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A Forever Blooming Flower


by socks563

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The cash register pinged.

      "Oh and don't forget your change! That's 275 NP. Thank you, come again!"

      The little fire Shoyru stood behind the counter and was delighted just to see a smile on a customer's face. She waited a few minutes but once she saw that there seemed to be no customers in need of assistance she decided to make her daily route around the garden. Her mother owned a garden center where she grew and sold plants. The Shoyru made her way through the garden, stopping to look at every type of flower and delicately lifting them up to her nose and taking a whiff of the sweet aroma. She passed by every flower you could ever imagine and took the time to smell each and every one. Finally she stopped when she got to the roses. These were her favorite flowers of them all. In fact, her mom named her Rose after the beautiful flowers. Rose was always happy when she was in the garden and she would often catch herself day dreaming while she was behind the counter.

      "Miss, how much for these color changing tulips?" a voice came.

      Rose was so caught up in the flowers that she didn't even hear the customer.

      "Miss! How much for these?" the voice yelled.

      "Oh!" Rose blinked and suddenly remember she was still at work. "The tulips are 700 NP a pot."

      She turned around to see an old green Gelert wearing all black. Her voice was raspy and harsh as she spoke. The Gelert had on a quaint yet strange little hat. Rose noticed that the tulips that the Gelert was holding were all dead.

      "Actually, you can have those for 20 NP. They are useless when they are dead," Rose began.

      The Gelert grunted, "Not to me."

      A few days went by and once again the old Gelert came to the garden. Earlier Rose had seen a few roses that had wilted and died. She was upset that they would be of no use to someone, and that they would have to be thrown out. The green Gelert searched around the garden and looked at all the flowers until she came across the roses. She picked a handful of the dead ones up and walked over to Rose.

      "How much for these?" she asked.

      Rose had no idea why a customer would ever want dead flowers but she politely replied, "Well normally they would be 100 NP each, but since they have wilted I will sell them to you for 5 NP each."

      The old Gelert nodded and handed Rose the money. Rose took the money and went back to the cash register as she watched the Gelert leave. She couldn't understand why anyone would want to buy dead flowers.

      Days went by and the Gelert came back almost every day. It was the same routine every time. She would search the garden, find dead flowers, ask how much they were and leave. One day Rose noticed that the old Gelert seemed to be, well older!

      "How much do the star flowers cost?" the green Gelert asked Rose.

      Immediately knowing they would be dead, Rose answered, "Three for 15 NP."

      It had been a few weeks since the first time the old green Gelert had come into the shop. Rose had been constantly thinking about her. She was so curious to what anyone would want with dead flowers. One day after the Gelert bought some wilted orb plants, Rose decided to follow her home. She told that she was taking a break from work and that she was going on a walk.

      Rose followed the Gelert down the road and onto a dirt path. She was careful not to be seen by hiding in hedges and behind fences. The old Gelert finally stopped at an adorable cottage. Rose was breathtaken by the gorgeous flowers and plants that were growing in the yard. There were plants five times as big as they should be! There were vines with blooming white and blue flowers that covered the cottage. Rose suddenly remembered were she was and focused on what she was doing. She accidently stepped on a stick on the ground and it made a gigantic popping noise as it broke under her foot. The Gelert turned around but Rose was quick enough to hide behind a huge tree. When the Gelert went inside Rose sprinted back to the shop.

      The next day the Gelert didn't come to the garden like Rose thought she would. She decided to go back to the cottage and see why her now loyal customer hadn't showed up. Rose took the dirt path just as she had remembered it and followed it until she was at the Gelert's cottage. As soon as she was there she had to quickly hide behind a tree again because the old Gelert was in the front yard! There was a huge pile of dead flowers next to her. Rose watched as she picked up one flower at a time and planted it. When she finished planting each flower, she began to whisper some sort of chant. Rose couldn't understand any of the words she spoke. It was as if the Gelert was speaking another language! Rose ran back to the shop where she could gather her thoughts. This was all very strange and happening so fast.

