Ivy covered Aconite

Submitted into Contest #86 in response to: Write a story where flowers play a central role.... view prompt

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Coming of Age Sad Fantasy

I don't remember when it happened, and I don't remember if I was born with it. Maybe I was, I think it would make the most sense. Because how strange is it that whenever I feel a deep emotion flowers grow from the lining of my skin, echoing louder than the words I dare not to speak.

How does one explain to another human that this happens, when the questions arise how do I answer what I don’t know myself? How do I explain that the garden growing from my skin is more intelling to what emotion I'm feeling than my own mind is?

I often feel like a tapestry in the background of everyone's lives, I stay home on the days everyone else is out.

I avoid letting myself feel any type of loneliness because in the end it does nothing but grow more flowers, which is indubitably painful. 

I refrain from feeling sadness, it’s the worst pain of any, but I almost feel numb to it. 

Everyone i’ve ever loved has been taken from me so why would I spend time getting to know anyone else? They’ll just end up the same way everyone else who has loved me ends up. It’s as though my flowers are a magnetic source to death.

October 5th 1989

I open my eyes and the first thing I see is the grand orange oak tree that stands outside my window, and then my eyes adjust to the lighting of Autumn.

Scanning my room, not able to gain enough strength to get out of bed, I simply stare at my walls. I do this often, I stare until it becomes distorted.

I start to see figures move within the detailing of the stucco, embodying the deepest fears that lie within the depths of my mind’s flooring.

They start to move like a hallucination in action, but everything around me is still.

My body, the blinking of my eyes, even my own thoughts seem to perish and slow down in velocity.

It’s moments like these that I wish I had a mother to call my name and force me out of bed, but all that wakes me up is the sunlight shining brightly through my eyelids. With resistance and unwillingness I scoffle out of bed and land my bare feet on the cold wooden flooring and slowly make my way down stairs to the worn out kitchen that I call mine.

I find myself gently staring out the window that overlooks the backyard, its painted in orange leaves and a new sunrise.

After a while of stillness, I feel a tightness in my chest that won’t leave.  

A memory comes over me, the crash of a shiny blue car and imagery of broken glass from windows, flashes of long red hair in the passenger seat. I hear the echoes of screams, followed by an eerie silence. Cut. silence. Sirens. And then more quiet. 

The weirdest part of this was that these screams didn’t come from a memory that belonged to me. 

The sudden burning of my forehead and bones was not pain that had been mine at any point in time. 

I’ve had these visions before, usually only ever at night which I guessed to be nothing more than a nightmare, 

Within an instant two new roses grew by my wrist, the deepest shade of red you could possibly imagine surging up through the surface of my flesh, the screams transferring from my mind to my reality, only now they belonged to me.

It feels as though someone had taken a knife and slowly inserted it into the directness of my veins, twisting it even slower than when it went in. I lay there on my kitchen floor, unable to move, my breath uneasy and the pain unfathomable. 

October 7th 6:15Pm

Another day left alone in my room.

I’m sitting on my floor reading a book based on Greek mythology, having no one to tell about the love shared between Persephone and Hades, or the love triangle between Aphrodite, Hephaestus and Ares.

It wasn't just greek stories though, I read about fantasy worlds I craved to be a part of, I read tales that spoke of “garden people” which were essentially people who grew flowers from their skin, It felt weird to read stories that were made up like that though, because how could they be when I’m right here?

I also read a story of folklore that mentioned old tales that spoke of rumors and realms that lived in the woods near my home.

These stories feel like a book series that never ends and I never seem to never get bored.

Time is speeding up and I am unaware of it until the sun setting makes the words on the pages unreadable. 

October 9th 2:48Am

I wake up from another “nightmare” with the most pain I’ve felt in my entire life, the knife I mentioned before? 

Multiply it by ten now. This time it wasn't just my wrists it was my entire body, a wrenching pain filled every area of my body, not one inch was spared. 

As though my veins were roots circulating around my bones and cracking them with each new petal that grew I lay there in my bed, once again unable to function my body. It's getting worse with each new growth. I feel the sensation that something has bubbled to the surface of my skin but I have no strength to move my arm to check. I’m unable to do anything but sit in the pain and keep my eyes shut, and eventually fall back asleep.

October 9th 11:12 Am

I wake up with my left arm atop my right, covering the new rose.

I gently lift it to take a look at the new arrival, only to find Aconite and to my surprise it is not a rose at all. 

Its soft blue petals are not something I recognize, staring in disbelief I ask myself gently 

“But how?” 

“How is that possible?”

And then it hits me. I do know what this is. 

I’ve seen it before, and to no surprise any information I had on it escapes my mind as quickly as it came.

