Monday, November 10, 2008
The Lady of Flowers
Emily Carter always thought herself alone in her weirdness. She loved her daughter, but Jenny had died when she was only seven years old, the victim of a virus that would have left her unwell but for the complication of MRSI from having her tonsils out.
After the burial (simple with only three mourners if you discounted the hospital staff) she put fresh flowers on the grave every day no matter the weather. As autumn approached she began planting spring bulbs in the dirt and added another every day. When Jenny’s grave was perfect she began to look after the graves next to her daughter’s as well, until the whole children’s area of the cemetery was kept spotless and full of flowers.
She resented other visitor’s to the cemetery, especially if parents of ‘her charges’ interfered with her displays. If little Tommy’s mother visited with tulips and Emily had planted daffodils she would dispose of the mother’s offering. People complained but after the first few incidents the Police declined to be involved in disputes involving her
The verger grew so used to seeing Emily with her little spade and trowel and basket of greenery that he never noticed when she removed more than she put in. Once Jenny’s bones were lovingly polished and assembled Emily began to bring some of the other residents home. No-one realised that under the expanse of bulbs and flowers were fourteen empty graves.