      Rose sat on a wooden bench in the garden and tried to understand what the Gelert had been doing. After many minutes of pondering on what had happened, it finally hit her. The Gelert must have been a witch! It was so obvious all along and Rose didn't even know. How could she have missed it? The green skin, the black clothing and hat; it has all so clear now!

      The next day the Gelert came into the shop. After she looked around for a while Rose finally went up to her and began to talk to her.

      "I know," she said quietly.

      "You know what?" The Gelert was sharp and quick as she talked to Rose.

      "I know about you and the flowers. I know how you bring the dead ones back to life!"

      The old Gelert looked nervous. "You must come with me. Now!"

      The Gelert grabbed Rose's hand and pulled her down the road to the cottage. The flowers were even more beautiful it seemed than the days before! She lost track of where she was until the Gelert began to explain.

      "Yes, I can bring the dead flowers back to life. I used to be a powerful witch when I was younger, but now this is about the only thing I am able to do. Please don't tell anyone."

      Rose was baffled. "Well of course I won't tell anyone! But why do you do this? Why don't you just buy already healthy plants?"

      "Well this way, the wilted flowers never get left behind. They have a home here now," the witch began.

      Rose was touched. She had always felt the same way about flowers that had died and needed to be thrown out.

      "I'm Rose by the way."

      "Yes, I know," the old Gelert smiled. "I am Gertie."

      Rose was relieved to finally know a little more about her mysterious new friend.

      "Well, you'd better get going," the Gelert began. "You don't want your mother worrying about you."

      Rose dashed off back to the garden . As soon as her mom say her she began to throw questions at her.

      "Where have you been? And who were you with? Do you not realize that customers are in need of assistance?"

      "Ummm," Rose thought quickly, "I went to a friend's house. Sorry Mom, I lost track of time."

      Her mother sighed. "Ok, just please go help the customers!"

      "I'm on it."

      Days passed and Rose hadn't seen the Gelert stop by the shop. She wasn't worried at first but then more than a week passed and there was still no sight of her. Finally one day on her break she decided to go to the Gelert's cottage. She sprinted up the dirt path until she was there. Gertie was nowhere in sight. She went up and knocked on the door.

      "Come in," Rose could hear Gertie wheeze.

      Rose slowly crept in and shut the door behind her.

      "I'm in here." Gertie coughed as Rose passed by her room.

      Rose walked in and saw the old Gelert laying in a bed. She looked very sick and very old.

      "Gertie, what's the matter?" she started. "Are you okay?"

      "I don't know, Rose. You see I didn't mention telling you that every time I make the flowers younger, I get older."

      "Well, you will be okay. I am sure you will be!" Rose's voice shook. She was worried about Gertie. She was awfully old.

      Rose left but came back to the cottage every day to check on her. As the flowers started to wilt and die in the yard, Gertie seemed to become stronger. She still was staying inside of the house most of the time, but at least she was moving around. One day Rose went to the shop and told her mom she needed hundreds of flowers.

      "Honey, I can't afford to give you all of those!"

      "No," Rose said. "Please, Mom, it's an emergency!"

      She finally agreed (although it came out of Rose's pay check). Rose ran to Gertie's house and weeded all the old dead flowers that were in the yard. She planted all brand new ones in the yard and it was as beautiful as ever! When Gertie saw what Rose had done she was ecstatic! Rose noticed that over the next few days Gertie became stronger and stronger. Finally she was to the point when she could come outside all the time again.

      "Thank you Rose," Gertie started. "For doing all of this for me."

      "Well, now you have gotten something from my mom's shop that you can have forever," Rose said.

      "What do you mean? Flowers don't last forever, you know, and I don't think I should heal them anymore with my condition." Gertie was confused.

      "You have a flower, one named Rose. And you have a friendship blooming."

      The two hugged.

The End

 
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