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Flowers Under Glass -- FWG Flash Fiction for 2/19/2022

Somehow, my mind keeps going back to haunted B&Bs. Go figure.





Flowers Under Glass



The B&B was as Victorian as it gets. The parlor especially, decorated in shades of brown, heavy dark curtains hung at the windows and a coal stove to heat the room.


“You may use the parlor,” Mrs. Fleur, who looked to be as old as the house, said. “But do not disturb the Flowers Under Glass.” You could hear the capital letters in her tone.


“Are the flowers real?” I asked. Jenny poked me in the ribs. Mrs. Fleur gave me a what-an-idiot stare.


“Of course, they are real, you stupid man! I do not countenance anything artificial in this house.” Her eyes flicked to Jenny’s chest and her scowl deepened. Clearly stung, Jenny’s perpetual smile faded.


“That’s it,” I sniffed. “We’ll be taking a full refund and leaving you to them.”


Jenny gasped and Mrs. Fleur’s face and voice softened. “I did not mean to give offence, My Dear.” Her tone was placating, but her eyes remained hard as ice.


“Th-that’s OK. No offence taken,” Jenny replied, but I could see the weekend was already ruined. As I carried our bags to our room, a plan for revenge was already forming in my mind.


*****


“Wake up, Sleepyhead!”


I opened my eyes in time to see Jenny lift the rose I had lain on her nightstand the night before.


“You sneaky devil,” she said as she tucked it behind her ear and stepped before the full-length mirror. Then she screamed.


Standing before the mirror wasn’t the Jenny I knew and loved anymore. Instead, she transformed into an old crone with sagging skin and wrinkles everywhere. The flower in her hair glowed a deep red.


Terrified, I bolted from the room straight into Mrs. Fleur, now young and gorgeous, holding her own glowing rose.


She chuckled. “Works every time.”


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