dangerous flowers
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From the Eye
by Eric Suhem


Amelia worked the counter at the health food emporium, with flowers in her hair and a beatific smile, butterflies flying in a gentle rhythm around her head. In the back of the emporium, her co-worker Violet sorted and stacked organic inventory.

“Good morning, isn’t it a beautiful day?” cooed Amelia to the next customer, a man in a dark suit and sunglasses approaching the counter clutching a bottle of multivitamins. He didn’t reply, just spilled a bag of coins on the counter, meticulously separating them into distinct piles. She felt slight flares of annoyance, waiting for him to finish. When done, he flipped off his sunglasses, declaring, “I do believe this completes our transaction!” The man’s left eye resembled a gleaming green flower, and it cut into Amelia’s soul like a floral laser, promising transcendence.

For the next seven nights, Amelia’s dreams were dominated by the green flower. When waking up, her mind was filled with chlorophyll blossoms. Amelia told Violet, “We need to find the green flower. I believe it will lead us to a mystical answer!”

“Well, there’s a plant nursery up the street, with lots of flowers, shrubs, and….”

“No, this was a special flower, a flower leading through the gates of nirvana into a peaceful gentle meadow of wonder and peace. An emergence from turbulent pain of the past into a shining future,” said Amelia, butterflies fluttering nearby.

Amelia has a little man dancing around inside of her. The man has green flowers growing out of his eyes. When Amelia is happy, the little man is tickling her with the flowers, rolling about on Amelia’s insides joyously…when Amelia feels low, the little man steps in, objectifying the pain, molding it like a mound of acid clay into a useful urn. Sometimes he’s able to mold chunks of it, sometimes the clay just slips through his fingers. But slowly, ever so slowly, he is molding it. This is when the little green flowers in his eyes truly grow.

Walking home after a day of work at the heath food emporium, Amelia stared at bucolic gardens of flowers. Turning a corner, she saw the man in the black suit. “It’s you!” Amelia declared, as the man peered out from behind sunglasses. “The flower in your eye imprinted itself upon my soul,” she said.

The man looked at her, and pulled off his sunglasses, revealing clear green eyes, not flower-like at all. “Yes, my defective contact lenses reflected streaks of light haphazardly in shapes that could be perceived as flowers. However, I did enjoy the multivitamins I purchased at your establishment, as I believe they have contributed to an enhanced sense of well-being. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to proceed down this sidewalk unimpeded.” Amelia stared at him, noticing his resemblance to her ex-husband. She thought of past promises destroyed, her parents self-destructing in an inferno of dysfunction, her ex-husband lashing out in abuse after seeming so kind. Amelia had meticulously built a wall of new age self-preservation, depending on a tenuous combination of chimes and mantras while searching for a transforming answer.

When Amelia gets angry, she wishes to send the little man within her out into the world with a molten hot hammer, killing and destroying the objects of her anger. But then a lasso is tied around the little man, and he spins around inside of Amelia, flower petals flying out of his tiny eyes to be pinched between the two fingers of Amelia’s social conscience.

Enraged that mystical transcendence would again not be attained, Amelia decided to let the little man out into the world with his molten hot hammer, the flowers from his eyes turning black.



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