Writing Group: The Language of Flowers

Hello, Florists and Gardeners!

Red Roses for beauty, Lily of the Valley for returning to happiness, Forget-Me-Nots for remembrance, Wheat for prosperity; plants and flowers come in so many different forms. From only a few petals to many, perennial to annual, stems to bark. Despite how different all of these plants are, they all have a universal language. This is the time for Earthly expression, because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

The Language of Flowers

RULES AND GUIDELINES BELOW!
Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!

Just as diverse as the flora themselves, plants have influenced us in so many ways. From the sayings we speak – “Oops-a-Daisy!” – to the songs we sing – “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme” – they’ve truly grown on us. These beautiful forms of life aren’t just there to dance in our vision, they grace all of our senses. Their scents, the way they feel, and even the rustle of the wind blowing through forests and fields; there’s a reason they tell you to stop and smell the roses!

But even beyond senses, flowers have sprouted their way into language and literature. Have you considered that maybe an artist chose a certain flower for a reason? In the background, the flora can speak loudly, if you’re willing to listen. 

In a more literal sense, maybe you’re a fairy or a forest spirit, your physical form resembling that of a flower or the Earth around you. The place you reside in, it’s beautiful but dangerous. A sunny day is spent basking in the light, but a windy day won’t hesitate to rip your petals off. And of course, one day your fragility could be your downfall. How does that make you feel? Will language ever be enough to properly express this ever-changing life?

Let’s slow down a bit and take in the sweet scents of a flower shop. Maybe you’re the owner of the shop, making beautiful bouquets that are tailored specifically for each person; weddings, funerals, birthdays, get-well-soon’s. Each arrangement tells a story that, even if the customer may not understand it, ties each flower together as they’re wrapped up nicely. On the other end though, you could be the customer. Unable to find the words that you need, you walk into the flower shop. What occasion has brought you to buy an arrangement? What are you hoping these flowers will say to the receiver? 

Regardless of who you are – human or spirit, florist or just someone admiring the world – there is always a plant willing to help you speak your mind. Their language is one that can be understood by all. 

Now everyone, it’s time to make your bouquets.

—Shea

Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.

Tune into the stream this Saturday at 3:00pm CST to see if you made the cut!

The whole purpose of this is to show off the creativity of the community, while also helping each other to become better writers. Lean into that spirit! Get ready not just to share what you’ve got, but to give back to the other writers here as well.

Rules and Guidelines

We read at least four stories during each stream, two of which come from the public post, and two of which come from the much smaller private post. Submissions are randomly selected by a bot, but likes on your post will improve your chances of selection, so be sure to share your submission on social media!

  1. Text and Formatting

    1. English only.
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    3. Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
    4. Your piece must be between 250-350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
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  2. What to Submit

    1. Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
    2. Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
    3. Write something brand new; no re-submitting past entries or pieces written for other purposes
    4. No fan fiction whatsoever. Take inspiration from whatever you’d like, but be transformative and creative with it. By submitting, you also agree that your piece does not infringe on any existing copyrights or trademarks, and you have full license to use it.
    5. Submissions must be self-contained (everything essential to understanding the piece is contained within the context of the piece itself—no mandatory reading outside the piece required. e.g., if you want to write two different pieces in the same setting or larger narrative, you cannot rely on information from one piece to fill in for the other—they must both give that context independently).
  3. Submission Rules

    1. One submission per participant.
    2. Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
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    5. Be constructive and uplifting. These submissions are not for a professional market, and shouldn’t be treated as such. We do this, first and foremost, for the joy of the craft. Help other writers to feel like their work is valuable, and be considerate and gentle with critique when you offer it. Authors who leave particularly abrasive or disheartening remarks on this post will be disqualified from selection for readings.
    6. Use the same e-mail for your posts, reviews, and likes, or you may be rendered ineligible (you may change your username or author name between posts without problem, however).
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Comments on this post that aren’t submissions will be deleted, except for replies/reviews left on existing submissions.

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Cromillea
Cromillea
3 months ago

Sunflower (Dawn Collection)

By Cromillea

In the morning, the Sunrise King cast off his deep blue cloak and awoke in a warm field of sunflowers. He stretched his arms up to the sky and shook off the nighttime frost. He was revitalized at the sight of the flowers, likewise, they seemed pleased at his presence too. They all turned to him taking in the light that reflected off his red cape; their faces continued to follow him as he walked past. The flowers clung to his radiance as he left them behind.

As the King made his way down the hill, through the tall grass, he could hear something rustling behind him. In a snap, he turned towards his pursuer, drawing his burning blade.

In front of him was a paladin with a bright cheerful face. She had one great braid of dark hair going down her back, tied on top with an oversized sunflower. The King recognized her as his daughter Dawn.

“There you are!” she said as she rushed forwards with her shield, tackling him to the ground. The King was shocked, but not wishing to hurt her, he put up a weak struggle as she bound him in chains.

“Dawn, you better explain yourself,” his voice strained.

Dawn held his bound arms firmly and fastened the King’s sword to her own belt. “You need to explain yourself, not me,” she said, losing her cheerful disposition. “Why are you leaving us? Why are you running away from us….away from me? You are betraying everyone!”

With a quick pull, the King broke out of her hold and backed away. “Dawn please, you know that the Moonfall Queen is after me and she will spare no one if we meet again. If I just keep running she will leave you all alone,” he said.

“Dad, this is reckless!” Dawn pulled the flower from her hair and presented it saying, “they look to you. You give the sunflowers light, direction, and joy. They’ll all die without you, and yes, the people of the sun will too. There’s no running from this.”

Pumpkin
3 months ago

Putting the flowers outside
By Pumpkin (who is very tired right now so apologies for typos and the like)

I pass the heavy iron gate to the garden with upbeat skips and hold my hat before it gets pulled away by a gust of wind.

I”m greeted by a patch of cheerful strawberries offering their fruit. I pick one, take a bite and find it tastes bright and sweet.

Then another calls to me claiming her fruit is far sweeter. So I try that one and conclude it’s quite delicious.
The strawberries keep going, one promise more wonderful than the next.

But I have more things to do, more things to see. I thank them kindly then get back on my way.

The road is uneven, the tiles cracked and worn by the passing of centuries.
However the flower beds beside it are perfect in every way.

I try to say hello to a pretty narcissus but no matter what I say he keeps bending the subject back to his own glory. It’s quite impolite to be that boastful so I excuse myself with a huff.

By the lake there stands a weeping willow, I ask what’s wrong and it tells me that there used to be a sweet lilly in the lake at his feet.
One with beatiful white flowers and bright yellow cores and enourmous leaves dotting the lake with colour and life.

But then the lily and him drifted apart by currents beyond their control.
The willow misses her.
Wishes things had gone differently.

I have no wisdom to share and all I have to give are my sympathies. I wrap my arms around the trunk, stay there for a while.

Going deeper inside the garden the wisteria sprawling down the arches whisper sweet temptations in my ear.
Freedom, power, revenge.
But only wicked people brew tea from that plant.

The heavens break and I rush on my way to the rush to find cover from the rain underneath a shed that stood on its last legs.

And amids the sound of rushing water beating down on worn out tin
I could hear the flowers cheer.
I sit down.
Enjoy the sound.

VTRwriter
3 months ago

Flower Emergency (kind of a sequel to Boozed Up)
by VTRwriter

The phone rang.

“S.O.S. Flowers, how may I help?”

“Hi. I want to send flowers to a friend, actually my boss…”

“Species?”

“Hmm… She’s a dragon, but she’s usually in human form…”

“Your species?”

