WARNING: Don't even think about reading this installment
without reading installment numeros uno.
A challenging intellectual 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 siete
The meadow was filled with daisies, covering the gently rolling hills as far as the eye could see. The sky was the innocent blue of a robin’s egg—cloudless. Flora felt the gentle rays of the sun and turned her face up, tilting her pert little chin in the air. Ah, it was so warm. And then the lovely dream dissipated as quickly as her father had when she was seven. All her senses came alive, she smelled goats, she heard the sound of melodic chanting, she felt something swathing her head. She opened her eyes and saw…nothing. Her nimble fingers tore at the gauze woven of goat’s hair that wound around her unblemished forehead, matting her golden curls. She tried to scream but her mouth was dry, nothing came out but a hoarse croak. A croak that made her lonesome for her homely little friends the woodland toads; friends that had yet to give her a single wart.
A callused hand touched her arm. “The Lord be praised, you have awaked at last gentle lady.”
Flora tried again, “Where am I?” It was still a croak, but it was the croak that a very aristocratic, feminine frog would make if it could speak English.
“You are in the Monastery Urgent Care of the Sightless Brotherhood of the Forest, sister.” The voice was low and melodious; the kind of voice that comes from a kindly elderly man who has a little round spot shaved in the top of his head and wears a brown robe tied with a rope around an ample belly. “We have been caring for you for three days.”
“Why are my eyes wrapped in goat-hair gauze?” Flora’s words had a rising note of panic. She was really getting sick of passing out and waking up in unfamiliar surroundings.
“How did you know the gauze was made of goat hair?” The friendly voice of the monk sounded pleasantly surprised.
“Oh, I used to crochet goat-hair leper bandages when I was a Girl Scout” Flora shyly confided. "I could pick out goat-hair gauze blindfolded.”
“Well that is very fortunate my dear” said the kindly monk…then followed a pause pregnant with pathos. “Because I have something I need to tell you.”
There had been a few moments in Flora’s life when she knew the words she would hear next would change her life. There was the time she heard Al Gore singing “Blowin’ in the Wind” at the annual Global Warming marshmallow roast. There was the time she had heard herself say “Neither” when she was asked if she wanted paper or plastic at Safeway. And there was the time that she had heard Conrad Conrad scream her name.
Three days ago, when Conrad had inadvertently flexed his prodigious pectorals and sent his button zinging across the room like a cruel missile, only to have it lodge by a pernicious twist of fate in Flora’s delicate eye socket, her cry of pain had elicited an even greater cry of pain from Conrad. The memory of her name…Flora, as it was torn from his throat in tones of, grief, guilt and despair would be something she would carry with her always.
And now…she took a deep breath and steeled herself for what this kindly sightless monk had to tell her. Her full red lips quivered, and even though he was blind, the man inside the monk suddenly came alive. He quickly pulled a nose hair out of each nostril to help him focus.
“My dear, I’m afraid you are blind.”
And then, for the second time in a row she didn’t see anything.
To be continued…