Please Don’t Pick the Flowers

2010 March 10
by mockers

Wasn’t it just terrible what happened to Mary McCloskey?” said Edna St. James to Ann Williams early on Monday morning.

“Yes, just horrible,” answered Ann. “I’ve always been a little leery of those lift chairs.  They found her body all the way across the room!”

Edna St. James lived in apartment 311 in Golden Heights Senior Citizen’s Complex and she was the designated gardener in charge of the front flower beds. Ann Williams lived in 708 and was one of the resident “characters” — some would say a royal bitch. Mary McCloskey was the fallen resident of 212. She had looked out the window a lot.

“I hope that old biddy’s out of the flower bed when I get back, I need a new flower,” said Ann to herself as she walked toward city hall to pay her water bill. Ann was very fond of plants and flowers and simply loved a single fresh bud in a small vase on her kitchen table. She had been buying her flowers at the grocers, but the prices had grown intolerable so she had recently resorted to visiting the complex’s prized flower beds.

Edna was very protective of her flowers, almost laughably so. When she would find that one had been picked, she would become visibly angry. She posted signage on all of the bulletin boards and was very suspicious of anybody who commented on them. Most just stayed away for fear of being publicly persecuted. At Golden Heights, flowers were neither a sign of peace nor tranquility.

When Ann returned from her errands Edna was indeed gone.  So she boldly stepped one foot over the miniature plastic fence and snagged a healthy red bud from the black soil. She then winked at Rose McClannahan who sat giggling into her hand on a nearby bench.

Seven hours later an ambulance screamed to a halt in front of the complex. Mass rubber-necking immediately broke out.

“What happened?” said Rose.

“Why, I don’t know,” whispered Ann.

A large slab of ceiling tile had fallen on a tooth-sucking Jesse Winsome in the cafeteria, and he was pronounced dead by the paramedics. Out front a horror-stricken Edna St. James ran through the double doors and stared at the empty space in her flower bed. Ann and Rose watched and said nothing.

Ann found this behavior to be curious. Residents were dropping like flies and all Edna could think about was her damn flowers. She just couldn’t figure that woman out.

While sitting on the bus on Thursday Ann began to piece together some bizarre idea that linked the flower bed to the residents of the complex. She noted that on every day a resident had died, she had earlier picked a fresh flower.  She was momentarily horrified but then quickly dismissed it as the overactive imagination of an old woman.

When Ann returned to the complex that afternoon, she stopped at the flower bed and for the first time took a good long look at it. Edna was giving her suspicious glances as Ann counted to herself. The flowers were planted in perfect rows of fifteen. There were seven rows and there should have been 105 flowers, which was the exact number of units at Golden Heights. But seven flowers were missing. And seven tenants had recently died!

Ann could hardly carry herself to the elevator. Her cheapness and attempts at being cute had caused seven people to die. She went into her apartment and eventually slept a tortured sleep.

Ann had always been a morning person however, and when she awoke she was full of vigor and looking on the bright side.  She convinced herself that she hadn’t reached the age of seventy-three merely by accident. She thought of herself as being a very shrewd woman, and was preparing to fall back on that virtue one more time.

Ann despised living on the top floor and wasn’t about to continue to do so. She devised a plan that would eliminate Edna St. James and win her control of the flower bed. She would then cause one of the first floor apartments to become empty, which she would immediately seize as her own.  Ann was second in line to receive a ground floor apartment, behind Edna who would be dead by then.  It was perfect.

On Saturday morning Ann slid out of bed and proceeded down to the dew covered flowers.  She counted down three rows and over eleven, Edna’s apartment being number 311. She closed her eyes and pulled the flower from the ground. And four hours later Mrs. Upjohn in 511 slipped on an olive and emptied most of her blood supply under the stove. Ann had started counting from the wrong end. Damn!

But on Wednesday Edna St. James quit breathing when she guessed the exact amount of the showcase on The Price Is Right. Ann had completed phase one of her plan. Very soon waiting on an elevator would be a thing of the past for her.

On Friday Ann went to the funeral home and tried to decide on a color of drapes for her new apartment, while Edna’s relatives howled in grief. Then Ann’s friend Rose walked in, and placed a bouquet of familiar flowers on the midriff of the dead Edna St. James.

“Rose, where’d you get those flowers?” inquired Frantic Ann.

“You know she loved them so, I just felt it was appropriate,” answered Sincere Rose.

Ann rushed back to the complex to find flames shooting out of the seventh floor windows. She looked down in horror, and saw that the entire seventh row of the flower bed was missing.  Then a fireman’s helmet fell from the roof and put her to sleep forever.

8 Responses leave one →
  1. 2010 March 10
    WB in OH permalink


    Too bad Lost is in it’s final season, I think you could have made some contributions to the writing staff.

  2. 2010 March 10
    WB in OH permalink

    Dammit! Oatmeal taught me better, it should be its not it’s. Excuse me while I go out back and whip myself with strands of wet sketty.

  3. 2010 March 10

    Nice story.

  4. 2010 March 11
    metten permalink

    Hey – we’ll be back tomorrow with a guest mock. Hopefully on Monday I will once again have my shit together and begin contributing for real. In the meantime, Jeff’s contributions for the last month or so have been really kickass. You should read those…and then write a guest mock!

  5. 2010 March 11
    Mrs. L. Bangs permalink


    Love stories – hear and reading – keep it up!

  6. 2010 March 11
    eeyoresmama permalink

    Love it – one of the best!

  7. 2010 March 14
    clintcurtis permalink

    That was awesome!!!! Good job!

  8. 2010 December 27

    He was predeceased by his wives Julia and Elizabeth son Nate Fowler daughter Georgia Singleton brother George Fowler and sisters Margaret Watkins and Edna James.A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. He was predeceased by his wives Julia and Elizabeth son Nate Fowler daughter Georgia Singleton brother George Fowler and sisters Margaret Watkins and Edna James.A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m.

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