The Flowers

By , santa cruz, CA
Once upon a time, there was a girl who was a normal student. She attended the local public high school with 1,000 other students much like herself. Each day she pretty much had the same routine: school, break, more school, lunch, even more school. Even with all that school, after word she would go home and do homework for the rest of her day. The campus was trapped on each of its sides, on the left of the school the Cementex company sat mixing new types of cement and being loud. Behind the school was an abandoned parking structure that housed all the homeless, and if you were stupid enough to climb the spiked fence into that place you would most likely not be heard from again. Directly to the left towered the sewage treatment plant that made the whole school smell like sewage. The plant was always open, so Sally never got a break from the relentless odor. Not only did the school have the worst location, there was barely one tree to be found on campus and it was all cemented over. The evil cement extended down from the school to the neighborhood plastering its way over every morsel of dirt in its path. Each day of school life blended into the next until she was so used to the same day to day routine that she didn’t even notice when half of the school year had breezed by. Each day Sally and her friends, Jaki and Nick, walked someplace or other for lunch. It was Wednesday, and Sally felt she didn’t think she was going to be able to make it through the week at this rate of boredom. Her classes were so long , the ugly campus and school was all she could find to think about. Sally wasn’t involved in any after school activities and was fed up with her life. This day when walking to lunch she wasn’t talking like normal to Jaki and found her time more interestingly spent following a trail of ants with her eyes as they walked. This new discovery of how organized and how many ants in this trail there where pleased Sally. She found that the trail extend for a whole block along the sidewalk. Sally wondered, “I wonder how long these ants have been walking this same trail”. As she walked on she heard a Irish voice say “Come with me I will get you to see hehehe”. Thinking not much of it she continued on her way. The next time she took the path along that same block she again looked down and saw these same ants and was instantly fascinated with their order and confusion occurring at the same time throughout their line. The point where the trail ended led into some brush in a yard. Sally noticed for the first time, even though she had walked that same way hundreds of times before, a flower patch growing from the depths of the brush. The flowers were big, beautiful, purple and yellow with bell-shaped petals growing up from the bush and inspired in her a feeling of awe and wonder. As she looked closer she began to notice things she wouldn’t have been able to notice the previous times she had com this way, because of her not being present and being absorbed in the past and future of school. If she hadn’t noticed the ants, she would have been unaware of this beautiful flower patch and anything else for that matter in this person’s yard. As she peered closer, taking this in, she heard yet again “Come with me I will get you to see hehehe”, and she shot her eyes to the voice which came from ground level.
“Who’s there,” she said, “I know I heard you” and out from behind a twig stepped a leprechaun.
“How do you do, Miss?” asked the little, bearded man dressed in green.
“I’m okay I guess.” Sally said in confusion.
“Sounds to me as if something’s a botherin’ you “
“Not really, I just get fed up with how boring and lame everything is - especially school.”
“Oh, I see,” he said, “I figured something was a botherin’ you. I could tell when you walked by the other day. Now I can help you but you must first accept it, I cannot force you to see as I do. All you must do is get a good smell of these flowers.” He was pointing to the beautiful bell-shaped ones.
“How do I know I can trust you,” she asked.
“You don’t, but I can help you and that’s all you need to know”.
At this point Sally was kind of creeped out but decided she was over going back to class anyway and might as well continue the conversation with this leprechaun, which was the most interesting thing that had happened all year. She stepped forward and felt as though she was brought into a new light. She leaned over and deeply inhaled, savoring the pungent sweetness of the flower. At that instant, a shift happened. She noticed that the flower she was focused upon began to grow and magnify. Sally was so confused, she didn’t know what was happening. Everything around the flowers began to radiate a soft glow of warm light and the whole world around her seemed almost brighter and more vivid. She realized the flower was not growing, but she was shrinking. Sally descended in height, and halted once she was about the same height as the leprechaun - approximately a half inch tall. Almost in the same instance, she felt a tingly feeling up her spine and realized that the little man had just run his fingers up her back. It immediately became apparent the purpose of this, as she felt her body getting lighter and lighter until she was floating above the ground.
“I can fly!” Sally exclaimed!
“Only for a day though” the leprechaun explained, “ Go out and see things from this new perspective come back and tell me what you have learned and I if you do you will be rewarded.”
