Saturday, March 2, 2013

“Your aura has faded.”

(Excerpt of Sororate Chapter Two)

The time was approaching 10 PM when we left the Riverclaw’s and went home.  Declan powered down his vehicle in the garage before turning my way.  He opened his mouth to say something, but he hesitated to look on concerned.  

“What?”  I wondered. 

“Your aura has faded.”  He remarked unhappily.  “How about I make us some fettuccine carbonara with garlic bread?”

I knew he was trying to cheer me up, but I felt tired and emotionally wrung out.

“Nah, it sounds like too much of a hassle to cook up something complicated this late.”  I frowned.  “How about just something on toast?”

“What about bacon, eggs, grilled tomato, fried mushrooms, hash browns and toast?”

“Now we’re talking.”  I couldn’t help but to smile.  “I’ll see if the crop of tomatoes in the greenhouse are ready and check on the rest of the plants.”

We both hopped out of his pick up truck at the same time and whereas he went into the house via the front door; I walked around the small building to the smaller one behind, which was constructed of glass.

Our greenhouse wasn’t that large but it had numerous shelves which held planters full of different vegetables and herbs.  The planters on the floor had the taller plants, like tomatoes, cucumber, capsicum, celery, zucchini and squash.  The shelves above had lettuce, radish, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower.  Then the small pots in between grew parsley, chives, oregano, thyme, rosemary, lemongrass, coriander and garlic and we even had a small chilli bush. 

As our food producing plants took the most room, the back right corner had Declan’s orchids on display on a triangular set of metallic shelves.  He had pink, purple, white, orange and yellow varieties, which he paid close attention to.  Upon inspection, the flowers were thriving just as the other plants were which means our Great x4 Grandnephew would live.  I giggled at my mate’s temper which could still scare people and in particular, our human relatives.

Just as I moved away to gather some tomatoes, something caught my eye.  I stopped and turned around to lean in closer, at the pot which was sitting on the floor in front of the orchids. 

The plant was withered and the flower which used to peak out from the top, was long gone.  The soil in the pot was a combination of red and black dirt.  The red soil was from Mars coupled with the black from Alaska.  The plant was the Martian Dandelion that my father gave to me, the day that the Circulate HQ on Mars was destroyed and my parents left for the space time continuum.

“Oh no…” I sunk to my knees to get a better look.  I picked up the drooping stalk with the dead flower bud, to see that the leaves were shrivelling too.  “Oh no…” my eyes refilled with tears as my heart sank.  I knew there was nothing I could do as the plant too was on its way into the afterlife.  “Declan!”

Within a minute, my mate came out the back door and headed down the small garden path towards the greenhouse. 

“Yeah?”  He poked his head through the open doorway.  He looked around at the healthy plants as if he were making sure we weren’t returning to ruined produce.  “What’s up?”

“Declan…” I pointed at the dying dandelion, “…look.”

He came into the greenhouse and knelt beside on the cement floor. “Oh," he frowned as he looked on our last piece of Mars which was fading fast.  His large hand moved towards it and he gently examined the shrivelled leaves with his fingertips before he sighed out, “I don’t think there’s anything we can do.”

“Frickin’ hell!”  I cursed.  “First the Martian Circulate HQ gets blown up, then my parents and my Calculator evolves to the space time continuum and now the Martian flower also bites the dust?!”

“And your cousin died today.”  He put in.  “Talk about, ‘when it rains it pours’.”

“Oooh!”  I fumed.  “We did everything right!  We watered it and talked to it and we were careful about fertilizers and whatever else.”

“Well B, it is from another planet.”  My husband shrugged.  “Maybe it needs Martian conditions?”

“But the vegetation on Mars died out!”

“So there you go, it was doomed from the start.”  He rested his hand on my back and gave it a sympathetic rub.

“Oh…!”  I whined as I deflated almost as much as the flower did.

“C’mon baby,” he stood up and then pulled me to my feet.  “Let’s get some dinner into you and I’m sure there’s another stash of Nutella in the kitchen somewhere.”

“No.”  I sighed wearily.  “I don’t want anymore Nutella today.”

“Shit.”  My mate suddenly went still and looked on in shock.  “I think hell just froze over.”

Playfully, I whacked him on the arm and turned to depart from the greenhouse.

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