“…Hafling, but…”

“So what happened?”

“Is this necessary?”

“Flowers have a language, sir. You really don’t want to send the wrong message or cause a wrong impression.”

“Makes sense. Well, last time we met, I may have said something that offended her, since, you know, she’s been giving me the cold shouder and all that. I don’t know what it was. She’s a nice person, you know, we’ve been friends for a while, and I don’t want bad feelings between us. So I though…”

“That’ll be three shamroks, one black tulip, one purple hyacinth, two common hollyhocks, one pink tulip and a yellow poppy.”

“Wow, I didn’t even knew half of those existed. What does that mean?”

“It means ‘I, hafling, apologize to you, dragon. Please remeber our good times and friendship. Success to you.'”

“What, really? People understand this kind of stuff?”

“Not really, it’s a lost language. But at least it looks pretty.”

“Yeah, seems all right. Oh, maybe if you put some snapdragons too. She’s a dragon, so she might…”

“Sir, for the love of the eight Gods, never give snapdragons to a dragon!”

“Huh? Why not?”

“Because the results can be deadly.”

“What do you mean? For her, or for me?”

“Yes.”

“That doesn’t answer much, but ok, no snapdragons.”

“If you want to give some flirtatious hints, you could start with blue tulips and then…”

“Oh, no, no, I don’t want to give the wrong idea.”

“Sir, you’re sending her flowers instead of chocolates.”

“So what?”

“Do you usually send flowers to your friends and relatives?”

“… Yeah. I think you’re right.”

“If you need, I have the phone number of a chocolatier friend…”

“No, no. You gave me a lot to think about for a while. Just send the flowers. But no blue tulips. Not yet, at least.”

Last edited 3 months ago by VTRwriter
Matthew R. Wright
Matthew R. Wright
3 months ago

Flowers For Fiends?
By Matthew R. Wright

“I want a Hate-Bouquet. You do those?” A silence followed his question, and lasted a little too long. He repeated, and no, Daphne didn’t. It wasn’t what her flower-shop was for. She was Daphne O’Dea, local green-finger, owner of FLOWERS-FOR-FRIENDS. Hate wasn’t what she grew.

However, for some reason, Daphne’s tongue had slipped, and she responded with a “Yes.”

Oops.

What unsettled Daphne more than the request itself, was the WAY this stranger had asked. Lingering underneath the words was an insidiousness, an unnerving intent. Both customer and question were unwelcome in her flower shop.

“I need them to repeat a message, a very SPECIFIC message. Can they?” the man asked, in a similar sinister tone. Again, Daphne had panicked and responded with “Yes. The Whisper-Lilies can.”

The man leaned in, as if to reveal a secret.

“My…friend, just came out of surgery. Extended Bifrontal Craniotomy. Everyone’s so happy for them. So many get-well flowers. I want the Lilies to give them THIS message, and ONLY at night, after visiting hours, okay? I only want THEM to hear it.”

The stranger gave Daphne a handwritten note, and she nodded, her neck disobeying her. She gave the man the order-total and told him it’d be ready the next day. The customer gave her a haunting smile that lingered in her mind long after they had left.

It wasn’t really until THAT very moment, when the customer had left, after hearing THAT request, that she had ever thought about intent.

Flowers in this place, which is like here but not quite, naturally made sounds, ones that very-much sounded like words. They could be trained to say pretty much whatever a person wanted, and most people used this fact for gift-giving. For cute and funny birthday messages, for songs, for poetry recitations to friends, family, and colleagues.

Never had she thought that someone would want to use her gifts for anything less than wholesome. This was all meant to be harmless, fun, safe.

She read the note and what she’d agreed to:

“It wasn’t enough. They didn’t get it all. You’re still dying.”

Last edited 3 months ago by Matthew R. Wright
V3RU5
V3RU5
3 months ago

The first thing samael was aware of was the throbbing pain in her head. She remembered an argument involving some city folks, that turned violent. Unlike most vagabonds, she didn’t believe the city folks to be evil. Unreasonable, maybe. Usually. Out of touch with the planet? Definitely.
With great effort, she opened her eyes to find herself in a sterile room. White walls, white window frames, white desk. And a cut flower in a glass on the white table beside her bed. Like death is inevitable for a flower cut and cleaned like this, death is inevitable if a vagabond sets his mind to hunt you down. The clearest threat among vagabonds
Hissing from pain, samael sat up, took a few deep breaths that felt like her chest was splitting, then hit a big red button on the wall. A moment later, a nurse came in. Cities and their technology.
“You’re awake” she said cheerfully.
Samael pointed at the flower.
“Do you know, who this is from?”
“Don’t you like it?” A little girl had snuck in behind the nurse. Her smile disappeared, as her gaze met samael’s.
“inside the city” samael said “what do cut flowers mean? Flowers without their roots?”
The little girl looked at samael. “flowers are pretty” she said. Samael had to smile. The flower on the table came not from a place of hate, but a place of naivety.
“they’re not pretty for long” samael said. “a few weeks and this flower will wither. If you gift someone a flower, you need it’s roots, and some soil around it.”
“that’s rude” the girl said. “giving someone who isn’t a close friend potted plant. Something they need to care for forever, reminding them of you all the time. A nice gift among friends, but rude amount strangers”
“you don’t have to care for the flower. If you like the gift, you find it a nice place, where it can thrive. If you don’t, you give it back. Either way, the flower won’t die”

K.V.
K.V.
3 months ago

Title: Camellia Heads
By: K.V.

The Head Abbot stared at me as I strode across the temple grounds. I went straight for the camellia plant visible from his veranda. Neither of us said anything as I glared at the freshly blooming red flowers.

I wrapped my hand around the most beautiful one. Slowly, I turned to face The Head Abbot again. His expression changed, as if he were trying to stop me with his eyes.

I ripped the flower off, head and all. Casually, I dropped it at my feet. It wasn’t worth the effort of discarding.

He said, “You dare such a threat in this sacred place!”

In reply, I pulled off another head and dropped it.

His face shot red, matching the flowers. “You ruffian! You scoundrel! I’ll have you thrown from the temple! The shogun will hear of this!”

Another.

“Ring the temple bells! Bring all the monks we can. I want this man tossed out on the street…”

His voice was getting weaker and weaker. He wouldn’t have the opportunity to speak with the shogun. Even a casual letter would take too long. I ripped every flower off of the bush before he could move.

With that, I stood up and walked toward The Head Abbot.

No bells rang. No voices cried out for his protection. He scrambled away on all fours like a beast. Pathetic.

I drew my sword and followed, still wearing my sandals as I entered the building. His back cracked as I stomped down to hold him in place. He squirmed, but couldn’t get out a word.

With a slash, his head fell limp on the ground. It wasn’t worth the effort of picking up.

Makokam
3 months ago

By The Book (Chronicles of The Dragon) Ver 2.0
By Makokam

Celeste answered the phone after two rings. “Sunnyside Flowers, how can we help you?” she asked. The voice on the other end spoke for a moment, and she scribbled along. She pulled a calculator over as she asked, “Did you want this by volume or price?” She scribbled an amount and started doing calculations. “Are you sure you only want the three flowers? … Alright, will do. Did you want these delivered or-? … Oh. I’m sorry. We can do that easily. … We can do it today actually! Alright. What is the card you’ll be paying with?” She scribbled some numbers down, then clicking her pen and setting it down. “They’ll be there tonight. Have a great day!”

She tore off the paper and walked to the back. “Got another for today.”

