasn't locked of course, so the guest just wanted to be polite.

"Come in!" said Lymor. "Hi, grandpa!"

His beautiful granddaughter, Veychonne, stood in the doorway. Her cloak was drenched and made her look even more slender than she was. She had obviously removed the cowl when still outdoors, because her beautiful short hair was dripping wet. Veychonne seemed to enjoy the warm rain as much as the kids. As if to prove Lymor's guess once more she poured the water gathered in her cowl to the ground and laughed.

Soon, grandfather and granddaughter were drinking herbal tea by the rainy window and chatting.

"Sorry, I forgot…" said Lymor apologetically, "what is this thing you are studying?"
"Botany," Veychonne reminded him with a smile.
"Ah, of course!" The proud grandpa waved his hands. "Stupid old me. So, what's new? Anything interesting?"
"Oh, yes, grandpa!" Veychonne's eyes brightened up. " We've grown the Wonderful Flowers! I already knew they were beautiful, now I know they are also terrifying…"
"How can flowers be terrifying?" Lymor grunted sceptically.

“Let’s see… For starters, they are not afraid of weeds. Quite the opposite: the Wonderful Flowers grow poorly when planted into a bare soil, but thrive when planted among other plants. Then they grow huge and blossom beautifully.”
“Hmm, that doesn’t sound terrifying to me.” The old man shrugged.
“I was getting to this, grandpa. You see, they cannot stand their own kind. I saw firsthand what happens when you plant two Wonderfuls nearby. They grow toward each other with their roots and stems, then they intertwine and each one tries to throttle the opponent. The leaves turn into thorns, the sweet fragrance becomes a nauseating stench. That “war” is very slow from a human perspective, but we filmed it, then sped up the recording… that was terrifying. It goes on and on for months until one of the Wonderfuls dies. The winner then transforms into a pretty flower again. It changes its thorns into leaves, bears new blossoms, and smells sweeter than ever.”

Veychonne noticed the unusual frown on her grandfather’s face.

“What’s wrong, grandpa?” she asked, perplexed.

Lymor had been silent for a long while, drowning in old memories and nervously thrumming on the table.

“These flowers,” he said finally, with a grave concern in his voice, “are way too human…”

(February 25, 2004)

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English is not my native language.
If you see an error or a typo, please, tell me. I will fix it.