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Green Thumb

The week after you left, I planted roses in the garden.

“I don’t even miss you.” My hand dipped into the soil.

Clouds closed overhead. Liar, whispered the trees.

The next morning at breakfast, petals poured from my Crunch Berry box. The bowl spilled with color. I ate every bite. My skin breathed rose water.

At work, a dozen long-stemmed bouquets appeared in my cubicle.

“Condolences?” Marta asked, because she, like everyone else in the office, had heard about the fling.

“There’s no note.” I pushed the flowers to the edge of my desk.

I planted more rose bushes, this time in the front yard.

“It’s the wrong time of year to grow things,” my neighbor said, standing over me in faded espadrilles.

I tapped my finger against the root ball. “Yes, I’m certain you’re right.”

The following day, my bed swam with petals. Pollen blanketed my skin. I brushed my teeth with blossoms.

Marta twirled her gum, eyeing the new collection of bouquets that crowded the cubicle’s floor. “Where are they all coming from?”

I handed her the vases. “I have no idea.”

I bought new bushes, tucking them against the house.

“You have quite the green thumb.” My neighbor squished an aphid between her fingers.

“Apparently,” I said.

At dawn, I woke with buds sprouting from my chest. Petals rained from my lungs and made drifts on the floor. Thorns armored my legs. I scrubbed myself clean and went to work.

“It’s impossible.” Marta stared at the sea of flowers cramming my workspace. My chair formed a hump under the cascade.

“Yes, isn’t it?” I replied.

I waded into the mound and inhaled deeply. Perfume enveloped me, cocooning me.

On the way home, I stopped at the nursery. The clerk loaded flats into the back of the car.

“That’s a lot of planting,” he said.

I closed the trunk. “A girl’s got to have a hobby.”

At home, I pulled on my gardening gloves.

Tonight, I’ll plant in the moonlight.


Flash Fiction by Mureall Hebert

Published in Spring 2017

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