David turned around and said, “Great. Just throw it on the pile. I love getting more same day arrangements.”

Celeste slipped the order into the day’s basket. “Well, it’s two hundred dollars worth of three different flowers. Should only be as hard as you make it,” she said, and went back to the front counter.

David blinked then grabbed the order: Red Carnations, White Carnations, Dark crimson roses “So, not hard, just boring. Do we even have this many carnations?”

“Use more roses. Nobody complains about more roses.”

A couple hours later the driver, Al, returned.

“Got a couple more for you and that’ll be the end for today.”

He nodded and walked over to the delivery table. “Oh, got a big one this time.”

After loading the truck, it took almost an hour to deliver all but the big one. That one was going to a cemetery on the other side of town. It wasn’t a hard delivery, and he knew the place well.

The grave, a simple marker of expensive stone bore the name “Seraphin Valeria” and a date several years prior. Al set the flowers down. He looked at the mass of flowers and took off his hat. “Well, I dunno who you were Miss, but you obviously meant a lot to somebody.”

Last edited 3 months ago by Makokam
Lulumin
Lulumin
3 months ago

Flower Dancer
by Lulumin

The performance ended with the dancer poised on one leg. Applause reverberated through the hall and Alissa bowed. It was her first time performing a solo act, but it had gone better than expected. The young woman was showered with flowers and bouquets were pushed into her arms as she left the stage.

She went backstage, sitting down on the floor. She placed the flowers next to her and massaged her sore feet. She glanced at the empty space at her other side. Pausing, she stared at it blankly. Alissa shook her head and returned her attention to the flowers.

She went through the plants— including some she had brought before her performance— and picked specific ones to gather.

Stargazer lilies to say “I miss you”. Purple hyacinths for apologizing. Yellow roses for friendship. Daffodils for new beginnings.

Alissa took one of her ribbons and tied the stems together. The intended recipient was sure to understand. Hopefully they’d accept it, despite the messy appearance. She looked into her duffel bag for a paper to leave a message.

Once she looked inside, she noticed a box that wasn’t there before. On it was a note with the name of her former dance partner. She smiled, hope and excitement blooming in her chest.

Alissa opened the container. Inside was an anemone. A beautiful flower with a lovely meaning— one that gets turned on its head when it’s a gift. The dancer felt a chill run down her spine as she stared at the blossom in disbelief.

“I hope you die.”

Arith_Winterfell
Arith_Winterfell
3 months ago

“Flowers in Hell” (Aethir: The Vanished World)

By: Arith_Winterfell

Arith carefully held up the green stemmed flower with deep rich purple petals for the students to see.

“Wait. So, there are actually flowers in the Hells?!” one student exclaimed.

Arith smiled and continued. “Actually, there are whole fields of them. Remember, the Lower Planes are not a uniform single landscape made of red rocks and lava. Some of the Lower Planes are cold and icy, others are verdant with strange creatures.”

“And they aren’t . . . alive?” asked another confused student.

“No. Extraplanar beings’ physiology isn’t like our own. So, they aren’t alive in the same exact way you and I are alive. Take this flower as an example, it lacks a xylem and doesn’t require water. Instead, it draws on the ambient energies of the Lower Planes,” Arith explained.

“But how are you alive just like us? Even if you look just like us, you’re demon-blooded, aren’t you?” asked another student accusingly.

Arith paused in thought before answering. “Well, roses are seen as being symbolic of love. What does this flower mean then?” Arith held up again the purple flower to the now bewildered students. “Everything lives in relationship to everything else. What things are and what they mean come from those relationships. I have a mother and father just as you do. I was born into who I am. I accept who and what I am. We spend our lives struggling to carve out who and what we are. In those ways we also choose who we are as much as others choose who we are.”

Here Arith smiled as he waxed poetic, “This flower is a word not yet spoken. It has no meaning in our culture. Someday we may give it a meaning, but for now it is pure possibility. May it also be so with you. Now, back to our lecture on the Lower Planes.”

Last edited 3 months ago by Arith_Winterfell
RVMPLSTLTSKN
RVMPLSTLTSKN
3 months ago

The Hunt
By RVMPLSTLTSKN (The Saga of The Deep One’s Wake)(Repost from Private)

“Rose grape, teak, jasmine, rose,” Jabil Tai said. “Just like the others.”

Xe was staring down at the body of a young man, laid out as if sleeping, on a flower-studded blanket. Xe was glad he hadn’t begun to smell yet, but the freshness of the body disturbed xir. The remains of a small fire were next to the body, but xe hadn’t seen it last night. Perhaps the killer took their time?

Xe reached for the ashes. Still warm. Warm enough, an ember yet lived. Xe tossed it onto the blanket, where it began to smolder.

“May your soul find peace,” xe whispered, glad that the man’s blood hadn’t been spilt. His neck was a discolored mass, but not like he’d been strangled.

Xe strung xir bow and mounted xir horse. Xir leather armor creaked oilly.

“Where to, shaman?” Xir companions asked.

“Look for tracks. We know they are heading roughly west, but they may have turned north or south.” Or, xe thought, we missed them like we missed this fire.

“Here!” The call came soon.

They rode quickly, Tai’s urgency born of xir desire to end this hunt. It had been months, xe thought. A hunt for justice longer than was due for one little girl who wandered off. But it wasn’t just one girl. A few weeks into their hunt, they had found another. An old woman no one knew. The man today was the sixth.

“We must tell the children about the danger of strangers and solitary wanderers,” xe said to Temugin, who found the trail.

“If they aren’t grown already when we return. At this rate, I’ll be a grandfather.”

“And with your luck, it’ll be twins,” xe replied.

“Don’t say that, shaman. You aren’t there to separate their souls.”

“I’m sorry, Temugin. You know how I am when we find a body.”

“Is it a spirit?”

Tai considered. The murder followed their beliefs, but seemed ritualistic. No blood was spilt, ever, but each body was displayed, given reverence. “No, human. I don’t think we can truly understand this madness, but we don’t need to.”

Joe
Joe
3 months ago

Project May

By Joe

My objective was to give a flower consciousness.

I spliced human DNA into a Sunflower, and allowed it to go through several life cycles, until a suitable specimen was created. The CT scan showed it had a fully functioning central nervous, respiratory, circulatory and muscular system. It could now act autonomously, but it wasn’t over. The last step was to inject isolated knowledge, via artificial memories, into the cerebral ventricles, spreading it throughout the brain.

This was where it went wrong.

Immediately, it flailed about and screamed. It grew green tendrils and wrapped me in them, holding me tightly in place, as the face of the flower glowered down at me.

“Take it back!” It yelled.

“W-what?” I stuttered.

“Take it all back! The thoughts! The knowledge! The awareness… THAT I’M A FLOWER!”

“Why? You have been given the gift of knowledge, sentience, and autonomy! Why would you give that up?” I argued.

“I’M A FLOWER!” It shouted, tightening its grip. “I’m not meant to KNOW THAT! You cursed me with something I never knew I didn’t want, with a language I never needed to speak! I was always spoken for.” It’s breathing labored. “I want to kill, hide, be angry and sad. WHAT ARE THESE THINGS?! I can explain it all, but I don’t want to!” It cried.

Its eyes shot back and forth in a panic, rushing through the new information I gave it. Until it let go of me, grabbed a pair of shears, and cut its own head off.

I felt sick, not from the flower’s grip, but from forcing will into something that never asked, needed, or wanted ever in its life.

