Exotic

Reads: 326  | Likes: 3  | Shelves: 1  | Comments: 5

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: March 02, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: March 02, 2018

A A A

A A A


Exotic

I’m not really one for plants. I used to try; planting seeds, tending them, doing everything by the book, but they refused my efforts, preferring to give up and die. After a few years I came to the conclusion that I just did not have ‘green fingers’ and lost interest.

In spite of that, here I am, queuing up outside the new ‘Magical Garden’. It promises to have lots of plants never before seen, although quite how that can be true I can’t understand. I mean, they must have come from somewhere, right? Perhaps they mean exotic specimens, not native to this country. There are plenty of people in front of me, and even more behind, so I’m not the only one to have found their claims to be somewhat intriguing.

The gates open and I pay for my entrance. I’d expected to be able to wander around at will, stopping here and there, looking at whatever takes my interest, then moving on at my own pace. It seems that that is not how they do things at the ‘Magical Garden’. We are to have a guide who will takes us on an organized walk, pointing out all the ‘exotics’.

I’d guess there are about fifty in my group, and our guide reminds me of a mix-up of Disney’s Alice and Fairy Godmother. At least she is not wearing a winged tutu and waving a wand; I’d estimate her to be in her early sixties and that would be just too much to take.

I don’t like groups. I don’t like tours. I stop and look at a bush with some kind of golden blooms, the size of apples. They look very beautiful, but at the same time unnatural. I’d love to be able to hear what the guide is saying but she is too far in front of me, and there is a lot of gossiping going on between other visitors.

Next, we come to a large patch of tall flowers. They are about two foot tall, with large leaves, pointed and sharp looking. The flowers are a deep raspberry color with a scent I could smell before I even got a glimpse of them. I want to listen, but again there is all this chatter. I have an intense urge to shout at them to be quiet; what is the point of taking the tour if they are not interested, but instead I have another idea. I’ll set off on my own!

It won’t be too hard, not if I allow myself to hang back. I’ll take up position right at the back of the group and when we come up to a split in the path, I’ll quite simply head off in the opposite direction to the remainder of the party. They won’t notice, I’m sure.

It doesn’t take long for me to get my chance. It’s only a small path, not on the tour route, so perhaps used only by those that tend these exotic garden specimens. The path itself is made of gravel, so I step carefully, trying to keep my footsteps silent and undetected. There is no shout, no one calling me back, telling me off. I’ve done it – escaped the planned route. Now for some real treats; at least that’s what I’m hoping.

For a while it seems as though I have made a huge mistake. There seems to be very little plant growth along here at all, a few bits of indiscernible greenery and that’s it. And then, a little way ahead of me I spot the most amazing looking bush. It’s leaves look like tiny emerald hearts and the flowers....would you believe me if I said they looked like gem-stones. So many different colors on the one branch, all sparkling brightly.

I know I shouldn’t do it and I’ll admit I feel like a thief but I reach out towards one of the smaller branches and break off a piece. It’s only a small bit, but even that must have twenty or more of those little gemstone blossoms on it. It didn’t cry out in pain or alarm! It couldn’t have done. I assure myself it’s nothing more than guilt causing my imagination to go in to over-drive.

Carefully stowing the piece of branch in my jacket pocket, and rather reluctantly, I force myself to move on from what I’ve simply called the gemstone bush. There is no telling what other delights might be waiting ahead of me.

And so I continue along the path. Another scent wafts its way towards me, not such a pleasant one this time. In fact, it kind of turns my stomach. I think of turning back, looking for another little pathway but curiosity wins out and I carry on making my way forward along the path.

I can see someone up ahead, dressed in some kind of strange protective suit. He or she must be tending to a very delicate species or something. I should walk away but it’s too late now, he’s seen me and actually seems to be beckoning me forward. He, for I can hear a man’s voice, is talking to someone as yet out of my view. All I catch are the last few words; “.....there’ll always be one!”

I’m going to speak to him when my eyes are drawn to the plants that he is tending.

Thick, thorny stems, a bit like those of roses only thicker and grey in color, hold up what look like stars. They are black on the outer part of the petals, lightening slightly to a very dark purple in their centers. These plants, whatever they are, truly are staggering. I should talk to the man, make some kind of comment, but I find myself speechless.

I move forward towards them, not intentionally, but I just can’t resist the opportunity to get a better look. The man seems to be feeding them, putting something into their centers before quickly withdrawing his hand. The points of the stars fold in and like daggers cut in to what I can see now is raw meat.

Something inside my head starts yelling about danger, too late though. That man has moved behind me while my attention was focused on the plants. I still can’t believe it when I feel his hands against my back, feel the shove and lose my balance to stagger forward. I am terrified that I will damage those plants.

I don’t have many moments to realize my mistake. I am no threat to them but they are to me. Those sharp thorns draw blood and those stars twist and turn to face me, opening and closing with silent snaps. The first bite hurts but also paralyses. I can’t get away, I can’t call out. They are eating me alive.

The last thing I am aware of is the voice of that man. “That’s right, my pets. There’ll always be one!”


© Copyright 2018 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

Comments

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

More Horror Short Stories