Hearts and Flowers

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Life isn't all hearts and flowers.




Dana was found lying on the floor, bleeding from a wound in her left shoulder. The first person who found her was a customer who had gone shopping early, so as to put in an order for a large number of flower-filled baskets for an engagement party. The customer, who was a regular customer at Dana’s florist shop, was Robina White, who ran a business organizing parties.

The police cars, ambulance, and journalists, all arrived around the same time. It didn’t take long for the doctor in charge to state that Dana was still alive, but he wasn’t sure how long she would last. The victim was placed on a stretcher and wheeled out to the ambulance. The police stayed inside the shop, and got the forensics to check out everything in the shop. They even checked Robina’s credentials, to see if she was who she said she was.


The ambulance got to the hospital, and Dana was rushed into the first-aid room, where she, after a rapid examination, was declared to need an operation to settle her, and find out what had caused the wound. For two hours, Dana’s body was searched inside, for anything that might have made the wound. That she had been shot was obvious, but they then discovered that she had been stabbed as well. The police were informed about the anomaly, and they went back to question Robina. Meanwhile, Dana was kept under police surveillance, and a woman was sitting by her bed till she regained consciousness. The nurses went to inspect her temperature and blood pressure and her heart beat quite frequently, but all of that was of no help to the police in their investigation. They wanted to talk to Dana, and she was far from being able to do so.


Robina was at work, when the police turned up at her office, where she was party planning on her computer.

“Good morning, Miss White. We’ve been informed that you were the person who found Dana on the floor with a bleeding wound. Why did you go to her shop?” the detective in charge of the case asked.

“We are friends, and I quite often visit her shop. She has great ideas for decorations for all kinds of events.”

“What event are you talking about, Miss White?” the detective asked her again.

“I’m in the middle of planning a special party for a couple who are going to renew their marriage vows. As you can imagine, it’s not the same as planning a wedding reception when a couple get married for the first time,” Robina explained.

“That’s all very well, but it still doesn’t tell us, what you were doing in ‘Hearts and Flowers’ so early in the morning. Why were you in the shop?” the detective, who went by the name of Colin James, found the situation awkward, and wasn’t at all at ease with Robina, who didn’t seem put out by his questions, but only a little annoyed because she couldn’t work while the police were stopping her from doing so.

 Robina decided to change their attitude, and asked, “How is Dana? Is she conscious yet?”

Colin stared at her in disbelief, “Do you really think that Dana would be awake and chatting to us, when she has just been operated on? By the way, there’s one thing you can help us with, being as you claim you are a friend of hers. Do you happen to know if she has any relatives in this part of the country?”

Robina, desperate to get on with her work for the wedding she was working on, said, “Dana mentioned a brother once, but that’s all I can tell you. Sorry, but I must get back to work. I’ll drop by the hospital later on, when I’m sure she’ll be up to having visitors.”

“Don’t be in a hurry, and just get on with your work. It’ll be a while before Dana will be strong enough to see anyone. Good morning,” Colin said, and he left the office with his companion.

Robina went downstairs to her work room, and continued to carry on with her job for the wedding. The business with Dana soon went out of her head. Anyway, it was all Dana’s fault she had almost died.


Every four hours, the policewoman guarding Dana, was changed, and the nurse checking Dana’s pulse and temperature were the only signs of movement in that corridor.

Dana had worked all her adult life, and had more than once commented on setting up her own business. The name ‘Hearts and Flowers’ had come to her when she was strolling around the gardens of a stately house. It was all very romantic. There were all kinds of trailing plants and in different shades. She had been out of work, and when she did have a job, it wasn’t long before Dana was bored stiff. That day, she had seen a very upmarket wedding, and the bride had been carrying a heart-shaped bouquet. Dana fell in love with the idea of a heart-shaped bouquet, and that was when her shop was born.

 During the following weeks, Dana looked up all the things associated with hearts, and found that she was able to make some of the things she saw depicted. As soon as she had a healthy collection of objects, with or without their corresponding photo, she moved everything into her business and residential premises.


Soon after, she met Robina, who lived nearby. At first, the two women didn’t get on well, but in time they accepted each other for the businesses they could share.


The policewoman who sat outside Dana’s room at the hospital, asked the nurse who went in and out of the room, “Do you think she’s aware of where she is?”

The nurse said, “When she wakes up, you could ask her.”


Dana had gone into her business, full of ideas of what she could do with ‘Hearts and Flowers’. At the beginning, everything was reduced to small and economical. The shop was done out in heart-shaped mirrors, photo frames, bedside tables, cushions for beds. As the shop gained popularity, Dana expanded the goods, to offer: jewellery, heart-shaped lockets carrying photos, cooking moulds, large cakes, small cakes, and she even went so far as to persuade a local pizzeria to make heart-shaped pizzas.