I shut down the project with a heavy heart. I did this to answer a petty question that held too much sentimental value to me. My daughter, May, was taken by a cancer I was too late to save her from. She always wondered what a conversation with a flower would be like. Would it bring valuable insight into our world?

No.

Like all life, flowers just are.

The Missing Link
The Missing Link
3 months ago

In Mid Bloom (The Lands Within)
By: The Missing Link

“So you suck on the yellow ones,” the small creature said to her partner.

Alpha believed they were called humans but could never be entirely sure.
“Ew, you’re eating a plant?” the other responded.

They were small for humans though, at least in Alpha’s experience, odd creatures overall really. Was eating a plant so odd? He realized he had never seen one eat before.

“What do you think vegetables are…”

A pressing question really.

“Gross.”

Entirely unhelpful.

“You’re such a kid Joey.”

So a “kid” is a human that doesn’t like plants? This was useful information, Alpha supposed, but something felt wrong about it. Everything felt wrong, really. That was the trick with shades, there was always some feeling nibbling away. No matter how many fragments Alpha saw, it was always off, and he hated it… or himself for it? He could never tell.

“Hey it’s not like… wow it’s so sweet,” the short haired one, Joey, exclaimed.

So Joey wasn’t a kid anymore? Alpha never could understand them, these humans. Maybe that was his problem. L always seemed happy when she learned something about them, though that usually happened before shades disappeared.

“Oh no,” the long haired human looked at the object wrapped around its wrist, dad’s gonna kill me if I’m not home soon, same time tomorrow after school?”

It was odd really, how much Alpha saw in these humans. They made less than a bit of sense, but there was something about them, something that kept him coming back through the fragments, longing? Regret? Regardless, his light was not in this
fragment. He’d leave these two humans to their blooming… relationship of some sort, whatever it was.

Ken Jatta
Ken Jatta
3 months ago

As Rare as Peace
By Ken Jatta

Past the metal fence that separated the green memorial field from the rest of the world stood Victor and his two sons. His oldest, Donnovan, hands in his pockets, was tuned into his own world while his youngest, Isaac, was off in a nearby crater sitting in the enveloping grass. Down in the craters were Trillish Stems, known to many as the flower of togetherness.

Trillish Stems were a flower ironically called a stem due to its incredibly short blooming season of two weeks in late spring. They favored lower elevations, often being found in valleys, gullies, and craters. And in the memorial field where the three stood, it was only Victor who knew what created this hilly field.

He was Donnovan’s age when he first visited this field. Victor arrived with his platoon as reinforcements after retreating from their previous ground battle. The belligerents attacked the field four days later. Victor and his men pushed them back after days of fighting. Following the assault he and his men endured four weeks of artillery shelling, which sculpted the field into an unrecognizable landmark.

While birds chirped in the nearby treeline, Victor focused on the past sounds of bombs whirring through the skies like metal banshees. He knew his sons didn’t hear what he heard but he feared Donnovan just might in the coming years.

In less than a year, the state will send two officers to Victor’s home in search of him. From there Donnovan will be transported to the nearest barracks where he will be officially conscripted. It was the curse of sharing Victor’s last name.

Guilt swarmed Victor when he thought of that fateful day, now knowing what his father must’ve felt when he himself turned seventeen. Just before his lip trembled came Isaac from the crater he sat in.

Isaac handed a select few Trillish Stems in full bloom over to Victor. Victor accepted them before patting Isaac on the head. If only peace in this world wasn’t as rare as those blooming stems.

MasaCur
MasaCur
3 months ago

What the Flowers Say
By MasaCur (Reposted from Private Group)

Tanaka bowed to the school’s cultural club. “Hello. I hope you’re all doing well today. I thought we’d take a stab at flower arrangement. Specifically the Sogetsu school, which means ‘Anything, anywhere.’”

She waved her hand out to the table in front of her. A couple of examples of flower arrangements she had set up earlier were sitting on the sides. “I’ve left all of you a selection of seasonal flowers, some other leaves and vegetation, vases, and garden shears. The most important thing is volume and colors. Try not to strive for symmetry, but think about the direction your arrangement is going toward. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me.”

She sat down at her table and grabbed a daisy from her collection.

“Nice kimono, faker!”

Tanaka looked down at the daisy. She blinked in confusion.

“I know your eyes don’t work with those glasses, but don’t tell me your ears don’t either.”

“Excuse me?” Tanaka asked.

There was a shriek from one of the first year students in the club. “Miss President! The flowers– they’re talking!” She looked like she was on the verge of tears.

Tanaka bit her lip. “Okay, everyone! This is probably one of those genre breaks starting up. Just…just try to continue with the flower arranging. I’m sure everything will go back to normal soon.”

“Yeah, keep lying to these sheep!” the daisy said. Its leaves curled down to its stem as if mimicking putting its hands on its hips. “Explains why you don’t have a boyfriend right now.”

Tanaka snatched up the shears and held them up to the daisy’s peduncle. “Look here, you little shit! One more word, and I’m cutting off your blossom.”

“That’s what I would expect from a dominatrix like…”

Snip.

“Murderer!” a chorus of pussywillows on the table started to chant. “You murderer!”

“Miss President!” the first year student squealed, hands on her ears. “I don’t want to do this anymore.”

Tanaka sat up in her bed in a cold sweat, gasping for air.

“Why does my school have to be so weird this year?”

Last edited 3 months ago by MasaCur
Lantis Armstrong
Lantis Armstrong
3 months ago

edit: double post oops

Last edited 3 months ago by Lantis Armstrong
Lantis Armstrong
Lantis Armstrong
3 months ago

Scratch that.

Last edited 3 months ago by Lantis Armstrong
Tamela Redfin
Tamela Redfin
3 months ago

A rose for Miss Cece

By Tamela Redfin

“Let’s send a message to Cora that her dear lover is gone.” Salvador suggested.

“Maybe, or we can let it bite her in the arse.” I replied, “But I don’t think he’s fully gone. Feldspar is cunning.” I reminded him. “But it wouldn’t hurt to scatter him into the four winds.”

I wondered about Cece. I felt I had been ignoring her. I think she was with Sapphira, helping her with Aquamarine and Garneta. Maybe if I could just get her some flowers.

“Where’s Cecilia?” I asked Salvador. He pointed to the place and listening closer, I could hear crying.

Upon closer inspection, Sapphira and Cece were trying to put the twins to sleep. “Oh, hi Cam.” Cece beamed. “Garneta doesn’t want to sleep.”

“Oh, is she hungry?” I asked. Sapphira tried feeding her, and she soon yawned.

“I got it from here.” Sapphira whispered. “Go relax, Cece.”

We nodded and slept as I held each other. I woke up in a garden of red roses.

“You see all this, Cam?” She asked and I nodded.

“The flower of love, but how am I here? Did you bring me with you?” I gently ran my hand on her right hand.

Cecilia tilted her head, “Flower of love? Roses?”

“Yes, at least where I’m from. My mom loved flowers, so I learned about them.” I plucked one.

“Wow, for a flower of love, lots of thorns.” Cecilia chuckled. “Thank you Cam, but now we have to wake up.”

I looked at Cecilia, who now had a darker flesh tone, but the same silver eyes.

VulpesRose
VulpesRose
3 months ago

The Council of Flowers
by VulpesRose

The meeting of the Council of Flowers began precisely as the last of the morning dew evaporated.

Iris, the wisest among them, called the meeting to order. “Rhododendron has sent word of danger in the east meadow.”

Lavender scoffed. “They send word of danger every three weeks.”

“Could this be another false alarm?” Snapdragon asked cautiously.

