The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Rejoice Because Thorns Have Roses
by Elaine Pascale
We told many jokes at the flower shop because we were all budding comedians.
The one thing I would never joke about were my roses. They were the best in the state. In many states, in fact. People were paying in spades to have them flown out to weddings, quinceañeras, and retirement parties. The prettiest girls with guarded virginities were gifted them at homecoming and prom. The deceased with families that loved them were placed in the ground clutching a holy trinity of one red, one pink, and one white.
The secret was the ingredient I added to the fertilizer.
The hospital was located conveniently close to the flower shop which kept business booming and blood flowing. The blood came from my phlebotomist friend; it was the rush that made my roses blush.
Then, I was no longer allowed to have the blood. Something about suspicions. Something about the factory accident and triage and blah, blah, blah.
I ignored the blah, blah, blah, but triage gave me an idea.
Arriving at accidents ahead of emergency personnel was easy. I knew the police, firemen, and EMTs in the area and knew who was slow on the draw. Since these were accidents, the blood was not needed for evidence, so no one missed a little.
That sufficed for the winter and early spring. But then, as always, prom, graduation, and wedding seasons collided. And they happened to collide with a float for the state fair and the American Rose Society’s call for their annual calendar. A little blood would not suffice.
Accidents would not suffice.
And the blood was evidence. Better it fertilize my roses than be left in a crime scene.
Phlebotomists have jokes, too. They tell the one about robbing a blood bank and getting caught red handed. I had thought that the only thing reddening my hands was the glow from rose petals I attached to the float that was destined to win. By my hands were reddened and blued by the rollers on the police vehicles coming to get me.
Crime scene detectives have jokes, too. The detective who had confiscated the dirt after spotting traces of blood on a bouquet told me the blood matched a recent murder victim. The good news, the blood I had been handling was riddled with viruses. He laughed, telling me I would be very sick during the beginning of my stint in prison.
Detectives are not as funny as phlebotomists or florists.
Fiction © Copyright Elaine Pascale
Image courtesy of Pixaby.com
More from Elaine Pascale:
The Blood Lights
They victimize all…
Jezzie Mitchell is in anguish; with her brother’s murder still on her mind, she’s noticed strange behavior among the girls in the residential treatment center where she works. Is there a connection between the contagion on Cape Cod and the deadly Bahamas vacation that changed her life?
Jezzie reaches out to former lover Lou Collins, a scholar who has chased proof of the lights for decades. Will he be able to solve the mystery of the lights in time?
Intensely competitive, reporter Bridgette Collins knows the lights are a way to secure fame in her career. And while it’ll put the final nail into the coffin of her ex-husband’s career, she vows to know the secrets of the lights. Even if it means unleashing a world-wide epidemic…
A terrific story, very cool.
Love this – the title is brilliant, for starters, and it gets better from there! It’s such a cinematic piece – great visual imagery.