One day, when Dana was feeling depressed, she had gone to the pizzeria and asked for a heart-shaped pizza. One of the young men who spent all day making pizzas, created one just for her, having asked her about her favourite ingredients.

Later, when she had finished eating the pizza, Paul, the young man who had made the pizza for her, went to her table, and asked, “How did the pizza go down with you?”

Dana looked up at him, smiled, and said, “Very well, thank you. Do you often get personalized orders?”

“It depends. Where do you work?”

“I’ve got a shop called ‘Hearts and Flowers’. Now, maybe, you’ll understand why I asked for a heart-shaped pizza.”

“My name’s Paul, and I’ll make you another heart-shaped pizza whenever you come here to eat.”

From then on, Paul and Dana became friends, and his pizzas were advertised in her shop. Paul’s father was the owner of the pizzeria, and was pleased that Dana went in for making ads about his business.


The business of ‘Hearts and Flowers’ was doing so well, that Robina asked Dana to make wedding posies for bridesmaids, or for brides who wanted something a bit different. Dana knew she wouldn’t be able to carry out all the work by herself, and told Robina, who said, “What’s the matter? Afraid of a little hard work?”

Dana couldn’t believe her ears, and said, “I think it might be better if you found someone else. What you expect one person to do, is going too far.”

Robina said, “Can’t you get that friend of yours to help you out?”

“No, I couldn’t. He works hard enough as it is. I think you should start thinking of a business partner,” Dana told Robina.

“I thought you were my partner.”

Dana turned to Robina, and said, “Well, you thought wrong. I have never thought of you as a partner.”

Robina stormed off, and Dana rang up Paul, to see if he could go round and talk to her. Dana was very offended by Robina’s reaction. It was obvious, Robina had thought Dana would do the work for nothing.


Not long after the scene with Robina, Dana saw, stuck on her shop window:




Paul was furious, and said that Dana was to have nothing more to do with Robina. Paul’s father had an old friend, who had died after battling a long illness. Dana was asked to do the flowers for the friends of the family. As the dead man had been popular, there were a lot of mourners at the funeral. There were plenty of wreaths, and Dana was happy to see her bouquet stood out quite well beside the other wreaths. After the funeral, the mourners went to a restaurant for a slap-up meal, and talk about the deceased.

While they were eating, drinking, and talking, one of the undertakers went rushing into the restaurant to announce, “The flowers have all been destroyed. Someone’s thrown acid over all of them.”

Paul’s father and other old friends, ran out, and drove to the cemetery, to see the wanton destruction. The question on everyone’s lips was, “Who could possibly have perpetrated such a terrible thing.”

Dana said to Paul, “I’ve got a horrible suspicion that Robina’s behind all this.”

Paul agreed, and asked, “What can we do about it?”

“Dana said, “We can do nothing without proof. She would have to be caught in the act. Who else would have put a notice on my shop window about not dealing with me?”

“Yes, she’s made herself look a fool. After all, the majority of the flowers weren’t from your business.”


The fame of ‘Hearts and Flowers’ spread far and wide, and it became so well known, that an article was published in the local newspaper.


The article didn’t go down at all well with Robina, and she went all out to get herself a name in the party world. She was asked to organize a splendid party for a large number of people. Robina prepared all kinds of rich dishes, and managed to get help with the venue and the serving of the food.


The first sign that anything was wrong, was when some of the guests complained of stomach ache, and even at the hotel where the dinner was held, some had actually thrown up. Someone called for an ambulance, but one was not enough, and so a few more went to the hotel to pick up the affected.


It was established that the cream used in a sauce had been past its sell-by date.

After it went to trial, Robina was fined, and had to pay for the guests’ hospital fees, and the court expenses.


Dana was beginning to regain consciousness, and Colin James went to see her, and she told him about the morning when someone had tried to kill her.

“Robina came round to see me very early in the morning, and was furious about all the success I was having, and how I should have stayed with her, that in fact I had ruined her business. She had a gun in her pocket, and when she saw shooting me had failed, she had a go at stabbing me. I don’t remember anything else,” Dana finished up.


Colin James and a couple of police cars, went to Robina’s place, but she ran out, and drove off, with them in hot pursuit. They burnt rubber at the speed they were all travelling at. Robina was a fearless driver, and made no effort to slow down.


A very large lorry was going towards her car, but she took no notice, and drove her car straight into it. The lorry stopped, and Colin James went up to Robina who had died on impact.


Paul and Dana sent a large heart-shaped wreath to Robina’s funeral.


It was the least they could do. 

Submitted: February 14, 2016

© Copyright 2022 Georgina V Solly. All rights reserved.

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