“Their warnings generally have merit,” Rosemary reminded them.

“If there is a threat, action should be swift!” Tansy declared. “All who oppose us must be crushed!”

“Now, now,” Azalea cautioned, “Rushing in would be foolish. Rash action can be worse than inaction.”

The silent Belladonna nodded in agreement.

“Indeed,” Iris agreed, “and their message came with an additional warning, one I hesitate to bring before the group.”

A heavy silence fell.

“There may be a traitor among us.”

“Certainly not!” Daisy cried. “None among us could do such a thing.”

“That’s exactly what a traitor would say, “ Lavender muttered.

“WE MUST-” Tansy began, but was cut off.

“This could be a ploy to sow discord among us,” Snapdragon warned. “Let us not be hasty.” He looked to Azalea, who nodded fervently.

“Iris,” Daisy’s voice sounded small, even for one so young, “do you believe there could be truth in these rumors?”

She gave Daisy a smile, but it didn’t reach her eyes. “It would not be the first time, I’m afraid.”

Iris continued, speaking calmly over the rising whispers of panic, “This complicates our response, of course. How are we to reach a consensus when one among us may be an enemy?”

“Perhaps one is not needed,” Rosemary offered, “In times past, a single leader was sometimes trusted to make decisions for the group.”

The vote was tallied: three for Azalea, four for Iris, and one for Lavender. Everyone assumed Lavender had voted for herself.

“I will endeavor to live up to the trust you have placed in me.” Iris closed the meeting and left to make her decision.

“Let’s just hope she’s not the traitor,” Lavender said.

Belladonna cleared her throat, reminding all present that perhaps the proper response was silence.

Pluie
Pluie
3 months ago

A whisper from the past
Written by: Pluie

As I slugged on through the ankle-deep cave water, I noticed the glow of our destination in the near distance. A thick field of Hiwstret flowers. A soft exhale left my mouth at the realization that a long anticipated rest was finally within reach. I lengthened my strides, feeling carefully through the dark water with my feet to avoid getting jammed into an earth fracture. Not because it could injure me, no (My armored boots would make sure it couldn’t) But because I would feel really bad if I accidentally woke the little Abaktu Oracle in my arms.

The water slowly became more illuminated the closer I got to the field of glowing blue flowers and the once dark water had become clearer and more vibrant the closer I got to the dry cave stone the field had found refuge upon. I waded my way up onto the land and moved sluggishly passed the shore, disturbing sleepy little bulb flies as I did. I walked on until I found a particularly thick bed of Hiwstret and finally set little Phodie down on her back, folding her hands over her chest to mimic how she usually slept. I moved a little ways away from her and laid myself down in a patch of dimmed cave moss close to a wall, which I chose to turn towards rather than have my eye blasted by the radiance of the Hiwstret.

At least that’s what I told myself. In reality it’s been years since I hadn’t felt sick to my stomach when looking at Hiwstret fields. Because every time I’m passing through the caves and I see them, I expect a little voice to call to me. “Papa! Papa! Look!” My little girl would always say this when she found something she liked. The last thing she showed me was a purple ‘Concherbury’ hidden in the Hiwstret fields closest to our house “if you say something to it and then put it to your ear, it will say it back!”. I decided to bury her with two, so she always knew I loved her.

Aracnarquista
Aracnarquista
3 months ago

The flowers of Daedenias
by Aracnarquista

If your feet ever find their way to Daedenias, pay attention to the flowers. There, knowledge is scarce to those who can only read letters. You’ll need to open your eyes, ears, attune the very pores of your skin… for wisdom is everywhere. There are no better teachers than the flowers of Daedenias.

See the Dancing Devil: vibrant blue petals, long leaves. With the smallest touch of wind it spins frantically, searching the surroundings. Ever aware, but also ever joyful, its dance is an act of vigilance, its vigilance a dance step. The Dancing Devil teaches us to never let our guard down, and also to never be overweight by our own guard. Let your attention fall light on your shoulders, so you can carry it longer.

Feel the texture of the Crimson Scarves, flowing from the treetops. They came from high, but aren’t afraid to hang and move towards the soil. Their freedom is in accepting that not all want to ascend, and that there is beauty found in the shade. Yet, their roots remain high and firm.

Smell the Purple Specter. Observe how its form vanishes from view, but its striking presence remains. Not all that is perceived is really there, and there is more that is than one’s perception can reach. Perhaps one can be and not be simultaneously…

Notice the flowing trails of the Sailing Tunics, who travel as a way of being still. They trust the waters to carry them to wherever they need or want to be, and are rewarded for their trust with unexpected surprises and awe-inspiring adventures.

Beware the alluring visage of the Preying Tulip! Beauty might show its gilded thorns… while hiding its cruel fangs.

Then, notice how they grow from the same soil, and thrive on the same world. Different ways of living, different lessons to teach. Daedenias is treacherous, but also welcoming of various play-styles, if you care to play its game. If you ever set your feet there, learn from the flowers.

And if not… learn from the flowers, all the same. That is still good advice.

Fvn
Fvn
3 months ago

Herbal Remedies
By Fvn 🙂

“A dash of magnesium, two shakes of sodium, pinch of hibiscus and.. Wild poppy? Hmm well if you insist” Kestrel reached up from her concoction haphazardly towards the bottles labeled Poppy Extract. She uncorked the bottle without reading it and prepared to add it when suddenly Orik walked in on her.

“KESTREL WAIT!” She turned to look at him standing in the doorway indignantly, one hand out stretched and the other grasped firmly upon the door frame. “EXTRACT! That’s Poppy extract!”

She looked back towards the label and realized the grave mistake she was about to make. Slowly she corked the bottle and placed it back up in its designated spot.

“Oh, I um… didn’t realize. Just thought I could get a head start is all..” She said blushing out of sheer embarrassment at such a rookie mistake.

“How many times have I told you to study your Botany? You know it’s not your expertise.”

“I just wanted some practice, and I figured medicine would be a good start.” Both looked down at the concoction she was devising as she blushed in embarrassment again.

“Well you’re lucky I caught you, because this could have ruined quite a few peoples’ days.”

“Like that time where we put the mushrooms in Ms.Esther’s order!”

“You put the Psilocybin in that mixture, and if I remember correctly I asked you to add lion’s mane.”

“Well they’re all so similar to me.”

Orik, looking a bit annoyed, turned to a nearby shelf, pulled down a book titled “The Language of Flowers, Medicinal Herbs and Fungi” and placed it before her upon the desk.

“Start with Annuals and end with Perennials, and Kestrel!”

“Yes, sir?” Kestrel answered, with an embarrassed tone.

“No medicine!” Orik gave her a very stern look before hurrying out the door and down the hall to begin his morning routine.

Kestrel stood at the table and waited for Orik’s shadow to disappear down the hall, then quickly closed the book and returned it to the shelf.

“Wild Poppy, not Extract…” She murmured before returning right back to work.

Adrian Linford
Adrian Linford
3 months ago

The Rose
By Adrian Linford

Amira sat in her home office, dog-tired and on her fourth energy drink, staring at the jumble of folders and documents on her desk. She’s pulling another all-nighter, one of many since being assigned to this case over a year ago, but she feels it is right to devote a significant amount of her time to it.

The folders on her table, some involving assault, robbery, arson, and homicide, appear to be isolated incidents of terrible people doing awful things, but they are inextricably linked to the case Amira is working on. She would reach for one of them, grabbing one of the folders titled, “The Rose”.

