WARNING: Don't even think about reading this installment
A challenging piece of romantic literature
such as this will leave you hopelessly lost
without the proper framework.
Flora: An Environmental Love Story
By: Laraine F. Eddington
(Best read aloud with expression by candlelight)
Installment numero ocho:
Flora’s nose woke her at the usual hour. It had been three years since the tragic day that had changed her life forever. Three years since she had been blinded by a steel button popping off the sculpted chest of the mysterious Conrad Conrad. Three years since the speeding button had pierced her left emerald green orb and then ricocheted into the right emerald green orb. Three years, but it seemed three lifetimes.
Without her former twenty-fifteen vision, Flora was no longer able to keep perfect time by gauging the path of the sun as it rose in the morning and fell in the evening. Instead, she had learned to compensate by developing her other senses; telling the time of day by the fragrance of the desert sage, released in scent increments when heated by the rays of the sun. As black lashes swept open like feather dusters over Flora’s stunning, but sightless eyes, the subtle scent of sage gathered in by her delicate nostrils told her it was 6:00 a.m.
Albert’s hooves tickety tickety ticked—across the piny planks of her forest bungalow. As Flora sat up in her bed and stretched her graceful limbs, he nuzzled her; not realizing that he was the luckiest seeing-eye goat in all creation. “Well Albert, what shall we have for breakfast? Albert did not speak—because he was a goat, but his liquid eyes watched adoringly as Flora dressed, slipping out of her silk camouflage thermals and into a dainty linen shift woven from the golden flax that grew in her garden.
Flora was proud of her organic garden, which flourished next to the quaint cottage deep in the forest where she lived among her animal friends. Since her hospitalization, the Sightless Brothers of the Forest had taken her under their wing, giving her solace and providing her with
Albert, her seeing-eye goat. With Albert at her side, Flora was able to continue her rambles in the forest without fear of getting lost or stumbling into a den full of hibernating black bears. The Forest Service had assigned her new duties, because when fate cruelly took away her sight, it had compensated by investing Flora with an extraordinary perception, the ability to sense when lightning was going to strike and start a forest fire. With Flora as an early warning system, forest fires in the Tonto National Forest were down 53.2%. (It could have been 100%, but the Forest Service firefighting union wouldn’t allow any more layoffs.)
Flora was brewing a cup of wildflower tea when she heard a muscular rap on the door. It was a manly knock, not the meek sort of tapping required of a Sightless Brother of the Forest. A warm flush radiated from her darling belly button down to her neat ankles and up to her sinuous neck. In spite of an attempt at self control, her thoughts sprang like a bounding deer over a fence to Conrad Conrad. She hadn’t seen him since the button incident…come to think of it she hadn’t seen anyone since then…but every time she heard or smelled something manly, her thoughts careened madly back to him…that man…the one who had brought her nothing but trouble…nothing but heartache and blindness.
Knock, knock knock. The pounding was more urgent. Flora’s hand flew to her golden curls, traced the outline of her cheek. How she wished she could look in a mirror! She took a deep breath and Albert let out a goaty baaaa as he tickety ticked beside her. She did not open the door, but called through the crack, “Who is it? Who is knocking at my cottage door at such an early hour?”
The voice that answered seemed strained and unfamiliar when it came, but the answer was the one she had been hoping to hear every night as she thrashed from side to side amongst forlorn dreams in her lonely bed in her solitary room.
“Conrad” the voice said. “It’s Conrad.”
She threw the door open…and didn’t see anything, because she was still blind.
To be continued…