I rush with urgency out of bed and I pace quickly to my bookshelf to look for the book I had read only a few days prior, unable to find it anywhere.

I tear books off each shelf at a manic speed while rushing around my room panting

“Where is it? Where is it?”

Leaning on my knees looking around my room from the view of the floor seeing if it's under the bed, I spot nothing. Looking under my desk and nothing, scanning the room with my eyes I glance at my shelf once more and in seconds I spot it.

The gold binding that ties the book together, the detailing of design that covers it, laying gently on the shelf I could have sworn I had just looked at.

Standing up quicker than my body is used to and running towards it, I grab the book and it lays softly in my hands, I seem to be racing with no one to find the page that reads Aconite, and when I do I see an almost exact replica of what is on my wrist, skim reading out of pure impatience I see words like 

“Poison, Hecate, Athena, Poison Poison Poison”

“Poison?” I question, slowing down and re-reading slower to digest the information at hand.

The information gathered states that Aconite was used by Ancient Greeks as poison and methodically Athena had used this poison (created by Hecate) to transform Arachne to dust with said Aconite.

“Wait” my internal monologue continued and I am there, in front of my bookshelf holding a golden laced book in my hands, reading about a flower that is poison. 

I don’t understand.

How can I grow something with that much power? Power to kill? And every question i've ever asked myself seems to be answered within moments.

Is this why everyone I love dies somehow?

Is this why I never got to meet my parents?

But how? Everyone I've ever loved has died from unknown causes, or at least unknown to me.

I’m standing there trying to puzzle everything together, every memory, every person, every experience.

I think of the folklorian people who were like me, I think of the stories told about doors that lead to other realms in the forests behind my house. 

I seem to gain more questions but with more questions I seem to get more answers.

I remember in the folklore tale of garden people there was this girl name Evanna Elmer, She grew poisonous flowers from her skin and remained unaffected because something that streamed through her veins allowed her to be immune, but whenever she started to love someone the petals would slowly lift a smell into the subconscious of those she cared for. They’d hallucinate, become dreary eyed and tired.

And then Boom.

The memory of a crash.

The glass, the crushing feeling of bones, the screams.

The red hair. 

The red hair.

I had thought my mind had been putting me in that passenger seat, it wasn't at all.

 It was my mother, and my dad had been driving the car. 

I don’t remember them because they died only weeks after I had been born.

Something in the petals of my roses had taken after the seeds inside me that held Aconite, I was responsible for their deaths.

I was responsible for every other death after that.

It was why I was alone.

I was alone and it was nobody's fault but my own. 

I don’t know what to feel. Numb? No i'm not numb, I can't be.

What is this feeling? 

I looked down at my arms waiting for something to happen, waiting for another flower to grow painfully with a different shade of color to tell me what I was feeling but there was nothing. 

I stare at them blankly. Blinking over and over again waiting for something to happen as if in the moments my eyes close something will magically appear. 

But nothing.

I just stand there motionless, empty but overwhelmed. Shocked? I don't know. There are too many thoughts running through my mind, Too much self loathing, too many questions of why.

Blankly staring at my arms still, I begin to place them slowly by the sides of my body and without any words to myself I make my way down the stairs and out the kitchen door into the backyard. 

It's a whole field of trees and mountains, one that almost feels never ending. Im wearing no shoes, yet i'm still walking.

I'm not entirely sure what i'm doing, my mind is heavy and empty but my body is moving, I feel as though i've lost all control. 

After ten minutes of endless motion I make it into a forest and follow a trail I've never followed or seen before, picking up speed as I get closer.

I feel in my chest a magnetic pull to something and I am unsure as to what it is.

I see it, whatever my body, spirit or mind, I’m not really sure what it was that guided me here, but whatever it wanted me to see I found.

A red door, A shiny glossy red door with no frame. I’m standing a good 8 feet away, 

Bewildered and utterly confused as to why it is here.

I make my way towards it and feel a ticklish sensation against my feet, Dandelions lay beneath me and seem to follow my footsteps as the electrical waves of my body movements follow the path,

My heartbeat starts pounding as it rings outside my body. 

The path is broken by passers who have never followed. 

The closer I get, the more relaxed I feel.

I’m now inches from the door, my hand reaches for the gold handle covered in ivy, my hand twists it open, Wind circulates in the air I smell plums and the type of air that you sense when you're near windy open waters.

Feeling as though i should be hesitant but am all willing, I walk through. 

The door shuts immediately behind me, and then I hear a voice come from where the door had been, 

“Welcome home” it whispered.

I turn my entire body, the door replaced by someone with red hair and green eyes.

There she is.

March 27, 2021 03:49

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1 comment

Nyx :)
14:40 Mar 31, 2021

Very nice and well written. I love it! :)


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