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The Black Lotus
A garbage bag is simply the plastic container of a person’s secrets—the secrets they want to dispose of. The secrets they know will shortly be ground into miniscule pieces that could never be recovered. The secrets that have the ability to manifest into a legitimate object. Yet some secrets, regardless of their authenticity, can never be disposed of.
Mrs. McBride was vigorously scrubbing the plates off of which her family had eaten just a few moments ago. She lit a few candles and placed them around the kitchen to produce a pleasurable aroma while she performed tasks she did not want to do. Mrs. McBride would have preferred to be out drinking at the local bar, something she planned on doing upon the completion of her dish washing. Mr. McBride suddenly reentered the kitchen and opened a cabinet door Mrs. McBride could not view in her peripheral vision. She could see, however, the bottle of gin Mr. McBride had gently placed on the counter next to her. Yet the drink was not for her, it was for him. He retrieved a glass, opened the bottle, and poured a significant amount of fluid into the glass. Mrs. McBride’s lower lip began to quiver at the lascivious sound of the flowing liquor—the aesthetically pleasing bitter smell that swelled her delicate nostrils.
“Where did you get that?” she asked him.
“Does it really matter? Either way, you can’t have any.” He coldly responded. It became evident, by his response, that he did not forget her drinking problem. In fact he was well aware of it. After all, he was her husband, and a married couple should know everything about each other. Not in this case.
“Then don’t pour that crap right next to me!” she shouted at him. She removed her eyes from the plates in the sink.
“Oh don’t call it that, we both know you’re craving it right now. All you have to do is pick up the damn glass and take a sip.”
Mrs. McBride opened her mouth to respond, but paused. She contemplated what to say next while giving Mr. McBride a blank stare.
“This is about that damn flower, isn’t it?” she knew that was it by the slight raise of his eyebrows. “It’s gone Jasper. Suck it up.” She felt that she now held the power, and the drink could do nothing to her.
Mr. McBride could not find a suitable response, and instead, stood and stared at Mrs. McBride.
She went back to washing the dishes until she picked her head up and said “You know, I read somewhere that you can find all of a person’s secrets in their garbage. If I were you, I’d hope no one’s going through our garbage, or else they might find the black lotus.” She detected the rage burning underneath his flesh. With a swift swing of his hand, the glass of gin ended up in pieces on the tiled floor. Mrs. McBride feigned anger, yet she was secretly relieved that the drink was no longer begging her to drink it. Mr. McBride stormed out of the room and ascended the stairs into the darkness of the second level of their home.
In the living room sat Mrs. Strickland, Mrs. McBride’s mother, along with Audrey and Ian McBride. Audrey and Ian were the two children of Mr. and Mrs. McBride. They sat near their grandmother who would rant about aimless things so no one would have to listen to the daily arguments of Mr. and Mrs. McBride. Yet after Mr. McBride went upstairs, Mrs. Strickland stopped speaking, and she and the children just listened to the clanking of the radiator, hoping the argument was finally over. When they all simultaneously heard a sigh relief from Mrs. McBride, the tension eased away, and Audrey rose off the couch to comfort her mother. Before she could exit the room, Mrs. Strickland let out a gasp of horror.
“You’re still--” she shrieked. She could not finish her statement out of the utter shock that possessed her being.
Audrey’s face stiffened up and filled with guilt—and fear. She silently prayed her mother and father were too absorbed in their anger that they did not pay attention to Mrs. McBride’s senile mother. Yet Mr. and Mrs. McBride came running to the living room to find Mrs. Strickland with her arm outstretched and pointing at Audrey. Audrey’s glazed eyes shifted from her grandmother to her parents who could not come up with the same observation Mrs. Strickland had.
“Mother, what’s wrong?” Mrs. McBride asked her in an agitated tone.
“Your daughter,” she paused to take a breath. “Your daughter is still pregnant.”
Fear rippled through the room like a vile serpent released from its cage.
“How is this….possible?” asked Mrs. McBride. She wrapped her thin fingers around her fore head and began to wipe away the forming beads of sweat. It was unbearable for Mrs. McBride to look at her daughter, and Audrey could feel that vibe radiating off of her mother.
“Mom, please! I--”
“Stop!” commanded her mother. Mrs. McBride walked across the room towards her daughter. Mr. McBride, Mrs. Strickland, and Ian all watched in intense anticipation of what Mrs. McBride was about to do.
The air was still—frozen.
“The black lotus,” said Mrs. Strickland. The three words resulted in a sudden jolt in Mrs. McBride. She put her daughter’s pregnancy aside and rotated her body towards the front door. Once again, her family could not comprehend Mrs. McBride’s intent. Audrey did not care for her mother, for she was busy attempting to slow down her pounding heart.
Mrs. McBride flung open the front door of her home to see black lotus flowers rising from the ground on her lawn. The clean, level, concrete driveway was cracking as flowers erupted from underneath. The house faintly rumbled, and lotus flowers tainted black broke through the floor overturned the furniture, tables, and structures inside. Mrs. Strickland began to shriek again and the fear grabbed at her heart and refused to let it continue beating. Mrs. Strickland collapsed and was swallowed by the evil of the secrets the McBride family had tried so hard to rid themselves of.
“That damn flower,” mumbled Mrs. McBride.