The Metaphor: Final Part.

by | Feb 26, 2024 | Uncategorized | 1 comment

He opened the barn and was shocked

The young woman was sick of them. The constant flow of men. Like a human conveyor belt. Why couldn’t they leave her alone?

“This one has two degrees. That one is a dentist. How about that son of your cousin? Doesn’t he have that law firm in town?” Her parents droned on. Meanwhile, the years ticked on to her thirtieth. She needed a distraction.

***

The plant woke up. It was pitch black and she could hear the old man. He was busy outside. She could hear his voice and knew he was talking to that damned rose bush. How she longed to snuggle up next to him, listen to his soft voice in her ear. Ear? What ear? Then she realised she was trapped in this green Hell. All because she disobeyed her parents.

“Old man? Are you there? Can you hear me?” Her voice was tired and weak. His monologue continued outside in the garden. The plant gave in to the darkness and the torment of her punishment. Tomorrow, she’d show him what to do. How to make her immortal. Either that or she’d get him to end it once and for all.

The following morning, Mikel woke to his familiar routine, bread and tea. He decided to forgive the little plant.

Passing the rose bush, he stroked the beautiful pink flower. He opened the barn and was shocked to see two bright red flowers on the plant.

“Good morning my precious. How are you?” He said cheerfully. “What shall we talk about today?”

“Good morning Mikel. Funny you should say that. I want to tell you something,” replied the little shrub.

“Excellent! I love our morning talks,” Mikel said enthusiastically.

“Remember when I told you about reproduction? You got excited didn’t you?” The plant said. Mikel’s face reddened and he closed his eyes tight.

“Yes,” he replied.

“It’s almost time and I need you to help me, my friend.”

My friend? She’d never used that expression before.

“Soon it will be time for us to part. You always knew it was inevitable. However, there’s one more thing I need you to do.” Her words were like a hammer blow to the back of his head.

“Part? What do you mean? inevitable? Where are you going?” His heart raced and his throat became dry. The tea and bread stayed on the table.

“I have to reconcile my past life. I have to conform to my parent’s expectations”

“Your parents? Isn’t that life gone? No more?”

“In a way, yes”

“What do you mean? In a way.”

“I’m afraid this has all been a lie. Can you do this one last thing for me?”

“Last thing?”

“Yes, you need to fertilise me. See the other flower? The new one? I want you to take some pollen from him and sprinkle it on me. That way I can’t go back. I’ll be yours forever,” said the plant. The old man looked puzzled. Finally he shook his head.

“I’m afraid I can’t do that. I wouldn’t be right,” he replied, scratching his chin.

“Please Mikel, do it. It’s my only chance. I don’t want to go back there, to them,” she pleaded.

“No Nana.”

“In that case, you have no other choice”

“What do you mean? This is all so confusing.”

“Pick me.”

“Pick you?”

“Exactly. I need you to pluck the flower. Place it in the buttonhole of your jacket”

“What? No! I refuse.”

“Do it old man! I beg you. Do you see this other flower here? Soon he’ll see me and it’ll be over. Do it! Now!”

Tears welled up in the old man’s eyes. He pinched the stem just below the flower. The soft green flesh gave way and the bloom lay in his huge palm.

He gently threaded the stem through the buttonhole. The sticky sap coated his fingers like green blood. He took his lapel in one hand and tilted his head towards the flower. Inhaling deeply, he took in the last few traces of her scent. Then, she was gone.

***

They didn’t find his body until a week later. Lying on the floor of his living room. The dead, arid leaves of the plant lay on the table and the brown petals of the flower lay on the floor next to his body.

There wasn’t a sound – silence.

1 Comment

  1. Kenneth Childs

    Surprising ending but ok.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Receive an email notification for new posts

Loading