Sunday November 30th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the flower.

Today's high was supposedly -12 here, but with the wind finally leaving us alone to go hassle somewhere else it felt damned near tropical.

Things are expected to return to above freezing by the end of the week, so there's that to look forward to as well. Until then? Soups, fireplace, hot drinks.

We might be making our final visit to Vancouver Irrealis tomorrow. Not sure yet, but I have a theme week in mind that I'd like to get started on soon and don't really want to put off the end of this year's saga for seven days or more.

So, likely, the yearlong prompt comes to its conclusion on Monday and then a theme week begins either Tuesday or Wednesday. Consider yourselves warned.

Mine:

I wake in the morning light to find myself alone, a single flower left on his pillow to serve as... something. A replacement? An apology? Thanks?

Ugh, please don't let it be that last one.

Without pausing to study the parting gift, if that's what it is, I shower and get dressed. I've got coffee brewing and breakfast in the oven before I remember my phone is still on my bedside table. I enter the room, grab my cell, and I'm heading for the door when the smell stops me in my tracks.

I turn to take a closer look at the flower, realizing that I'd initially assumed that it was a rose. Typical, predictable rose. But no, that sweet jasmine scent tells me I was wrong.

An orchid. How delightfully unexpected. Where could he have... oh no.

I rush to the window, look down at Mrs. Wheeler's garden. Her prized centerpiece is missing. Maybe I can blame it on a deer or dog or... wait a second. She'll have no reason to suspect this has anything to do with me. I'll just offer condolences when she surely complains to me about it when I pass by on my way home from work this afternoon. No biggie.

Then I see the muddy footprints leading from her yard to my backdoor.

3 Comments:

Greg said...

I love how relative temperatures work: provided it's cold enough for long enough we adapt and start to think that warm is what other people still think is cold. There's a list somewhere that explains temperature ranges in terms of America, and I think somewhere around 15C Floridians are wearing woolly jumpers and thick coats, and somewhere around 2C they die off, while Minnesotans are still in shorts and t-shirts. Somewhere around -30C lawyers put their hands in their own pockets :)
Heh, I like how a sweet gesture slowly turns into a spiral of unending trouble! The story unfolds really well, and the final lines have just the right done of desperate hope and final frustration :)
Oh, and I'm in favour of an early visit to Vancouver Irrealis too, but that's because I want to see how many people you kill off before the blood-lust is sated :)

The flower
"Turn left at the flower," said Isabella Bonfontaine. She was reading from the map; a photocopy of a hand-made copy of a document so old that she'd not even considered trying to steal it from the museum, knowing it would turn to dust before she could get it anywhere safe. She looked up and around, and then at Maurice.
Maurice had hired her for this trip and yet seemed almost clueless about what relic-hunting was really like. He was wearing a blue beret, a black-and-white stripey t-shirt that she thought he thought looked French, and, and this was the kicker, high heels. She couldn't decide if he was wearing trousers or culottes, but after the high heels she'd decided she didn't care.
"Which one?" asked Maurice. They were in a riperine meadow, and there were buttercups, daisies, meadowsweet and larks-foot wherever you cared to look. Isabella checked the map again, and the written instructions down the side.
"It just says 'turn left at the flower'," she said, her tone turning thoughtful.
Maurice stamped a foot, which jammed the heel of his shoe into the soft earth, which in turned pulled the shoe from his foot when he tried to lift it away and stamp again, and he fell over in a crumpled heap, cursing loudly.
"It's a kind of riddle," said Isabella thoughtfully. "I think it's an old crossword trick actually. It really says 'turn left at the flow-er', the thing that flows. The river, in other words." She looked down at Maurice. "Catch me up when you're ready," she said.

morganna said...

Flower: A cherita (Malay poem)

Sweetly smelling pink bud

Bees' delight
In the summer sun

Sudden rain pelting down
Pink petals wilt
Drifting away on the wind.

Marc said...

Greg - hah, that list sounds worth looking up!

And apologies for the lack of bloodshed in my final entry :P

I am impressed with Isabella's ability to sort that one out. I think I would have looked up, seen all the flowers, and thrown the map away in disgust!

Morganna - that is lovely. I'm not sure what else to say, or if anything else need be said... so I'll just leave it at that. Lovely.