On the second day of April, a flower bloomed. It was a beautiful little thing, with petals that started red and crept up into the freshest of pinks. Some might say it was a rose, others would call it a peony. I once met a fellow who said it looked like dandelion fluff. But regardless of the flower's species, it was a blossom that would change everything. At least, for one person.
Also on the second day of April, a boy was taking a walk. He wasn't handsome nor ugly, and not in between, either. He was unnoticeable, the kind of person that easily blended into the crowd. His eyes were an unforgettable brown, hair a straight black that wasn't anything special, and a face which was so normal-looking and dull that anyone who laid eyes on him seemed to see right through him, as if he were just a patch of air.
This boy's name was Ben. Ben Brown, if you want to be fancy (although his name was probably the most boring name in the history of boy names) and he was walking through his garden. His mother, who compared to her son was very attractive and outgoing, had planted a flower garden when they first moved into the house. In just two months, there were buds and saplings in every imaginable space. A trickling fountain sat in the corner with two sparrows drinking from the rim. Another three were hopping along on the stone path, pecking at worms which had crawled out of the ground during the past rainstorm.
But the flowers...
There were flowers everywhere. Roses, gardenias, peonies, bluebells, sunflowers, daisies, dandelions, violets and so many more. Sometimes the neighbors would stop by at Ben's mother's garden just to smell the flowers. And, if Mrs. Brown liked them well enough, she would grant them a free bouquet. Ben thought she should start a flower business; after all, she had so many plants, and if she could make money from them, why not?
But Mrs. Brown refused. "My flowers are not objects of the market," she'd said. "Yes, I sometimes give them away to loving homes, to be set in clear water until their dying day, but on no occasion shall I accept payment for my blossom's lives."
It was a very confusing reply, Ben thought. His mother was always a little strange.
Anyway. On the second day of April, as Ben was walking through his mother's garden, he saw a certain flower out of the corner of his eye. He had never seen anything like it, and wondered what it was or where his mother had gotten it. It didn't sit in a pot, nor was it part of a bush. It was sticking out right in the middle of the grass, near the path, and was looking at Ben (at least, that's what it felt like) and he neared towards it.
It had very large petals, and Ben wondered how such a thin stem could hold it up. He knelt down on the ground, curious, and gently prodded it. It was in the middle of blossoming, half of its petals up and the other half tightly coiled together.
"Hello," Ben said to the flower. Then he frowned at himself. Ben, the most normal kid in the history of kids, was talking to a flower.
As if responding to his voice (which wasn't the best voice, mind you. It was sort of gravelly) the flower opened. And there, sitting in the middle, was a girl.
Sort of a girl, anyway.
On closer inspection, Ben saw that she looked anything but human. Her skin was a soft green, like the leaves of a birch sapling, and her eyes were a dusty white that resembled the white stones that sat on the bottoms of ponds. Her hair was curly and tangled and orange, like a tiger lily. Her lips were red, her ears a funny shape that were neither pointed nor round. She was wearing no clothes, but vine-like twigs wrapped around her body, covering her in something that resembled wooden armor. She smiled with pointed teeth.
Ben blinked a few times. Then he debated whether to run away, kill the little creature, take it to his mother, or stay there and stay dumbly at it. He was too shocked to run, not heartless enough to kill it, and his mother was at work. So he settled for dumbness.
"Hello, beast!" The creature-girl said brightly, flashing her teeth again. "How're you on this fine day?"
Ben didn't say a word.
"Well, my name's Edelwein Azalea! What's yours?"
The girl frowned and stomped her foot on one of the flower petals. Then she slipped and lost her balance. "Eeeeeeek!" She screeched as she slid down the petal like a slide. She was nearing the hard ground when Ben reached out a hand and grabbed her without thinking. Should've just let her fall, he thought. Or maybe not. I don't know.
"Thank you, gorilla!" Edelwein cried, slightly panting. Her twig clothing scratched Ben's hand.
"I'm not a gorilla," Ben said, lifting the girl up by the hair and plopping her on the path beside him. "And neither are you."
Edelwein laughed. Her teeth really were very pointy. "Obviously not," she said scornfully. "But you're so big, so why not call you a gorilla? I know you're a boy, though. I'm probably very small to you, since you're a hippopotamus to me. See, what would you call me besides a girl?"
Ben stared at her for a few seconds. "I don't know," he said, shrugging, though in truth he felt very nervous. "A fairy? An elf?"
The girl stomped her foot again. "No, no, no!" She exclaimed with one kick to the ground for each "no!" "No, I am not a fairy. I'm a spirit!"
Ben swallowed. He really should run away now...
"Ask me what type of spirit I am," the girl demanded. She scratched at her left ear, and Ben noticed she wore little flowers for earrings.
"What type of spirit are you?" Ben asked. He didn't want to disobey her and get bitten by those teeth.
"I am a flower spirit!" Edelwein said happily. She gestured to Mrs. Brown's garden. "And this is the area I've been given to protect. Beautiful, isn't it?"
"So many flowers here! Goodness knows how many brothers and sisters I have, I won't be able to count them all. See this rose?" She pointed at one of the yellow ones Ben's mother had acquired a couple weeks ago.
"I see it."
"Well, that one's going to be a boy. One with yellow eyes, see, and maybe brown skin. And that one," she pointed to a sweet little daisy, "will be a little girl. She'll look a lot like you humans, probably light skin and chestnut hair. Maybe a flower petal gown, even, it is a very pretty flower."
"I don't understand," Ben said slowly.
"Oh. Well, I wouldn't expect you to," Edelwein said, though she sounded a bit disappointed. "You see, I'm the queen of this place. I was born from the Royal Blossom, the flower that--oh..." she gazed at the flower of which she had been born from. It was already rotting away, its once-beautiful petals slowly turning black and brown. "Well, that's alright," she said, turning back to her cheerful self. "Anyway, there's always one of those flowers in every garden at one time or another. Then the queen is born, and once she is, all the other flowers will be born too. Then we'll build cities, houses, maybe even castles." A dreamy look came into her white eyes and she smiled.
"Okay," Ben said, thoroughly disbelieving. "I'm going to go now..."
"No, wait!" Edelwein touched his finger, which was sitting on the path beside her. Her hand tickled. "You're the first breathing thing I've ever seen," she said somewhat sadly. "And I've only been born a few minutes. Stay with me, please."
Ben was about to say that he couldn't possibly stay here with the crazy flower spirit, who was most likely a figment of his imagination, when a wonderful sight was bestowed upon his eyes. Every single flower in his mother's garden erupted into bloom; beautiful white light shone down on the plants, illuminating their petals as little people crawled out of them. Every skin color imaginable, every style of hair. The little flower people all came crawling out, smiling with pointed teeth. Some were sweet, like the daisy girl, some dangerous-looking like the tiger lily man. But none could compare with Edelwein, who looked like a queen in her own right, placed down on the path. Her subjects came to her, a few of them flying with petalled wings. She smiled at them. Then they all bowed respectfully. None seemed to notice Ben, the tall human giant standing before them, witnessing the most abnormal thing he had seen in his entire life.
"You see," Edelwein whispered to him. She was so tiny, he was shocked he could hear her. "Not everything has to be all dull all the time, does it?" And with a wave of her green hand she conjured a beautiful flower in his lap, starting red and working up into the freshest of pinks.
Ben took it inside and planted it in a small pot in his room. He watered it every day, taking great care of it.
And on the second day of May, it bloomed.