The Hallway of Flowers
I remember when my mom gave me five dollars. Even when I was six, I knew the importance of that amount. One time, my school had a festival and were selling these flowers called “Snap Dragons”. I didn’t think they were all that pretty, but they had the name “Dragon” in it, and I knew my mom loved dragons, so I spent the five dollars and brought them home. It was a 40 minute drive from my home to school, so it was 40 minutes of balancing it in my lap while I told her about the rest of the festival. She smiled and listened intently. We were always getting home at seven or eight at night so when we walked in, I immediately sat them on the front porch freezer. You know, one of those you could lay a body down in.
This porch had magical powers. When we first moved in, it was a long hall with a washer and dryer at the end, along with a window that led to the couch where I had to climb through when my mom locked her keys in the house.
I can’t remember when we started collecting plants and flowers but it had seemed to start with one plant that we would water and make sure got enough sunlight. Soon one plant, became three plants. And day by day the hallway turned more… green… more… earthly.
Some plants began to hang from the ceiling and my mom would put me on her shoulders and let me water them. One night, I walked through the hall singing along when all of a sudden, I couldn’t see the washer and dryer. I kept going, but still nothing was there. All around me, fireflies lit up the surrounding leaves and I followed them. The flowers that were closed up, began to bloom roses and lilies. I sang louder and vines would grow and stretch to life.
When I walked deeper in, the fireflies began to fade, the bright floral colors were beginning to lose their vibrant attraction. I kept a box of matches in my pocket and struck one to keep the light going. Other than the soft glow of the fire, I was surrounded by emptiness.
“Hello?” I asked weakly. It was too quiet, and then, I heard it. A deep, guttural noise from the dark abyss.
“Who… who’s there?” I squeaked. There was a low growl and then, it attacked! The Snap Dragons!
They tried to bite at me, taking turns snapping their vicious jaws at the light. I tried to run away, but they surrounded me. They tried to bite me again, but I managed to dodge their attacks. The leaves and vines began to pull themselves together as if to block my path, but I pushed past them. I tripped over my own two feet and stumbled near the edge of the perennial tunnel, and soon, I could hear them. The dragons! I shut my eyes tight and clenched my teeth as one lingered close to my face.
Just a few centimeters away…
It unhinged its jaws and I waited in despair as it sized up my head. It slowly lunged but quickly stopped.
I waited a few seconds, then slowly, I peeked to find that the Dragon had turned to stone. I looked to my right and saw the sun ceaselessly climbing over the trees. Soon, I could hear the cries of agony as the others began to wither away and I knew I was safe. I drew a deep sigh of relief and quickly made my way to bed before my mom found out. I slept soundly that morning… until I heard it.
That low… guttural… sound….