Around Again

The Orchid rested upon the toadstool, the other eleven sat cross-legged in a semi-circle around him. The grasses were turning gold; the leaves were turning from their usual green, swirling in the air above as they dripped from their branches. The evening was crisp and breezy sending chills through them all. They sat pruning and polishing each other and carefully sipping nectar as they waited, talking together.

The Crocus took a delicate sip of the brightly colored nectar, The Aster tugged roughly on one of her tiny petals; she jumped and spilled nectar down her front. “Blast you, Aster!” she exclaimed.

The sweet Apple Blossom, perched next to her, laughed, a bright, high pitched tinkling laugh; then patted the little flower atop her head, and wiped up the mess. “Thank you, Sweet Blossom,” she said and then more quietly added, “cursed summer flower!”

The Anemone shook his head. “You are such a perennial,” he said, admiring his own stunning reflection in a dew drop.

“Cool it,” said The Lily. Her eyes shimmered in the evening light. Her torso was long and dipped toward the moss as she lazily leaned back on her hands. “She’s tender, just as you are vain.”

“Oh, sun’s rays,” he shot back, “save your breath, Lily.”

The Orchid, understanding his position, carefully stood and took giant gulp of his nectar and put his hands together. “Okay. Which of you wants to go first? C’mon let’s get this over with.” The toadstool on which he sat was browned and petrified. Underneath it, where the others sat was a soft patch of moss. The surface of the toadstool had become smooth and shiny after the many years it had already been used for the same such purpose.

“I think Anemone would like to volunteer for the spot,” said The Crocus smugly. Then The Anemone arrogantly smiled and nodded, “of course.” But before he could begin, The Daffodil jumped in and stated matter-of-factly, “is that a collective decision?” The other flowers sighed and sagged, the evening would be tedious.

“Alright,” said Orchid, “we all agree, Anemone, begin.” The Anemone stood, righted himself and began his story. It was a story of a wealthy man whose career was flourishing and he had some of the most priceless items imaginable. Not even halfway through the set-up of the story a few of the flowers heads were drooping and the Chrysanthemum interjected.

“Anemone, you just told this story last season, plus it’s just plain boring and no one wants to hear it again.” The Anemone looked down at her spiky head and glared. The Aster added on to what the Chrysanthemum had said, “I’ll back her, need be.” The others nodded in agreement. The Daffodil jumped in again, “Orchid has to make it official, remember, and remember!”

The Orchid pressed his lips into a thin line and motioned for him to sit down. The Anemone huffed and sat down.

“How about you go now, Orchid?” The Lily suggested. The others nodded their approval. Orchid’s brow set. “Have any of you ever noticed,” sighed, The Anemone, “that the most beautiful things are the cruelest ones?” The Rose raised her eyebrows.

The Orchid cleared his throat and adjusted the way he was seated. He wiped a drop of nectar from his beard, then threw the cloth down on the ground behind him, and so began his story.

There was a boy; a boy whose grandfather taught him the art of making violins at a very early age. It took him years, to get even close to good at making them, but he persevered, and kept trying. His dream, his sole purpose, was to be admitted to a professional violin making school in Italy. His parents however, wanted him to become a lawyer and be successful. But Trey had a talent and a joy; one that he was not willing to give up that easily without a fight.

Trey and his grandfather spend hours trying to get his parents to let him to go this special school. By the end of his first semester of Junior High, the way it seemed, Trey would not be going to live the only dream he’d ever had.

