My thick layers of petals resemble silk. The color is a deep blue, but lucid enough to see my filaments. At the chance to dance and blossom among the rest is a gift given every day.
Something with pointy ears is moving about between my sister flowers. If only I could walk and have a closer look, but I need none, the fiend comes too close for comfort.
A tiny gray goblin stands, the tail of his clock flapping, as his claws takes aim at me. I’ve no power to react when a black ink spirals out from his wrist and drenches me.
The goblin sprints off as the liquid burns me. I want to scream but lack a mouth. My sisters watch in horror as the ink slowly claims me until I am the only black flower.
Night falls and not even the moon can see me. I’m a hole in the field, the place no one will look. My petals swell up into a bud, trying to protect me from the chemicals that stain me. But I can’t breathe. I’m not meant to be bound, to shrivel into flakes. If the deadly toxin does not leave me soon that’s all I’ll be. Decay.
My stem slumps, failing to support me. I’m dying.
I can’t see the sun peeking over the horizon. My tightening petals keep me smothered, scratching the most delicate parts of me. No longer soft, they cut me. The agony is like no other.
Pieces of me float away to the ground. My body is crying, shedding the last of its tears. Humiliation is within reach when beauty surrounds me, looks on as I grow to something close to a corpse.
The sky rumbles and I pray for rain.
The first raindrop lands on one of the four remaining petals. Its cooling presence relieves some of the stinging. Another plops down. Then another.
A sheet of rain pelts me, washing the black ink away. What’s left is a hardened bud. It’s twisted and rough, spiraling up as if desperate for light. I don’t know if I have a chance, or how long it’ll take to resemble my sisters.
I lose count of dawns. Each day brings back a new petal. Parts of me are reborn. But not the same. Never again.
Petals are no longer vibrant. Not as soft. Not as buoyant. Never again.
My stem acquires barbs. Fresh leaves with jagged edges sprout along the outside of my petals. It doesn’t take me long to learn I can protract the razor-sharp leaves to enfold me like a shield, but it’s not in my nature to do so.
When I bloom, my short, coarse petals do their best to thrive on each ray of sunlight that’s brought to me.