The Golden Ginger flower was carefully guarded by the Haperns. The flower was first seen in the Sleepy Ash Forest. There were hundreds of them but they were plucked and eaten as they made you healthy for years.
Only one flower was left and to prevent it from extinction, the Haperns had replanted it in a pot with paintings of suns. The pot was in a glass display case sealed with a shiny silver padlock that was opened every morning to water the Golden Ginger with a mixture of fresh honey, hot water and the juice of a lemon.
Jacob, a retired wrestler, got ready for “work”. He pulled on a used T-shirt and yanked open the door of the fridge. Only a glass of milk was in the fridge. It had mould growing out of it. He sighed after closing the door. He stepped out of his house and shut the door.
Jacob walked to a deserted alley and found himself face-to-face with a man with a furious look in his eye.
“Hey, Egg,” greeted Jacob.
“What took you so long!” demanded Egg.
“Overslept,” said Jacob.
“The guys are waiting for you. Did you bring them?” asked Egg with an eager look in his eyes.
“Yep,” said Jacob pointing to his back pocket.
At the end of the alley, there was a door. Egg cheered as they went inside. Two big men sat on stools. One had a scar on his face and the other had a missing tooth.
“Let’s get started,” grunted the one with the scar.
“I want a mint,” said Egg.
“I have one,” replied Jacob. “What will you give me for it?”
“Do you want a coffee?” asked Egg. “I got a pack from a dustbin,”
This is what Jacob did as “work”. Trading flavoured cigarettes with these men.
“Okay, this is the last trade,” said the guy with the loose tooth, Henry. “I have rose. Don't really like it though. Who wants it?”
“Me!” shouted Egg.
“Me!” shouted Jacob.
“Me! shouted the guy with the scar, Bill.
“The one who gives the best offer gets the rose,” said Henry.
“I have cheese!” said Egg.
“I have barbecue!” said Jacob.
“I have smoked!” said Bill.
“Now who doesn't like barbecue?” said Henry while giving the rose-flavoured cigarettes to Jacob and receiving the barbecue-flavoured ones.
“Yes!” exclaimed Jacob and punched the air.
“No fair!” complained Egg and Bill.
“Let's have chicken,” grinned Henry. “On me,”
They arrived at a restaurant. Henry ordered some spicy chicken legs. Everyone grabbed a leg and shouted, “Cheese do the guys!” and slammed the leg into their mouths, alarming the other customers.
“Oh, I feel so full!” said Egg, patting his tummy. Jacob took out the pack of rose-flavoured cigarettes from his back pocket, eager to try one out. He lit it and put it into his mouth. He felt good.
After lunch, Jacob said goodbye to the guys and went home. He got out another cigarette and lit it. He inhaled the smoke and sighed. Then, he turned on the television and stared at the screen.
The news said there would be a severe thunderstorm. Two hours later, the news proved right. There was even a flood. Cars got stuck, others were honking. Jacob went to the fridge, hungry. Only the mouldy glass of milk was in there. Jacob didn't hesitate and gulped it down in one. He grimaced and felt nauseous. He lit a cigarette to get the taste out of his mouth and then, went to bed.
In the morning, Jacob tried to get out of bed to go to “work” but he found that he couldn't move. He looked at his bedside table and reached for his phone. As he held the phone, he gasped. It was so heavy! He dialled Bob, Egg and Henry and said that he couldn't get out of bed.
"Hey guys help me!" yelled Jacob.
“Why are you late again? Did you oversleep again?” complained Egg.
“No, help me!” shouted Jacob.
“What’s going on?”
Jacob couldn’t move. He felt frustrated.
“Get over here!” he screeched.
“Woah, I never heard you make a noise like that,” Egg giggled. “Hang on, I’ll be on my way with the boys,”
Jacob shut his eyes.
He opened them half an hour later to see Bill, Henry and Egg coming into his house and going up to his bed.
“Get out of bed Jacob,” said Egg. And then noticed Jacob’s face.
“AAAAAAAAH!” screamed Egg.
Jacob had never heard Egg scream before. It was a high-pitched one.
“What?” he asked.
“Henry grabbed a mirror that was on a shelf and held it in front of Jacob. Jacob stared and started. That can’t be me, he thought.
“Huh?” he croaked.
“What have you done with your face?” asked Bill. “It looks like my old sofa,”
Jacob’s face was covered in pimples and weird grey spots. He opened his mouth in shock and noticed his teeth turned yellowish and his tongue was fully black.
“We’ll help you to get up and take a wash. Hopefully, then, your face will be back to normal,” said Egg.
Bill, Henry and Egg grabbed Jacob’s arms and tugged. Jacob stayed glued to the bed. They tugged even harder. Jacob didn’t move. Finally, they pulled with all their might and Jacob flew off the bed and landed on the hard wooden floor in a mess.
“Ow!” yelled Jacob.
“Get him to the bathtub,” ordered Egg.
Henry and Bill dragged Jacob to the bathtub and turned on the taps which gushed out hot water. They heaved Jacob into it, feeling weird.
Egg looked under Jacob’s pillow and found the pack of rose-flavoured cigarettes. Feeling worried, he grabbed Jacob’s phone from the bedside table and searched up about the cigarettes. It said:
Rose-flavoured cigarettes are a much-favoured type for most people. Since people are often buying them, the Smoky Cigarette Factory in the middle east had quickened the process of making them. Unfortunately, that caused some to go wrong. If anyone smokes those ones, they will get some serious illness. Nothing can cure them except the Golden Ginger flower that is guarded by the Haperns.
Bill, Henry and Egg left Jacob to rest while they were on a mission to obtain the Golden Ginger flower. They rented a jeep and made their way to the Haperns. Bill drove while Egg directed the way.
They reached the Haperns seven hours later. They got off the jeep and stood in front of a wooden cottage.
“Are you sure this is the right place?” asked Bill anxiously,
“Yes, that’s what it said when I searched up the cigarettes.
“Okay, let’s go in,” said Henry.
They entered the cottage. It was so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. They saw the flower in a pot, locked in a glass display case. There we two rooms, on the right and the left. They slowly opened the door on the right and saw an elderly man sleeping on a hammock.
The man had a key hanging on a piece of string that was tied to his neck. They had to cut the string in order to get the key and unlock the glass display, but they didn’t have any sharp appliances. Henry had a box of matches. He slowly lit one and brought the fire to the string. After a few seconds, it snapped but the fire had burned the man who roared. Bill grabbed the key and ran out of the room. He brought the key to the padlock unlocked the glass display case. He yanked the flower out of the pot and raced out of the cottage with Henry and Egg at his heels.
They found themselves face to face with an army of Haperns carrying spears.