All Stories, Fantasy, General Fiction

A Flowerbed of Lies by Steve Combs​

There’s foolishness and then there’s sin. I’m talking breaking the big-ten sin. You ever did something stupid like drunk texted and thought you felt shame for it? Nah, that’s not good enough for regret! Good enough for regret is when you steal or kill.

Don’t know how I got in the park that night with my 9-millimeter. Told that fucking Puerta Rican, “don’t drag me to no gun range, I deal with depression.” He taught me to shoot, and that didn’t do me no favors. See, you own your weapon of choice and tell yourself you gotta protect your family, but the shit lays idle until it gets in the wrong hands, and in this case, it got in mine during one of my episodes.

Walking the park, don’t even know how I got there no more than how I got the gun, and I’m going down the sidewalk, you know all outta place. Got on a long black robe over striped pajama pants. Top hat going on, too. Real pajama gangster. Sign says not to step on the prairie. So, what’ I do? Step both feet on, after all I’m wearin’ a fuckin’ top hat.

What happened next, you aint gonna believe, but remember this aint makin’ me look good. I’m confessing sin. Good enough sin for regret. Them flowers on that prairie came to life. You say plant life is life too, but I’m saying they really came to life, here. Started singing so beautifully, I wept. The sunflower in the middle-had lady bugs crawling all over. Goes, “easy, ladies, I’m married.” He sang base. Most beautiful rendition of happy birthday I ever heard, and them ladybugs told me I was gorgeous.

What a flowerbed of lies. Fuck em! Fuck em’ for telling me life is sunshine and rainbows. Let me introduce you to me. I’m thorn. I pulled out the 9-millimeter and aimed it at that ol’ sunflower!

After all, it must be a hallucination, right? Right? But Mr. Sunflower in the stiff stems, squirting blood with his base range up to high pitch screams haunts the hell outta me. I can’t forget it. For the sake of Mary and all the saints—I can’t. Clovers and coneflowers and goldenrods rushed to him. That’s reds and violets and yellows or something like that. Doesn’t matter, cause even the bright colors are dull.

What matters is Mr. Sunflower in a huff says, “my last wishes are for my family to get the little house like Michael Landen’s that I promised, and that you forgive my assailant, for I too have a soiled and seedy past.” He’s a guy like me with his own rap, dying cause I popped him. And he’s praying for my forgiveness? Yeah. Hope his family gets the house so half his wishes come true.

Might of got outta that prairie without any detective looking for the pajama gangster, but neither God nor me will ever get over what I did to that sunflower.

Steve Combs

Image by Pavel Durčák from Pixabay – flowerbed filled with mixed colourful blooms

6 thoughts on “A Flowerbed of Lies by Steve Combs​”

  1. Steve
    It’s too easy to say surreal here–and when you look at it the little clues build up and a sense making idea of what appears to have happened comes together. Still, the image of the Sunflower is both funny and unsettling. Fine work.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Steve,
    The metaphor hunters will love this!
    For me, this is one of those stories that whether or not I had my own inkling, I didn’t care…I was delighted to simply go along for the ride!!
    …That doesn’t happen very often – Most readers need a frame of reference, some sort of understanding, me included! But with this, I just enjoyed the read and the imagery. I will admit that I think that Sunflowers look like Triffids so a bleeding one makes me slightly happy. (Although god help the Triffid who duplicates me!!)
    Should this be analysed – Probably.
    And no matter who comes up with what – I loved this.
    Your story was a bit like drinking Absinthe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve had people read this who were partial to the sunflower. As its author, Im in agreement with you. Those who sympathize with the thing, don’t know how verbose, how steep in pop culture references, how overpowering its original death speech was. I edited that flower down. Otherwise, all would have been lost in its undying death.


  3. I think the MC would enjoy a poker game with some of the chipmunks in my garden. I cannot get a sunflower to grow past four or five inches long before they behead it. Now that I think about it, it seems positively barbarous to eat the thing down to the ground like that.

    Liked by 2 people

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