Sunday May 12, 2019
So. Today was… weird, to say the least. I really don’t know where to start...
I woke up this morning to the sound of my mom’s voice screaming in my ear. “Poppy Dahlia Delancy! Wake up right this instant!” I rolled over and sighed as I checked my alarm clock. 7:03. I was going to be late for my shift at my mom’s florist shop, “Floyrn the Floral Flower Florist.” Gross. I ripped the crumpled lavender sheets off of my body and rolled out of bed.
I stood up and yawned as I walked over to the mirror adjacent to my bed. My peachy pink hair (I dyed it on Friday) looked like a twiggy bush. I grabbed my hairbrush off of a table cluttered with perfumes and cassette tapes and other random stuff. I ran the brush through my knotty hair and combed my bangs down. I trudged over to my makeup drawer and grabbed the usual items. Pink eyeshadow, mascara, eyeliner. I swept the eyeshadow all over my tired eyes and carefully drew out a wing with my liquid eyeliner. I put a heck of a lot of mascara on, stabbing myself in the eye like, five times. (As per usual.) I picked up all of my makeup and threw it back in its drawer.
My mom was yelling at me now. “Poppy! Get down here right now! Your shift starts in ten minutes!” I sighed and yelled back down at her. “Ok, just give me one minute.” I stalked over to my closet and flung the door open. I pulled out a pair of cargo pants and a black crop top. I took my pajamas off and threw them into the hamper. I stepped into my pants and zipped them up quickly. I pulled my shirt over my head and slipped on a pair beat-up red converese. I pulled two hairties off my wrist and forced my hair into two low pigtails. I grabbed my round glasses off of my nightstand and pushed them up my nose. I ran down the stairs of our two-story house, out of the “Living Floor” and into the “Business Floor.”
All though I don’t like working at my mom’s shop, I will admit that it is gorgeus. The picture windows on every wall cast shadows on the floor through the curtain of hanging plants. There are floating shelves on every surface, covered in succulents and tiny pots of flowers. In the very back of the room, there is a long marble counter with a cash register.
My favorite part of the shop is the dying plant in the corner. We’ve had that old plant for as long as I can remember. When I was little, apparently I named him Arthur. Arthur has always been my favorite plant.
My five siblings and I work shifts at the florist. Yeah, you heard me right. Five. In age order: My sister Basil (21), my brother Aspen (17), Me (16), the twins Magnolia + Marigold (12), and my little brother Clove (8). Clove and the twins aren’t allowed to work on their own, so they only work when our mom (Floryn) is on duty.
I get to work Sundays. Normally, I find it boring but not today. As soon as I stepped behind the counter, I heard someone talking behind me. An old man, with a thick Brooklyn accent. He said “Hey there pretty thing.” I whipped around, only to see that there was no one else in the room. “Hello?” I called out. “Girly. It’s me. In the corner.” I looked in every corner. There was nothing in them but plants. I laughed. “Good prank, now show me who you are.” The voice scoffed and said “Deary, it’s me. Arthur. The plant in the corner.” The plant’s branches moved, almost as if it was taking a bow. “Come here and let me give you a big ol’ hug.” I took a couple reluctant steps towards the plant and Arthur wrapped his arms- er, branches around my body in a big hug. “Oh you’ve gotten so big Poppy! I remember when you were a little baby.” Arthur said in his thick accent.
I took a step back and shook my head in disbelief. A plant just hugged me. A plant. I looked outside the doors to see a customer approaching. I quickly jumped behind the counter as my brother Aspen stepped into the shop. Aspen was with his boyfriend Jack.
Now, let me just say that Jack and Aspen love plants. Like, a lot. They take real good care of all the plants at the shop. “Hey Poppy, what’s cooking?” Jack said as he gave me a fist bump. “I, uh, nothing.” I mumbled. Jack smiled and walked over to Arthur and shook his hand- er, branch (I will never get used to this plant/body part thing.) “Hello Arthur, how are you on this fine morning?” Jack waited patiently for a response. “Why thank you for asking, I am doing just fine, Jackie dear.” the plant answered.
