Chapter 7: Without a Home

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 13

Quincy’s ragged apartment resided in an unsavory part of Almond Bay: the Almond Pit. Many thugs and delinquents hung out in nearby trash-filled streets and alleyways, just right outside Quincy’s cracked, small window. Every building was painted in graffiti, sections of buildings had bricks blackened by arson, and police sirens were singing at night like clockwork.

Quincy only had a confrontation with the unsavory locals once. A gang, the Almond Pit Devils as they called themselves, tried to shake him down for money when he first moved to the complex. When he was being robbed, Quincy just gave the malicious group a bone-chilling glace, not saying a word while gliding past them. Ever since then, Quincy had been left alone.

The rent was generously covered by Blue Diamond while temporarily teaching. The inside of the apartment was no better than the outside. The walls peeled, the faucet leaked, and there was an unnatural odor coming off the ceiling in a certain corner. An odor that Quincy best believed should remain a mystery.

The giant ducked through the doorway to his barren apartment, looking around the living room to be greeted by very little in the way of personal belongings. He had never brought much with him when he traveled from job to job, which was for the best given his profession.

Quincy was to stay until the end of the school year, or until a permanent teacher’s assistant was found, which was highly unlikely. Either way, once he was no longer needed, he would leave Almond Bay behind, not out of dislike, he just never wanted to stay anywhere too long. It brought about nightmares, the nightmares he’d been having since his sister passed.

Quincy dropped his body on a stained, torn couch, feeling a sharp sensation on his butt cheek as he did so.

“Hmm, that’s right. Nearly forgot about these.” He mumbled through his mustache as he pulled three clear, plastic bricks from his pocket as well as a shock toy disguised as mint gum. He smirked as he cradled the toys in his open palm. “Those three are something else,” he chuckled.

Quincy was amazingly fast for his bulky size. He thwarted the Three Terrors’ pranks before they had a chance to blink. Magic or superhuman, Quincy was neither, naturally gifted though, yes.

“A magic flower, I guess you were not entirely wrong. Humans would call it magic. A little mind manipulation and they quickly get used to a man with a flower on his head, seeing it the same as a hairstyle. You seem happier than usual. Today was a lot of fun, wasn’t it?”

“I suppose it was,” Quincy replied.

Walking over to his fridge to grab a bite to eat, he noticed that his answering machine was flashing a red dot. He pressed the play button and grabbed a chilled bottle of turnip juice and leftover fast food.

Beep.

“Good evening, Quincy, it’s Agatha. Calling to let you know that Leena is confirmed to be out all week. So, it will be just you until next Tuesday. Raven will still help during recess, but aside from that, you’ll be on your own for a while. Have a good night.”

Beep.

Quincy felt unexpected disappointment. He was curious to meet the other faculty’s acquaintance, but it looked like he would be much too busy for that.

“The people here a nice too. This city feels like a nice place to live. Don’t you think, Quincy?” The voice chirped. “Maybe we could stay here. Aren’t you tired of moving around all the time?”

“It’s nice, yes. I’m not one to settle down though. I just want to do my part and move on, see more of the world.”

“We’ve already seen most of the world. Plus, with me, we could go wherever, whenever. I just worry about you. Always traveling with no destination.”

The voice that whispered to him was indeed coming from the flower that grew from his head. The closest friend he’s had ever since he was a child, both physically and emotionally. The entity he’d met in the flower field, his sister’s only friend.

“You can stop worrying, I’m fine. Better than I’ve ever been.”

The flower bent forward. “I just want to see you happy; truly happy; selfishly happy. To stop running and accept what happened. To do it for her.” The flower moved a single leaf on its stem in the direction of a picture frame. Afterward, it popped off of his head and scurried around the room using roots and leaves as appendages. It flew to a clay pot beside the picture frame and nestled in the rich dirt.

The frame displayed a detailed drawing of a young girl. Her hair was auburn like Quincy’s mustache, her nose petite, her lips curved to a smile. To her back was a sunset. She was missing a key feature: her eyes. She had an absence of eyes. This was one of the two items Quincy always traveled with.

Quincy glanced at the picture and nearly looked ill. “I just can’t remember her eyes.”

“Alright, I’ll leave you be. Maybe I’ll never understand you fully, Quincy. Even if I don’t, we’ll be friends forever. Where you go I will follow.” The buttercup danced, swaying side to side. “I’m just along for the ride.”

“Of course…” Quincy smirked as he came back to reality. “Let’s just eat and call it a night. We’re getting up bright and early tomorrow.”

“Aye, aye,” the flower saluted and followed up with a giggle.

That night, the giant slumbered in bed, limbs dangled off the edges. He snored very loudly while wearing a baby-blue nightcap. The flower also had a tiny nightcap of its own, exactly like Quincy’s.

Quincy dreamed of that girl, the girl in the frame, dreamed of running toward her in a grassy field. Whenever he got close, she danced away from him, singing as she ran. Quincy could not see her eyes, they were concealed behind a veil of smoke.

While they both frolicked in the field, turnips rained from the sky. Instead of smashing into the ground, they fell through it and a daisy blossomed from where they made contact. It was an odd yet sweet dream.

The buttercup, or rather the being that had the appearance of a buttercup, lit up the dark apartment with a warm glow. Petals of light fluttered up to the ceiling.

Quincy Daisy had been an extraordinary person all on his own, but the flower that grew from him was a wonder as well. Powerful, cosmic, and omnipresent. Sometimes, it would even use its mystical powers to help out Quincy, but such an occurrence was rare. Quincy had told the flower to never use its powers to make his life trivial. The flower never understood why Quincy refused powers to make his life easier, but it respected his wishes and settled on just minimal intervention.

Catching that tree, for instance, was all Quincy’s strength. A feat that very few could perform without injury. His strength was second to none, and that gift pulled in unwanted attention to no end, a problem that fueled his constant travel.

This time, the flower needed to intervene. She’d absorbed all the city had to offer and knew this was the final destination of Quincy’s travels. She just needed him to see, to understand, to experience.

The flower flashed a bright yellow light, undoing the damage that had been done today. Back at the playground, the tree returned to its skyward thrust and was given new life, and the fence was restored to perfect condition.

“It’s too early to allow such an event to hasten your leave. So, I’ll tweak a few things.”

Memories were purged and replaced with another. Although, the flower thought about the young ginger girl, Kari, and decided to leave her intact. There was something special about her.

Quincy never questioned why the flower fixed the tree. At least once a month the flower did something weird. That was his life now and he’d grown used to the mischievousness.


Submitted: July 31, 2022

© Copyright 2022 M. Vattic. All rights reserved.

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