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03 Jun 2022

In The Iris Patch

Fiction

When the irises started blooming, Jessica made a habit of sketching them every evening. The regular practice quickly led to more detailed drawings, catching the structures of petals and complicated lights.

Each day they were a little different, over time blooms towards the top of the stems wilting, and buds below them opening.

Leafing through the sketches though, Jessica noticed that there were two stems for which that was not true, each having one fully opened bloom at the top, and no buds. She sat in her usual spot and stared at one of them, slowly moving to her right to look at it from different angles.

“OK, what’s going on here?”

There might have been a barely audible sound from the suspect flower she was not staring at, if she wasn’t imagining it.

“Do Scribbles and Angus know you’re here?” They wouldn’t have kept the existence of more tiny cohabitants from her, would they?

Now there definitely was a tiny giggle from the other flower, while the one she was staring at kept perfectly still.

“Well, if it’s just flowers, they can go in a vase.” She picked the pencil knife out of the case and reached for the stem in front of her.

“No?” said a tiny voice. The upper ring of petals on the iris drew closer together, melding into the shape of a torso. Tiny, delicate arms and head seemed to coalesce from air or light, yellow in contrast to the lilac petals. “Please?”

“OK. But you stop being rude. I live here, too, you can say hi instead of hiding and watching me.”

The flower fairy Jessica was addressing directly looked a little embarrassed and a lot annoyed, and the other one protested, “But you look at us! For a long time!”

Jessica took a deep breath to avoid snapping, and let it go in a sigh. “If you don’t like that, I can stop. If you talk to me, so I know! I can’t guess these things!”

The two fairies exchanged a look. “Sounds fair.”

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