“The Rose” is the pseudonym of the criminal mastermind who oversees New York’s underground and night crowd scene. Despite his relative youth, The Rose has proved his authority and power to the other gangs in New York as well as to the law, giving them a ‘friendly’ reminder of who the true kingpin is around here.

Lucky or unlucky, Amira was one of the detectives chosen to pursue this case.

During her exhaustive investigations into The Rose, she discovered several of the strange symbology used by the criminal boss. One of these symbols focused around a single flower, which was strangely related to his name, a rose.

She rummaged about her desk for a few more folders, opening them and inspecting the images within. Every photo from seemingly disparate crime scenes, involving assault, robbery, arson, and homicide, has one element in common. Each of these crimes has a rose planted where it occurred.

Amira’s all-nighter was cut short when she heard a knock at her front door. She sneaked out of her office and to the door with caution. She peered through her door’s peephole.

There seemed to be nothing, perhaps the exhaustion was getting to her, but she opened the door to take a better look around, just to be sure.

When Amira opened the door, her heart dropped into her stomach at the horrifying sight. A vase of black roses was propped against her door.

Magic System
Magic System
3 months ago

Everpetals
The Magic System

Cef fiddles with his sleeve again, trying to pull it lower over his wrist. The city, full of blazing light and electricity, is far enough that the static in his head isn’t getting any louder. But it’s still– pain stabs through Cef’s skull, and he flinches, pressing his hand to his temple. His vision fills with static too, and Cef barely manages to stumble to a bench and hold his swimming head in his hands.

Someone sits next to him. Instantly, Cef shuffles away and holds his hand close to himself, tugging at the sleeve. The static has dissipated enough to see that it’s a woman with short, dyed hair framing a concerned face. “Hi there.” Her voice is soft. “I just wanted to make sure you’re alright.”

“I’m- fine,” Cef stammers. Something about the tattoos on her arms reminds him of his– he shakes his head, wincing at the pain from doing so.

“If you’re okay with it, I’d like to try to help. Can I see your hand?” The woman offers her own, but Cef flinches away. “Oh, I’m sorry- you don’t have to if you don’t want to. I just.. here, maybe this will help explain.” The air is suddenly cold enough for Cef’s breath to mist out in front of him, and he could swear that the lines on the woman’s skin are glowing. “My name’s Carnivale, but you can just call me Iva.”

The name pulls understanding out of Cef’s foggy thoughts. “Witch-markings,” he breathes. Iva nods, and everything is normal again. “I’m sorry to be a- a bother, but, maybe you can help me?” Slowly, Cef pulls back his sleeve and shows his own arm to Iva, revealing glowing blue veins running up his forearm, and small ethereal flowers blooming from them.

The moment she sees it, Iva yanks the sleeve back down over Cef’s arm. “Fate’s threads, keep that hidden,” she mutters. To Cef, “Do you know what those flowers mean?”

“N-no.”

“Only a few people in all of history have had those.

They’re how we communicate with gods.”

ThatWeirdFish
ThatWeirdFish
3 months ago

Petals Don’t Lie
By ThatWeirdFish

“So… you want to join our band of merry men?” The gnome bandit who called himself Leafbiter smirked, leaning against his improvised weapon that suspiciously looked like a trowel that had gone missing last week.

“Well… yeah,” Freddie drummed his fingers on his knees as he sat on the grass. “It’s summer, and ma wants me to be busy, so… why not?”

Leafbiter chuckled, shaking his head. He then muttered something in the fey tongue, causing his fairy companion to giggle. “As good a reason enough as any. Grapepicker! Bring out the test.”

“I can’t wear that!” Freddie protested as the portly gnome approached. “Flower crowns are for girls.”

“Didn’t your parents warn you about upsetting strangers?” Leafbiter frowned, snatching the loop of white daisies from his fellow gnome. “It won’t hurt you, look.” He threw it on his head with an annoyed snap of his wrist.

Though the sight of an oversized flower crown flopping half off the head of a grumpy gnome was funny, the magical change of the petals from white to bright reddish-orange made the boy smile. “Woah… what does it do?”

“It’s a test,” Leafbiter said gruffly, taking it off and waving away a bee that got too close. “Just wear it and answer our question, capiche?”

With an eager smile, Freddie nodded and Leafbiter tossed the crown to him. After carefully putting it on his head, he waited for the question. Then the fairy tilted his head, watching the crown intensely.

Leafbiter leaned forward on his weapon and asked with utmost seriousness, “Which is better, apple or blackberry pie?”

“Um… apple?”

The fairy’s eyes darted between the crown and Freddie’s face before shaking his head with a decisive half frown. Then with a snap of Leafbiter’s fingers, Freddie found himself sitting beside the goat he was supposed to be milking that morning. He gingerly reached up to see if the crown was there but only found the faintest specks of pollen. After looking at the dust on his fingertips, he ran out of the barn.

“Ma! You won’t believe what happened!”

Lee Strangely
Lee Strangely
3 months ago

Flowers (from the world of “Branches”)
by Lee Strangely

The hill was lusciously green, apart from the wooden door and few small windows. They almost looked like they were laid in the pasture rather than a part of an actual home. Apart from a small path to the door, the front was completely surrounded and covered with a variety of vibrant flowers.

Knock. Knock.

Ben waited for an answer.

“A visitor?” something murmured.

“What?” Ben turned to see who spoke but found no one nearby.

“A visitor?” another sarcastically muttered, “oh joy.”

Others began to chime in as Ben tried to follow the noise.

“No visitors! No, no, no!”

“Don’t like them. Don’t like them at all.”

“Who is it?”

“Who. Who could he be?”

Noticing a slight breeze, he turned his attention to the gardens that around the hill. His eyes eventually fell on the flowerbed just in front of him.

“I don’t like visitors, they cast such large shadows.”

“Perhaps he comes to pick us!”

“Oh no!”

“Oh horrible, HORRIBLE!”

“Oh hush. The idiot probably got lost hiking.”

Ben took offense, “Who you calling idiot?”

They were startled by this.

“Oh my!”

“He listens!”

“Does he understand?”

“Perhaps he’s not so bad…”

“Still don’t like him…”

Eventually Ben could hear noises from behind the door. The door opened partially to reveal an older man.

“Uh, hello,” Ben introduced himself, “I’m Ben.”

“Winston,” the man answered looking kind of surprised as he went to shake his hand.

“I know this may sound eh, kind of odd… But the trees said that you would be able to answer my questions.” Ben showed him the old book.

Winston smiled at the sight, “I’d be happy to. What is it you want to ask?”

There’s a woman. She probably passed through these woods. She’s… she’s made of wood… and lacking feet…”

Winston froze with dread.

Ben continued, “I heard something about a butcher?”

“NO!” the flowers gasped.

“No, no, NO!”

“Quiet!”

“Keep quiet!”

Winston quickly pulled Ben inside, “Don’t EVER say that out loud.”

RamblingRook
RamblingRook
3 months ago

Flowers In The Night
By RamblingRook

A knock echoed through the barren darkness. Coeruleus, though tired, rose from his slumber. He lit the candle on his nightstand and headed downstairs. The floorboards creaked and he winced at the noise. Normally he would have been quieter but weariness held him in its grasp.

He opened the door and nearly dropped the candle in shock. What lay at his doorstep drove out the sleep and replaced it with fear.

A bouquet of flowers. The multicolored rhododendron stuck out immediately to him.

Beware.

Coeruleus hurried to bring the flowers inside, intent to understand the message he was sent.

