A wall of angry clouds threatened the morning light. William Watson hoisted the last suitcase and slammed the trunk.
“Hurry! It’s almost here!” he hollered. “We need to stay ahead of it!”
He adjusted the rearview mirror, smiled confidently at the kids, and wheeled the sedan off the apron of the driveway.
“Here we go!”
The Corpse Flower clutched its hidden treasure tightly, leaves interlocking in a steely grip. The flower would bloom in its own time. It would not be rushed or stopped in this biological imperative, any and all obstacles would be overcome. The evolution of hundreds of thousands of years had brought it this far, there would be no turning back.
”Uhm. I’m here to see Pam.”
“You the kid?”
“I mean the kid she’s been sneaking off with. The … No, let me think. The Williams boy, right?”
Jenny looked down at Rob’s sleeping face, his open mouth dribbling peaceably onto the pillow that supported his head. She was dressed, breakfasted and ready to go. She was ambivalent in the mornings. Her husband could not win, although he did not know it. She felt resentment if Rob didn’t get up to mark her departure to the office. She needed him to fuss over her a little, and pay attention to her comfort: a reward for her stalwart commitment to the daily grind of work? On the other hand she valued quiet and solitary mornings when he overslept, listening out for signs that he was stirring and willing him not to. She planted a light kiss on his forehead and tip-toed out of the bedroom.