Without second guessing him, Sally soared up into the sky. She was above her school now, and she liked they way the school looked from above: simple and quiet. In the moment of soaring above the school she felt her whole body warm with the tantalizing smell of something baking. Usually no one could smell this wafting smell from this great of a distance, but she realized that the touch of the leprechaun that made her fly probably made her be able to smell things along way off, kind of like the enhanced vision, she was also experiencing. Sally dived down, never having smelled something so great, in all her life, and through the crack in the door of the classroom that the smell was emanating from, she slipped in. She saw the students that were making this wonderful smell; they where in a culinary class. She spotted a fresh cinnamon roll being placed to cool out of the oven, and swooped down with an uncontrollable hunger and bit it to the roll. As the first morsel touched her tongue, Sally found it to be as if an explosion of flavor had occurred throughout her whole mouth. It somehow smelled even better from that close. She didn’t know that her school offered this class and wished she had known about it before. Luckily no one spotted her because she was so small and moving so rapidly around in the air that she was invisible to the naked eye. After she was done having the best tasting meal of her life, Sally felt the urge to move on with her day, not knowing what she was going to do next. Sally flew to the bright orange glow around the cracks of the door and out. Again she was flying about the school campus. Before she got too high, she noticed all of the colors in her vision where being brightened and everything had its own new color - the trees, the sky, the ground below her. And that’s when she noticed this new type of color: a sparkling shimmering color pouring out of a of one of the windows. She was immediaetly entranced by this profound indescribable color. Sally was drawn closer until she faced the window directly where this magical glow came from. Once she was close enough, as if by her going there the window cracked slowly open, just big enough for her small self to glimmer through. Sally found herself in yet another place she had never even realized existed or just didn’t even notice before. Kids were all working on paintings and each person was creatively working away on their own color-splashed page. Sally thought she had never seen anything so vibrant, colorful and unique. Each kid had there own look to it that could not be have replicated or done by anyone elts in the world. She looked around the walls the walls were filled with color on all sides each one with a giant mural when she focused closely on the wall next to the window she again could see this indescribably color that when she stared deeply at gave her a feeling of peace and the taste of mango in her mouth. She loved each peace of art and was amazed she had never seen anything so mind-blowing. Sally didn’t even think art was cool and now all she wanted to do was be able to paint like the other kids in the class. Yet she was to small and was made mad when she tried to lift a brush and toppled over when trying to hold it. Once she was done gazing at the walls she flew out still flashing the bright colors through her mind to the blank places on the ground. As she came to the ground with a soft landing fixated on the grey cement she noticed this sound, a beautiful melody that she realized was echoing from over the math building as she tuned out all other senses and closed her eyes she listened to this music the deep base the smooth piano the melodic guitar playing together as one sound. She then decided to follow the song as she got closer it sounded clearer and clear each note defined more than the last. Sally felt as though she had never hear anything so awesome in her life and couldn’t stop drifting closer and closer to see this magic being made. Yet again she found a place that she never knew about before a small building tucked away behind the math structure. As she came closer the annoying sounds of the cement plant drifted away to be filled with this new enchanting sound and skill and art. She floated down slowly looking up at the sky, as she did so with the sound waves enveloping her body with each vibration running up her toes and out her fingertips. Until she softly landed on the roof still laying back so content feeling and listing to these school band members jam. She lay there watching the sun begin to set and realized somehow the day was up and if she didn’t go back who knows what would happen maybe she would turn back to human size and be stuck on the roof. Not wanting that to happen she flew up again into the sky with the sound of the remaining band members drift away . she flew toward the patch of flowers down the street from her easily spottable birds eye view and landed on the big flowers peddals. In the moment she landed she began to row back to her normal size until she was tall again standing before the flowers she had begun her day from. The color of the world dimmed back to its same colors and the world looked small again. That’s when she looked down and saw the leprachaun who said” so how was it” sally kneeled bfore him said she never knew there was such cool thing in her school around her that where so cool, she told him of the cooking class, the band room and the art class and how she now wanted to do each of them and how cool they where.
“Ill give you this gift because of al the magic you’ve discovered on your own to help this magic grow and help others” the lep said and handed her a bag of seeds. He told her to spred them around the edge of the campus and wait for rain tonight and things will change you will not be bored any more. As he predicted that night a light rain fell and began the magic of the seeds. The next morning the school sides where covered in tall vines of the flower and somehow grew tall with there beauty in just one night. Sally instantly noticed how the school had a magic smaell and didn’t wreak of sewage treatment any more and for somereason even in the history building you no longer could hear the mixing of the cement company even though it was right over the school fence.
Because of the magical scent each student that arrived to school from that day on each student experienced school as a magical place and relized there where cool things to do instead of boring math or sciene and there where always things to focuse on no matter how boring things got. The school transformed into a happy place where students found activiities they liked in the school and saly joined the art class, cooking and band class and each day was its own and was meaningful and magical in some way whether it was learning a song or panting a new piece she was really proud of and sally and the rest of the students lived happily ever after.





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