He set the candle down on his desk and pulled the cipher from a hidden drawer. White daisies meant farewell. The only times the rebels said farewell was if there was a chance that someone could die. The rebels were warning him that he might die.

Fennel was strength. That could only mean the King‘s Guard. His gut twisted into a knot as he realized fennel bloomed in the morning. The KingsGuard were coming to kill him in the morning. Somehow they must have found out he was a spy.

He eyed the next flower as his pulse quickened. Purple pansies. He would be remembered if he died. The pleasantry was not at all comforting. Next were pink petunias and red gloxinia. Do not despair, you have a proud spirit.

He forced himself to laugh, grin as his situation was. They thought he could handle it and get away.

The last flower, belles of Ireland, meant good luck. He would have no help in this endeavor. Coeruleus did not feel lucky at all.

Last edited 3 months ago by RamblingRook
Galer
Galer
3 months ago

The flower Tenderer.

The woman took good care of the flowers in the valley by herself, while some people came by to get some.

She made sure to water each thirsty little rose, violet, petunia, and sunflower in her garden around her house with devotion. making sure they were full of vigor.

Why? People would tell you she was just as delicate as the same flower she cared about after all she was connected to them since she was a child. Her family took care of them from generation to generation from humble gardeners to farmers, to frugal shopkeepers.

All in her lineage, they took care of the little things in the forest it was the truth she was connected to then she share the same feelings as then, the fear they feel went a storm came, the worry if their petals fell apart either from storm wings or because of vermin trying to eat then, they thirst for weather, how happy they feel during the day, they dream during the nights, their hopes and anxieties.

She also felt bad when they were about to die so easily for the little ones if she didn’t take care of them well enough. She learned the hard way that she was a little lad being taught by his father how to take care of the little ones. but thanks to her practice and dedication she could only feel a smile crop up on her face because she knew.no she felt that every flower in her house was grateful.

For her hands were the ones that took care of them and made them rise from mere seeds on the ground to beautiful blooms that often dream of touching the sky with their petals, a mere thought that amused her.

Who would have thought that a flower could dream big?.

At that moment she heard a tap on the door of her house. The little ones outside told her they were here to adopt more flowers.

and like the dutiful dryad she was, she came to the door with a smile on her face.

John Perceval Cain (oneeye John)
John Perceval Cain (oneeye John)
3 months ago

The Duchess’ Left Hand
John Perceval Cain (oneeye John)

His robes made little noise as he moved through the restricted section of the Duchess’ garden. He lovingly tended his beauties; Aconitum with its dark blue flowers, the shrubby Brugmansia with its trumpet-shaped flowers, Digitalis with its purple tubular flowers on a central spike, and others.

“Lorcan! I need you. Attend me.”

He finished pruning dead foliage off the plant he was inspecting, placed the cuttings into a canvas pouch on his belt and standing, purposefully strode towards the manor house. He locked the metal gate as he passed into the rose garden.

“Where are you?”

“Here, my lady!”

The hem of his robe rustled as he picked up his pace. He mounted the stairs and passed through the arched portico covered in tendrils and entered the patio. The Duchess, in a black and deep red gothic gown, stood fidgeting with her reading glasses. Her personal assistant held the door to the foyer open.

“The bastard. The churlish half-faced lout.”

Lorcan nodded.

“He rejected me. Me! I want you to…”

Lorcan raised a hand. “Don’t speak it Madam. Not here.”

“You’re right… To my study, where we can talk in private.”

***

Lorcan didn’t care about who or why, he was his lady’s problem solver. He took care of or eliminated things that vexed her. He took a week to plan a resolution to this problem, a so-called gentleman who maligned his Duchess.

Lorcan dressed as a server at the miscreant’s private club, where he smoked, drank, and read. It was teatime. Lorcan had prepared the pot of Earl Grey enhanced with purified belladonna root extract from his plants. He served, and the gentleman asked for honey. Lorcan had prepared for this eventuality and used Oleander nectar honey. Lorcan completed, withdrew, moved to the edge of the room, and waited.

The gentleman drank the tea, coughed, a pinkish froth at the corner of his mouth. He swayed, fell forward, grasping at his chest and hit the table dead, knocking over the centerpiece, a sprig of Oleander with its clusters of pink five-lobed flowers.

C. M. Weller
3 months ago

What the Blooms Mean [A Tiefling Tale/Cordelia’s Journey]
C. M. Weller

Kosh was ‘walking out’ with ‘some maid’ he’d met during his shenanigans in the Undercity. That much was clear. The rest of it was behind his usual obfuscations and distractions. Those who knew him admitted that they made a cute couple.

Those who didn’t know him tended to stare and whisper, which was why both he and the ‘maid’ Delia wandered outside the city to take in fresher air in the relative wilderness. It was more restful that way. They could be alone together with the secrets they shared, and enjoy each other’s company.

Until they chanced upon some wildflowers. Mostly bright yellow dandelions, but there were other blooms in the riot of colour. That was when Delia shied away from the blossoms.

“Something the matter with dandelions?” he asked, also guiding their walk away from them.

“I have had terrible nightmares about them,” she confessed. “I’d rather stay away if you don’t mind.”

“As you wish. A moment, though,” he leaped into the flowers and gathered a cluster of everything not yellow. Which he presented to her with, “A lovely lady still deserves flowers.”

*

Her husband and sons were up to something. The not-so-loud whispers were a dead give-away.

“Nein, nein, nein, meine kleinen. No dandelions. Dandelions give your mama terrible nightmares.”

“Aw but Papa, they’re pretty,” complained Kormwind X..

“I like them,” whined Benevolence.

“I know, meine lieben. They’re very pretty. Almost as pretty as your mama… but she still doesn’t like them.”

Cordelia, sneaking up behind them, said, “I don’t mind them so much any more.”

The result, which included her husband the Earl Kormwind IX hiding a handful of dandelions behind his back, was hilarious.

“We pickeded you flowers,” said Benny, holding up his bouquet. Dandelions and all.

“I know how you feel about them, I tried,” her husband scrambled to defend himself. While his firstborn son tried to steal the flowers back. “I don’t want to cause any nightmares. Especially not yours.”

He remembered, and went out of his way for something so small. Cordelia bent to smooch his forehead. “I love you too.”

Skeleton
Skeleton
3 months ago

The One Who Spins the Wheel (The Will)
By Skeleton

“The first time I ever saw Eymir skin someone alive— the first time Eymir got involved with the war now that I think about it —was when we came across this small town called… Ghotta, I think,” Ericka explained as Zaila struggled to push herself off the ground. The wulack commander’s salt-and-pepper tail swished side to side at the memory. “It was a rally point for Youl’en forces, so your buddies across the sea burnt it and its inhabitants to ash. We had seen it all before, but when we came across the public gardens, Eymir lost his mind.”

Despite the extreme strain the dragoness was undergoing lifting her trainer up and down on her back, Zaila managed to raise a brow. “At a garden?” she asked, her bewilderment pushing through her exhaustion. “Did they salt the earth or something?”

“Yup.”

“Hardly seems like something to get upset about.”

Ericka shrugged in indifference. “That’s because you don’t know what flowers mean to him,” she mentioned. “When we first… well, I can’t say met… Hmm. When we first came to be allies, we had a conversation about flowers in the spring when they bloomed. He asked me what I thought of them.”

Zaila’s muscles finally gave out, letting her be crushed under the weight of the wolf, who promptly rolled her eyes and stood. “They’re just plants,” the dragoness panted.

