Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Orangest Flowers of Orange and the King to No One But Himself

Somewhere far from here,
Where bright green weeds grow high along the roadsides
And the moon hangs overhead during lazy summer afternoons,
A king plants his flowers.
He does it in mind for someone special,
A little girl who could use a lot of cheering up.
He owns a small house with a white picket fence
And is no king to anyone but himself,
Which probably means that he is no king.
Do not tell him that.
The king saunters along, sewing small seeds as he goes.
A willy nilly toss here, a deliberate drop there,
He plants his flowers.
Impatient as most kings are, he wills the seeds to crack open
Once they've been buried by earth.
The little plants wriggle and writhe as they wake from their dormancy below the ground,
Following the demands of their planter,
The king.
They slowly spout,
Each one,
As they stretch themselves out beneath the midday sun.
Little green stems begin to grow, reaching for the wispy clouds drowsily passing by above,
Their grasp missing the frozen droplets suspended in the sky by a few thousand miles.
The king observes his tiny verdant minions and his stout little frame jumps for joy,
His small plump hands wave with glee.
Even the orange bushy hairs on his head smile.
Well, they would if they only had mouths and muscles.
The king to no one but himself is pleased with his day's hard work
Of throwing and willing
And sits down on the ground,
Careful to avoid any toddler plants
But happily crushes an ant with his hefty and tiny bottom.
Ants carried off his daughter one day
And he has never seen her since.
Ants and the king are not the best of friends.
The plants continue to grow and grow
Until they reach a respectable height
Where they decide to bloom.
On each stem,
There is first a small bud.
Then there is a big bud.
Then the bud opens up and spits out what could be a flower
To the sound of "ptheh."
As soon as the flower bursts into existence,
Its taste for the color orange is well known.
Each flower has five long droopy petals,
One for each of the king's daughters.
The fist for the daughter who was carried off by gnomes.
The second for the daughter who was carried off by ants.
The third for the daughter who choked on a crumb of bread.
The fourth for the daughter who was carried off by hummingbirds.
And the fifth is for the daughter who,
Is currently too terrified to leave the house.
A great father does not a king automatically make.
The flowers twist a little before turning to face the sun.
They sing to the sun the king's praises, for he brought them to life.
Their songs dance through the sky, happily finding their way upward,
Filling the clouds with joy along the way.
The king is pleased, though he cannot hear the songs of the flowers,
As their voices are so quaint and soft, due to not having the proper vocal chords.
In fact, he is so filled with happiness and self-esteem that he can do nothing else
But loll off into an afternoon nap.
The flowers continue their songs next to the napping
But highly content
And they sing with every piece of chlorophyll in their body.
They sing towards the sun with such will that they begin to uproot themselves.
Roots slowly rise from the ground,
Tickling their way through the soil.
Once all of the roots find themselves above the dirt,
The flowers realize that they have just given themselves legs.
Dozens of soft, spindly legs.
Each flower dances a short dance.
Some even link leaves and dance in small circles together,
But the dancing doesn't last long.
The flowers see the king,
Fast asleep,
And decide to surprise him.
They quickly scuttle off towards his house, their roots leaving thin trails in the grass and dirt.
Hundreds of orange flowers amass outside of the house,
Their stems and leaves bristling with excitement,
Their roots bouncing slightly up and down.
They find their way in through an open window,
Carefully wiping the dirt off their roots on the windowsill before entering.
They are respectful flowers.
The flowers begin to explore each room.
The largest room has some plain chairs and a bookshelf only one-quarter full.
The kitchen is average and small with some average wooden bowls on an average wooden table.
Certainly no trappings for a king and his family,
Of course,
This is no ordinary king.
This king's sheer ordinariness is precisely what makes him,
As a king,
Completely unordinary.
Behind the extraordinary king's average kitchen,
There is a staircase which leads to a small hallway surrounded by smaller bedrooms upstairs.
One bedroom door is slightly ajar
And out of the crack floats soft snoring.
Every flower slowly walks in.
Quickly, they fill the room
And surround a small bed,
Upon which naps a small girl in an orange dress.
Off in the distance,
There is a faint squawk of a crow.
The flowers take no note of it,
As they haven't any ears,
Though the girl hears it,
But only in her dreams.
There, she is playing with a giant fluffy teddy bear in red pants in a field.
The teddy bear wears a straw hat.
Also, the teddy bear is so tall that atop his hat atop his head sits a crow,
Who is so far away that his squawk is barely heard.
The real squawk, however,
Happens not on a straw hat on the head of a giant, fluffy teddy bear whose puffy privates are appropriately covered,
But in a tall tree right above the napping king.
He hears it
And it stirs him.
He wakes, groggily.
First he notices the flowers are gone,
His entire afternoon's work suddenly missing.
Next he sees the lines in the grass and the dirt,
And the direction they appear to move in:
They move along some small hills,
And surely come to a startling conclusion at the base of an open window in front of his home.
Back in his daughter's room,
A few flowers lightly rub some pollen beneath the small nose of the little girl,
To ensure she continues her slumber.
Across the field,
The king then sees dozens of orange flowers,
Stems and roots and all,
Pouring out of a window on the second floor.
The stream of bright orange and green continues to flow from the window to the ground outside,
As the king's little legs carry him slowly over the hills.
No matter how fast he pumps his plump legs,
He has no hope of catching the light and agile flowers,
Who are currently carrying his resting daughter out her window,
Over the waterfall of flowers,
And down onto a soft bed of petals and stamens on the green grass below.
The flowers scuttle off with his daughter and the king follows after them at a pace which is terribly quick for him, but incredibly slow for the flowers.
They bring her to the tallest hill in the field and begin digging with their roots.
Hundreds of flowers help to move the ground to create a pleasant bed of dirt and soil for the daughter of the king.
The king continues his pursuit,
But is a couple of hills away before he spots the flowers again.
He rushes over to the flowered hill,
But all he sees is a mass of orange flowers with five petals,
Rooted firmly in the ground.
No sign of his daughter,
No sign of will or thought or consciousness on the part of the flowers.
But just because the king can't see it, doesn't mean it's not true.
With the king back among them,
The flowers sing a song,
Explaining to the king that his daughter will provide them with more than adequate nutrition.
Far more than enough to make their petals and flowers so beautiful
That they will be the talk of the countryside for generations to come.
That is,
If all the flowers don't consume the children of the countryside first.
A population not decimated by carnivorous flowers is necessary for gossip.
Once again,
The king cannot hear the song of the flowers
And in his rage,
He violently pulls a flower from the dirt,
As if it were but a mere weed.
The flowers begin to cry in pain,
Shocked at the barbaric actions of the king,
The man who brought them to life.
Their cries float to the skies,
Unheard by the king,
But heard by the clouds,
Who react in anger.
Their mood and color darken,
Their rage flashes in bright sharp lights throughout the sky
Until finally,
The sorrow for the flowers overcomes the clouds,
And they begin to cry.
The dark sky opens up
And a deluge of rain comes forth,
Soaking the flowers and the king.
Despondent and lost,
The king wanders back to his home,
Where he decides that his next daughter will be trained in the arts of self-defense
And will always carry a garden hoe