I could not believe my ears. My brother’s boyfriend could also talk to plants? “Jack, you can talk to plants?” I questioned. He scoffed and said “Yeah. Come on Poppy. So can Aspen.” My jaw dropped. My brother could talk to plants? My weird, crazy brother. Who would’ve thought? I nodded slowly, taking all this in. All of a sudden, something pulled my hair. “Ouch! God Aspen, you’re such a jerk,” I spun around, expecting to see Aspen standing behind me with a devilish grin, but there was nothing but a basket of purple hanging petunias.
Oh god. Not another talking plant. I groaned as the petunias put her hands- er, vines on her basket. The petunias cleared her throat (I guess?) and said “My name is Doris Barbara Clarence Lenora Marjorie Alma Myrtle McPatt, I’m 94 years old. I’ve been married to Bob Chester McPatt for 132 years and I just adore smoked alaskan salmon on rye.” in a whiny, high pitched voice. I rolled my eyes as a teenage boy’s voice rang out from a potted lily. “Yo yo yo, what up daaaaaaaawgs!” Oh my LORD! Who new that plants could be so annoying?
Soon, all of the plants started talking at the same time, their annoying voices hurting my ears. I stomped up the stairs in frustration and slamed my bedroom door. I flopped down on my bed and started writing in this diary. Now I’m just petting my cat and writ- My cat just told me to bring him a treat. In a human voice. You know what? That’s it. I’m done with this.
I remember the first thing they said to me as clear as if it had happened yesterday.
Be careful, they had said. Don’t let them know your secret.
I had tried, I really had. I never meant for anyone to find out, but it wasn’t as easy as I had anticipated. I was caught arguing with the mean old cat who lived next door, and well, that was the end for me.
I was thrown in this room, which was more like a cold and dark jail cell, and had been here ever since. Which could have been only an hour or as much as a whole day. I didn’t belong here though. I wasn’t crazy. And I wasn’t the only one like me here. This was where they sent all people who claimed to hear the voices of the plants and animals, trapped with the people who really were crazy.
I figured maybe I would go crazy here eventually. I could barely make anything out in the dark, and the slow dripping sound was starting to get on my nerves. I sighed and laid back on the stone slab that I assumed was supposed to be a bed, and wondered how long it would be until I would be allowed to leave this room, if ever. My eyes began to shut and I hoped maybe I would be able to fall asleep.
As I drifted off to sleep, I heard whispers all around me. My eyes fluttered open and I glanced towards the door. Was someone coming to get me? But alas I heard no footsteps accompanying the voices. And even so, the voices sounded like they were in the same room as me.
“Who’s there?” I asked, my voice dry and raspy from not being used.
The whispers quieted down to silence and one voice spoke loud enough for me to hear clearly. Ah so you can hear us, it said.
I turned towards the sound, but I didn’t see anybody there. The only thing there was a group of small sprouts growing up from a crack in the old stone floor. I pulled myself up to standing and quietly crept towards the sprouts, crouching down once I reached them.
“Is it you?” I said. “Are you the ones talking to me?”
Of course, was the answer. Did you really think there were people in here?
“Well, I didn’t think that. But I didn’t know who it was.”
You’re so naive, they said. You’ll learn eventually.
“Learn what?” I shifted closer to the sprouts. “What am I supposed to learn?”
You’ll learn eventually, they repeated.
I shook my head. “I don’t understand. What do you mean?”
“You still think they talk, huh?”
I whirled my head around to see two people who looked like doctors standing behind me.
“They do!” I shouted. “I’m not crazy!”
The one who had spoken earlier chuckled and gave me a strange smile. “That’s what they all say you know. But don’t worry. We’re here to make you all better.”
The two “doctors” came towards me, each grabbing one of my arms and pulling to my feet. I put up a struggle and tried to pull myself free, but they were too strong. I stumbled along as they dragged me out the door and down the long hall lined with other cells, despite my screams and protests. But as I was taken to whatever torture lay ahead, I heard more voices, all whispering the same thing.
So naive, I heard. She’ll have to be smarter if she wants to make it out alive.