The Perennial Plants

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Packets of seeds that are not of thei earth growing in a woman’s house.

With COVID19, I seldom left the house anymore but sometimes I just had to get out where there were other people. My two cats are wonderful and do their best to keep me company but we don’t speak the same language and I need human voices once in a while. Sitting home alone day after day isn’t good for your mental health they say and I believe them. Weird ideas sometimes pop into my mind and the only remedy is to get out among humans and see real things instead of the ones I imagine.

This was one of those days. I roamed through the large department store aimlessly. I really wasn’t here to to buy anything but I wish I had something in mind to look for. I passed the housewares department then the men’s wear. There was no longer a man in my life to buy for since my boyfriend and I mutually called it quits a couple of months ago, so I kept on walking. I wasn’t in the mood for jewelry today and I really didn’t need anymore anyway. Oh well, I’ll just take a peek at the linens. I don’t need any but maybe something new will catch my interest. No, nothing interesting here either. My, my they have expanded since I was here last. I’ll take a look at lawn and garden. I could use a new lawn chair and maybe a couple of decorations for the yard would be nice.

The yard decorations were first. It was mostly Christmas stuff but I saw a cute elf and a snowman that would look good in my flowerbeds on both sides of the porch so I got a shopping cart and put them in it. Lawn chairs were out of season right now so I wouldn’t be taking one home today after all. I continued walking around this new section just to get an idea what they had on the shelves. There were lots of fertilizers and bug sprays across the aisle from racks of seeds.

I was surprised by the variety of seeds there. I selected a packet of flower seeds that were currently in season to fill the empty spots where my summer stock had been. The packet said it was an annual so I put it back. I was looking for a perennial so it would keep coming back year after year. If I planted just right I would have something blooming year round. I spun the rack to the next side but those were mostly vegetables so I spun it again. One packet stood out as I glanced over the slots. The flower was very unusual but beautiful. Right on the front it said it was perennial so I took the packet down and turned it over. It said the seeds would grow in any soil but they are better started as an indoor plant. Not exactly what I’m looking for but I don’t have any indoor plants so I think I’ll try it. I put it in the cart with the decorations and continued my search. The last side contained just what I wanted and I added a few more seed packets to the cart.

I realized I had no potting soil or pot so I continued on to that section where I added the kind of potting soil the packet said I should use and a ceramic pot that would look really nice on the sill of my big front window where morning sun would shine on it every day. In fact, I think I’ll get two pots and another packet of seeds. Then I went back for fertilizer for both indoor and outdoor plants and took another packet of seeds like the beautiful flower I had already selected except this one was yellow while the first one was lavender. My next stop was the cashier at the exit door for this new section. Though the amount was more than I planned to spend, I could afford it since I did not go to restaurants anymore and only filled my gas tank about every two and half months.

When I arrived home I put the decorations, outdoor fertilizer and outdoor seeds in the garden shed. Then I returned to my car for the rest. I had to make two trips with my new pots but I could manage the potting soil and seeds with the second pot so I locked the car and went in the back door. At first I thought I would wait until the next day to pot the seeds but the empty pots somehow didn’t look right on the windowsill so I put the potting soil in each pot and opened the first packet of seeds. I was surprised at the size of the seeds. They were almost too big to be an indoor plant but the packet said they preferred the indoors to start so I put them in the first pot then opened the second packet and planted them in the other pot.

Every day for two weeks I checked for new growth but nothing happened. I had been watering them as directed and fertilizing them each week so some sign of life should be appearing by now. I was ready to take the empty looking pots out to the shed by the start of the third week when I saw a tiny tendril coming up in each pot. Each day new tendrils appeared from the soil. Some were a mint green shade while others were much darker and reminded me of some of the pictures I had seen of the Grinch. The mint green changed to the darker shade as the tendrils became stems then stalks. The stalks continued to grow taller and taller until they were as tall as my window. I don’t know when or how but the stalks intertwined with each other and became one stalk. Still no flower bud appeared. Maybe the stalk was so tall it no longer received enough sunlight. I set each of the pots on the floor in front of the window but the stalk grew even higher. I was tired of seeing nothing but a stalk so I moved the pots to sit off on the ground off the back porch. I didn’t care if the packet said they were indoor plants and could die out there. They were ugly barren stalks that did not belong inside. In fact, I didn’t think they belonged anywhere. There was nothing pretty about them and I wished I had not wasted my money on them.

The stalks seemed to thrive outside as much as they had inside. Soon they reached the edge of the roof and kept growing. I stopped watering and fertilizing them but they still thrived. Their roots started coming out of the soil and dangling over the edge of each pot. The roots became so numerous they broke both of my lovely pots and took root in the soil around where the pots used to sit while the stalks kept growing. For days I did not go out to look at the ugly things until I saw the roots creeping up on the porch. I took my biggest butcher knife and cut the invading roots off but they kept returning and I kept chopping. I could see roots claiming much of my back yard now so I went back to the store and bought weed spray but it didn’t work so I called a landscape company to come and cut the stalks down. I had put up with enough and just wanted the ugly things gone.

A few days later the young landscape man came to the door and I took him out back to show him what I wanted him to destroy. On the way back he said his name was Jack. As we rounded the corner of the house I was amazed to see the stalks now pierced through the clouds overhead. On a smaller stalk just about half way up was the most beautiful lavender bloom as big as a kiddie swimming pool. The fragrance was delightful  as it drifted down to us. I turned to look at the other stalk and it had a yellow bloom the same size. Jack began to scale the stalk to look more closely at the yellow bloom. When he almost touched the bloom it suddenly moved. I watched as he disappeared into the flower. He never came out so I called the police. The police started to climb both stalks even though I told them what happened to Jack. One officer reached the same height on the yellow stalk as Jack had on the lavender flowered stalk and he too disappeared never to be seen again. The remaining police called in scientist and other landscapers but no one had ever seen these plants or even heard of them before until one scientist spoke up and said he had heard of plants like the Venus Fly Trap eating insects but never a man eating plant like these. He asked if he could use m computer so we went inside.

He searched the Internet until he found what he was looking for. Several years ago a meteorite had fallen somewhere in the jungles of Africa. The natives discovered huge stalks growing to the sky around the meteorite. They were frightened by what they saw so they set fire to the area and burned the stalks to the ground. The next year the stalks were back and they again burned them but one of the natives was more curious than the rest and he went back alone when he thought the seeds would be sprouting. They were, so he dug a few seeds out of the ground and took them back to the village. He planted the seeds where he knew no one would look for the stalks. Every year he harvested the seeds and sold them to traveling traders. The traders sold them to other traders and they eventually came to the United States with other seeds. The village gradually disappeared as the flowers grew closer to the ground and the lovely scent enticed people closer to them. There was no known way to kill the plants. Cutting them down only destroyed the present stalk but the next year a new one grew from the deep-seated roots of the old plant. It really was a perennial after all. 


Submitted: December 16, 2020

© Copyright 2021 scarletscribe. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Steven P. Pody

Interesting. If you ever write a part two, you'd have at least a coupla choices - people don't 'disappear forever', per se, but the flower is a portal to somewhere else, ...or someone actually goes old school and climbs the stalk. Was this inspired by those mysterious seeds from China people were getting in the Spring? Anyhoo, thanks for the goodly diversion, and good luck in your continued writing.

Sun, December 20th, 2020 10:03pm

Author
Reply

This was from a prompt in one of my writing groups. I only had 15 minutes to write it. Thanks for the suggestions. You hit my creative button so when I’m finished with my current project I will see what I can do.

Tue, December 22nd, 2020 9:07am

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