Like the Innocent Flower

innocent-flower‘Poppy, don’t touch!’

Annabelle shouldn’t have shouted – everyone’s giving her the what’s wrong with her look.

‘Come here, darling.’

If she’d let Poppy touch the flowers, there would be no argument. Parenting could be so easy… She’ll have to bribe Poppy away from the park with ice-cream.

‘Looking is okay, but you mustn’t touch. Remember? They’re evil.’

‘Other children touch them and their mummies let them.’

‘That’s because they’re not botanists. They can’t tell those flowers aren’t pretty daisies.’

Flowers that make people weak-willed and suggestible. Flowers that didn’t originate on Earth. Flowers that … the thought’s too bleak to finish.

***

This is my contribution to this week’s Moral Mondays.

Uprooted

100 words about a child who hates moving
Sunflowers at Surrey Docks Farm – (c) Sonya, 2011

When I grow up, I want to be a sunflower. I want to stand in one place and turn my face with the sun. I want to be tall and bright and make people smile.

Dad says sunflowers will have a better chance than us. But by the time I’ve grown up, even they may need too much water. And they don’t actually turn with the sun. Cacti grows tall, he says. I’ll get to see them soon as we’ll move again and this time, it’ll be the desert.

Cactus, sunflower – I’ll take it, as long as it has roots.

***

It’s one of my pictures for FFfAW 50 – one I’d forgotten about. I love sunflowers and I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s stories.

What a Fool

100 words about summoning a faerie
(c) 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

Not knowing what to expect, he made his way into the dark of the forest.

The instant he stepped in, the sun went away; the forest was all dimness and cool. He held his hands out – it seemed important not to run into a tree – and walked on. He specialised in making a fool of himself, but he’d come here to change that. No matter the price.

While he snailed into the trees, he listened. The old, fir-green-eyed woman had said that if he couldn’t hear the bells, he would never find them. He checked his pocket for candle and matchbox. At the first tinkling of bells, he lit the candle to summon a faerie.

***

Show me a picture of a forest, like the one for this week’s MFtS, and I see faeries

If you cut us, do we not wilt?

white and purple daisies, 100 words about tolerance
(c) 2015, Sonya

‘Stay away from them, seedlings.’

‘Why?’

‘They are purple.’

‘We like purple. We like red, too.’

‘Thank the bees there are no red ones around. They’re nothing but trouble.’

‘But don’t they look like us, almost?’

‘What? Their petals are slimmer than ours. Their pollen is darker with this dirty brown circle on the outer edge. And they grow over there.’

‘Isn’t that just an accident of seeding?’

‘We have nothing in common. Nothing. They don’t look like us.’

‘Wouldn’t it be boring if we all looked the same? We like colour.’

‘That’s enough carbon dioxide wasted. Back to photosynthesising.’

The Mangoes Were Ripe

mango tree, tree house
(c) 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

She lived in a mango tree.

She’d been here for over a century. Sometimes she still missed her apple tree on the small island. Yet only when the tree blossomed and the buzzers’ inelegant wings annoyed her would she wish for her magic. Losing it had been the price for her escape; she hardly found herself summoning a spell that wouldn’t work these days.

When the Englishmen with whom she’d arrived left, she wondered if she ought to return, too. She’d left home for a reason. There was no guarantee she’d have her magic back. And the mangoes were ripe.

She still lives in the mango tree.

***

I’m feeling rather uninspired lately, so to kickstart ideas for today’s MFtS, I sort of used the Story A Day prompt, as well.

Daisies (Literary Lion)

poppies defying paving stones; 100 words about friendship
This week’s theme is flower.
(c) Sonya, 2015

After school, we used to come to the park together to gather daisies. Then we’d sit on our bench – the secluded one by the pond from where you can see most of the grass. We fed leftover sandwiches to the swans, shared our secrets and made each other daisy chains. ‘A flower crown for Princess Violet,’ Poppy would say before she placed one on my head.

While I leave the daisies alone, I still sit on the bench and feed the swans. Late one afternoon, I spot her with her new friends.

She’s smoking while pulling petals off a daisy.

Through the Knothole

Do not look through the knothole, they said. No matter what you hear behind that wall, ignore it.

Of course I didn’t heed the warning. I wonder, now, if they issued it to bait me. Come to think of it, they’ve always been on the wooden side.

But I’m hoping their advice was genuine. I’m hoping they’ll notice I’m gone and come looking for me.

Fast.

The plant, if that’s what it is, is burrowing its roots into my skin – sounds painful but isn’t. At the moment, it’ll take secateurs to free me. Soon, I fear, it’ll take an axe.

Meat Eaters

Are you laughing at me?

Bella’s laugh turns into a startled choke.

‘Nah, she’s laughing at me.’

What’s going on, has she wandered into a video prank? Is she going to become the next viral YouTube idiot?

‘Maybe she’s laughing at both of us. What’s so funny, then?’

If it’s a prank, someone must be filming. Maybe they’ve hidden a webcam in the leaves. She’s going to find it. If her friends thinks she’s stupid enough to fall for this, she’ll show them. She kneels down. One of the flowers takes a bite out of her earlobe.

‘Yum.’

Stunned, Bella falls back.

The flowers cackle.

***

Phew, managed to write something (another carnivorous plant story, as well) for this weeks MFtS before the new prompt goes up tomorrow. I may do back to back stories for the challenge. Because I’m so late, there a plenty of stories to read.

Lunch Time

Copyright Melanie Greenwood
Copyright Melanie Greenwood

We weren’t supposed to be down the far end of the school grounds. But the Gregory twins had chased me all the way. They’d left shouting they’d find a teacher to tell on me.

The hedge growled, shaking its twigs. Scary, but I was more frightened of the Gregory twins. I took out my lunch. The hedge snatched the sarnie. It wasn’t interested in the bread. But it devoured the ham. I held out my finger, pulled back before it could take a bite out.

I laughed. The Gregory twins smelled like pigs. Next time, I’d make them follow me.

***

This is my entry for this week’s Friday Fictioneers. Click here for more than 80 stories (and counting) inspired by Melanie Greenwood‘s photo.

I’ve changed my theme. What do you think? Better, or is the sidebar too distracting?