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The flower
by H'tirea

It is a dark night, she mused.

One that smothers your senses in its thick clutches.

Shadows loomed high over the heads of passerby's, enormous in comparison to their owners: street merchants and vagabonds. The faint aroma of deep fried foods, greasy Korean chicken and Won Ton soup was present; a drifter in search of a home, perhaps in the delirium of a starving boy. It was almost too cruel for words. But this wasn't Pleasantville, where children were happy and no one went uncared for. This was Midgar, the Neo-village of the damned and merciless predator of the hopes of so many.

Aeris realized this. She was merely a street merchant, like so many. Her flowers almost glowed in the thick night air, painting a rainbow in the ally ways, a pinch of the happiness and love that so many citizens had long forgotten. A reminder of a life that was left behind when the Shin-ra took over, a technological monster of unfathomed proportions.

She wearily plucked up a daisy and twirled it between her fingers. She inspected it carefully, relishing the feel of the hardened stem, slightly wet with the water she had doused on it, matching the roughness of her own pale hands. She toyed with the vibrant yellow petals, a smile playing across her lips, as she placed the delicate flower close to her nose and breathed in deeply. The aroma took her breath away, and she gasped slightly before sighing with pleasure and closing her eyes, the same fatigued, mindless smirk painting her face. "How lovely..."

Her clutch on the loosened, and the daisy drooped lazily to the ground. She stared dreamily off into open space. "How lovely." She repeated, speaking aloud to herself. "Such a pretty little thing. Simple, yet completely satisfying."

She glanced down at the fallen flower. Still the bewildering smile was present. "It indulges the senses. Intoxication of the nose, the eyes..." She brought a finger tentatively to her cheek. "Even to the touch. A surreal experience. Maybe that's why… that's why people buy so many."

She bent low, to pick up the flower once again. Her fingers hovered inches above it, waiting, hesitating. "What a frank metaphor, an irresistible conundrum." She had it in her possession in an instant. The friendly grin turned into a tight-lipped smirk. Her grasp on the frail blossom grew fevered and she pressed it to her generous chest, her gaze still straight ahead, unchanged. "What does a dainty little flower have to do with the nasty old Midgar slums? Quite the teaser."

She paced, looking up at the 'sky' of Midgar, per say. She stroked the pretty flower as she wandered, lost in thought. Her fingers reached up, tracing the lines on the iron plate ceiling. Hr eyes blurred together as a storm brewed behind them. They danced like a child. "Flowers… are like people!" She made her flower dance in the cool night air. "They are so soft, and so delicate, and so completely vulnerable. She cuddled the flower close to her neck grinned slightly. "But all these people, all these people in Midgar, live under this confining grey metropolis of despair." Her last words hung heavy with sorrow. She patted her basket, hanging loosely by the crook of her elbow. "THIS is my Midgar. And all my little flower people live there. Soft, delicate. And prisoners." She sighed and sat on the ground, peering at her flower closely. "Only one thing can help these people to escape." She made a fist with the flower, shaking it with fury. "Money. Gil. People get money, they move to a different place. People get money and buy flowers, and the flowers move to a different place. But…" She closed her eyes tightly. "Is it a better place?"

She jumped to her feet, paced the ground nervously, hurriedly, feverishly speaking in high, excited tones. "When people move, who says it's any better than this," She waved her and at the sky. "This putrid pit of nothing that we live in? Sure, it may LOOK nicer. But is it safe?" She slowed her hurried pace. And smiled. Her hands played with the petals of her flower. Her eyes smiled grimly. "I can FEEL something, someone, somewhere out there. Something dark, and disturbing. And waiting. And so as people try as hard as they possibly can to get out of Midgar, I feel the power growing." She stomped her foot in a fit of fury. "Waiting! It's just waiting for them!" She sighed. "Nothing is safe. No where and nothing." She grasped one of the pretty petals. "And just like… my flowers. People can be hurt."

She ripped off the appealing petal.


She ripped off another.



Their beauty… marred!"





She crumpled the flower into a sticky ball as she clutched her beating heart, throbbing in her chest. She frowned deeply. "I can't control where my flowers ago, after they are sold." She concluded. "And I can't tell whether they will be… hurt. But it's evident that it will happen. I feel it. For every flower. And for every human." She pulled herself meekly to her feet, dusting her dress and reaching for her wicker basket. With a swift single motion, a silent look of revered beauty crossed her face and stayed, her posture, poised and perfection. Behind her mask of pure, unmarred beauty, lie a deep dark secret, etched into her very being. And it was slowly driving her mad.

"Eventually. It'll happen."

Back she went, back into the streets filled with greasy air and dirt. Back to a gilded cage of gastronomical proportions. Her lone silhouette impressed on the murky walls of the alley, she approached the closest person. A man, just like any other. Yet sharing the same fate.

"Would you like to buy a flower, sir?"

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