The boy spent hours working on his school work and even more hours attempting to perfect his violin making craftsmanship. He would not give up on the possibility that one day he might actually get to go, even though, above his head hung a giant cloud of impossibility, threatening to rain on his dream of dreams and wash it all away to nothing.
Now, Trey’s grandfather owned and antique shop, and one day as he was restoring a grandfather clock, a girl about his grandson’s age walked in and watched him as he worked. She was fascinated by the old clock and inquired about it. He began explaining the origin and the story of the carvings and the carved figures that were revealed when the clock struck twelve. There was a fairy and a dwarf king, but during the day the fairy was a sheep and only at midnight would she briefly be, her true self.
After looking at the clock, the girl wandered around the store and came across a small statue of a cat, but this was no ordinary cat. It stood on its hind legs and was built like a human, and wore pants and a waist coat with a top hat and a cane. And when the light from the sunset shone just right, the glass of the cat’s eyes shone and sparked as if they were alive. The old man told her that his name was The Barron, and he had acquired him, from a coffee shop in Germany long a go and that he would never ever sell him. The statue intrigued her. She asked if it would be alright if she came back to see the statue, he told her yes and she left for her home.
This girl’s name was Kim, and she loved books more than anything and so she spent most of her time at the library. Towards the beginning of that school year, Kim had been noticing a name on the check out cards on all of the books that she was reading, and the name was on the card before hers, and this greatly surprised her. She wondered and wondered about who this Trey person could be. Hoping that he would be some kind of prince charming from all the fairy tales she spent all of her time reading.
One day Kim and her best friend Rachel met at the school grounds so Kim could show her the lyrics she had written for their graduation song. While they were their Rachel ran off after seeing a boy that she liked and in her rush to follow her friend Kim left her book with her lyrics on the bench. Later, when she realized that she had left them she found a boy sitting on the bench, reading her lyrics. He laughed when she asked for them back and told her they were corny. That was the first time she ever ran in to him. Then, days later, when Kim went back to see The Barron she had a lunch she was supposed to be bringing to her dad at his work. The store wasn’t open but she sat on the ground in the front and pet the cat that sat there with her. After a while she got up and left. Then just before she got to her dads work the boy that she had encountered days earlier came towards her on a bike, with her father’s lunch on the back. She took it and he rode away singing her lyrics after shouting about how large the lunch was.

A few weeks later, Kim went back to the little shop and found, once again, the store was closed. But as she stood looking in the dark window, trying to make out the shape of The Barron, the boy came on his bike. He told her that this was actually his grandfather’s store and asked her if she wanted to go in and see The Barron as she had mentioned it to him. She said yes, and so they went in, he showed her where the statue was and told her he would be downstairs. When she had her fill of the statue she went downstairs, where she discovered the boy’s talent with the making of violins. As the evening continued on, she found out who the boy was: he was Trey, the boy who had gotten his name in all of those books before she had.

As time went on the got to know each other better, and Kim, was kept posted on Trey’s attempt to go to Italy, which he continued to fight for. After a month or so, Trey came to Kim’s classroom during their lunch hour and asked to speak with her. Together they walked up onto the roof, where Trey told her, that they had finally convinced his parents to let him go to Italy. But there was a catch: he would be leaving tomorrow. He would be in Italy for the next two months where he would be carefully observed by his grandfather’s friend, a professional violin maker. And if he said that Trey had potential he would return to Italy for high school. She congratulated him, then they talked for a while longer about how the timing of his departure was mutually disliked, they had just become close. After she returned home that day, she cried herself to sleep, she would miss him; the boy that was already so accomplished when she had accomplished nothing. She would have to try; she had to do something to match Trey’s accomplishments.
And so The Orchid’s story ended. By now there were stars shining down on the small gathering of flowers, and the harvest moon burnt orange and glowing.

Some of the flowers smiled gently, others didn’t smile at all; it had been a story that required one to think and to realize. To see flaws that weren’t visible at first.

“It had impact, I’ll give it that much.”The Rose commented.
And so The Orchid declared the meeting through, and the flowers began disappearing, one by one, into the darkness, each in their own direction, to their own patch in the bed.
Last of all stood The Firethorn, looking up at the place on top of the toadstool; he had said nothing throughout the entire meeting.
He would be there next. Then it would be his turn; his turn to hit the flowers with a story of a life. His head hung low as he thought, arms swinging down, and he walked off back to his bed, alone.





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