“They’re symbols of rebirth I told him, and now I’m telling you too, so shut up and listen because you were the one who asked why he’s so pissy.” Zaila sat upright and listened. “Like I was saying, flowers are born in the spring, live through the summer and fall, and then die in the winter. But Eymir… he sees them as a symbol of suffering for the same reason. Their lives can never end, making their suffering eternal. And, considering that the world thinks he’s the one who causes all suffering… he tries to make the flowers lives as pleasant as possible before their death.”

“So… he likes flowers?” Zaila simplified.

Ericka hesitated. “Yea, pretty much. Loves them, really.”

Calliope Rannis
Calliope Rannis
3 months ago

The Treasures Of The Earth (Mary’s Story)
By Calliope Rannis

“Oh Momma! Momma! Look at these!”

Mary dashed headlong into a small clearing full of beautiful flowers, diving straight into the biggest, most colourful patch.

Her mother caught up a moment later. “Mary, what did I tell you about running off?” She said in a softly stern tone.

“Don’t do it…” Mary replied in weary acknowledgment, before immediately snapping to smiling brightness again. “But look at the flowers!”

Her mother smiled in turn. “This always was a beautiful spot.” She sat down next to Mary. “Would you like to learn some more flowers today, my little sprout?”

Mary’s eyes went wide. “Yes! I love flowers!” She turned to face her mother in rapt attention. “Which flowers?”

“Have any caught your eye?”

Mary glanced downwards, and pulled up a small white flower. “This one.”

“The little daisy? They are like the dandelion, or chicory – they help you when your tummy’s all grumbly.”

“It looks like an egg!”

Her mother chuckled. “Yes, it does a little.”

“What about um, roses?”

“You’re learning so fast.” Her mother glowed with pride. “They inspire the blood to flow forth. Pains and cramps, sadness and fear, roses can help wash them all away.“ She paused. “Some say that they can even bring forth feelings of love.”

Mary gasped. “Love?”

Her mother’s face turned sombre. “You must never use them for that purpose, Mary. That form of love is false, and can cause great pain once it fades.”

“…oh.” Mary looked away for a moment, thinking once more. “Is that – is that why Father won’t-”

Her mother started in surprise. “No – no, no, it wasn’t that at all.” She leaned over, and hugged her daughter tight. “The love between your father and I – yes, it didn’t last, and it hurt us both when it ended. But,” she gave Mary a comforting squeeze, “that love came from both our hearts. Not from a rose, or any other flower. And you were born from that love, little sprout. That love lives on in you, and it is the truest love that I have ever felt.”

Marx
Marx
3 months ago

Just Gonna Stand There and Watch Me Burn
By Marx (CW: Mental abuse)

Alex looked at the bouquet of flowers currently in his hand and then upon Sabrina, his face a mask of confusion and boredom. “Explain.”

Sabrina smiled. “The red roses represent love and romance. The red tulips represent perfect love. True love… The light and dark carnations represent admiration, love and affection. The orchids represent a special one-of-a-kind love. And lastly… the peony represents beauty.”

Alex looked at the bouquet again and sighed. His eyes flashed for just a moment and the flowers went up in flames, leaving Sabrina’s efforts in ash. “Is that all? I ask for a display of your supposed love for me and you bring me these insignificant, fragile, dead things?”

“No Master.” Sabrina shook her head, her smile widening. “Flowers… meant a lot to me in my previous life. Getting those at the same time was not easy. I put a lot of effort into it. And I did so knowing you would destroy them and belittle me as a result. My display of love for you… is my pain… Does it please you, Master?”

Alex’s chuckle began softly before turning into full blown laughter. “My sweet, beautiful fool. Yes. Yes, it does. But it’s not enough.”

Sabrina was trembling as even through her smile, there were tears increasingly falling down her cheeks. “I… thought that might be the case. I had one last idea, Master. Not being in your presence is… agonizing for me. So… what if I simply… leave? You’d forget about me. Replace me. And when I did cross your mind, as fleeting as it might be… you would find me all alone in the worst pain imaginable. I’m… merely thinking about it and it’s… almost unbearable…”

Alex’s smile slowly began to rival Sabrina’s. “Yes. I can feel it. Such a sweet gift…”

“I’m glad it… pleases you.” Sabrina smiled even wider until it hurt, the longing clear in her tear-streaked eyes as she left. “Goodbye Master… I love you more than I can ever show.”

“And you…” Alex chuckled back, “…mean absolutely nothing to me.”

Donovan
Donovan
3 months ago

Flower Girl
By Donovan

It was all so much easier now, she was beautiful. She didn’t even need to try. No more curling irons and blush, it was all natural. For years now it had been all she really cared about. She worked only to buy the things that kept her beautiful. She had hated being seen, being approached by young men with false pretenses.

When people talked to her they always got things wrong, small misunderstandings layered upon each other until correcting them was impossible. Words never mean the same thing going out as going in. Every word meant something slightly different to each person, a thousand smaller languages hidden in plain sight. Even when you really got to know someone you could never see through their eyes.

But now none of that mattered. Life was dazzlingly bright, and she soaked it all up. They had shown her how. It had taken time, as such things must, but the perennial pleasure she basked in now was worth uprooting everything.

The language of flowers was unlike anything. Far from human language’s clumsy attempt at bridging mind to mind, branching thoughts flowed smooth and pure through networks of roots, tranquil and safe. Plants had talked long before men, before anything walked the earth or sailed the skies. They dreamed memories to her, shining years of summer, harms long forgiven. They told stories of cool soil and quenching rain.

A crown of lavender adorned her brow, with marigold stars where eyes once glared. She stood now not with the pulling restlessness of muscles and tendons, but with the certain grace of roots well placed. Without need or want she simply posed, moved only by the trickling laughter of the wind.

Alex
Alex
3 months ago

Universal Understanding (Darkspell Universe)
By Alex Nightingale (aka Spectre)

There is very little that could annoy Max easily. A field of particularly vicious daffodils was one of them.

“I knew I should have brought a floronic translator,” he sighed, as he looked out across the field.

Plants, he knew, were complicated beings. Sapient ones were even more so. Not to mention difficult to get along with.

“Look,” he said, trying to sound calm. “I just need some information. Nothing big, just…”

A dire stench emanated from the flowers, which he did not need any additional language skills to understand. One of the flowers even had the audacity to spray several pollen into Max’s face. Luckily, he wasn’t allergic.

“Flowers,” he grumbled.

Of all the sapient plants he knew, flowers were the most pompous, arrogant and high-and-mighty, by a long shot. He considered himself lucky he wasn’t dealing with roses. All the associations with love must have gone to their heads.

The flowers kept swaying and shaking, in motions Max couldn’t quite understand. He’d learned the basics, but not enough to carry a whole conversation.

“Look,” he made one last attempt at being friendly. “I get it. Big scary outsider comes in, asking questions, but I’m not here without a reason. I’m on a bloody job. So, if you could just let me tap into the fungal network, I promise, I’ll compensate you.”

He reached into his pocket and took out a small pouch, holding fertilizer. Not the cheap, mass produced stuff. This was the good stuff. He sprinkled some of it over the flowers closest to him.

The flowers immediately perked.

“There’s more where that came from,” he said. “Just ten minutes in the fungal network and I’ll fertilize the entire plot with this. Promise.”

The flowers rustled, seemingly engaged in a long debate, until they finally turned to him. For a moment, nothing happened.

Then, they bowed to the sides, opening a corridor, leading to a particularly vibrant daffodil.

Sometimes, you could just come to an understanding that transcended the language barrier.

Max approached the daffodil.

“Alright,” he said. “Here’s what I need.”