Lavender not forever
The strong fragrance reminded her of her grandmother. The garden overflowed with lavender bushes, their purple flowers surrounded by bees. They moved lithely from one flower head to another, foraging the nectar efficiently to take back to their hives. Nettie had read somewhere that the long-tongued bumble bees preferred lavender flowers to the short-tongued honey bees. The long tubes of the lavender flowers made them less attractive to the honey bees who had to stick their whole head inside the tube in order to extract the nectar. This resulted in unnecessary delays to their nectar gathering process so they preferred other types of flowers.
Lavender was her grandmother’s favourite flower. Nettie hated lavender nearly as much as she hated bees.
She had become the owner of the cottage a few days ago when the transfer finally went through. Her grandmother had left it to her when she had died a few months ago, at the incredible age of ninety six years old.
Of course, Nettie deserved to own the cottage as she had looked after her ailing grandmother for years. Towards the end of her life, her grandmother had become like the old man of the sea.
Her mind liked this analogy. The old man of the sea in the Sinbad tales tricks kind hearted travelers into helping him cross a stream by riding on their shoulders. Once across, the old man would not release his grip and the traveler became his slave. The old man made his victims carry him all over the island, never allowing them to stop and rest. Eventually, the victim would die of this miserable treatment. That is exactly how Nettie had felt. A reluctant and badly treated slave who ran around doing her grandmother’s bidding all day long and sometimes half the night too.
The lavender has got to go, she thought.
In her high heels and short skirt, Nettie leaned forward and started wrenching the lavender out of the ground by its roots. She threw the bushes into a pile on the lawn. She dragged more and more bushes out of the reluctant earth. Red welts marked her palms as the lavender bushes resisted her vigorous tugs but she didn’t care. Each bush seemed to represent some insult or infringement on her personal time and space by the crazy old bat.
Forty-five minutes later, her fine blouse clinging to her sweaty body and her hair lank and dusty, her vengeance inspired spree of destruction ended. She surveyed the damage and a small smile played across her narrow lips. The lavender bushes lay in a few untidy heaps ready to be dragged to the bonfire pile.
Tomorrow she would get the gardener to chop the bushes up into pieces. She would plant something she liked in their place.
Roses, that’s what I’ll plant.
Nettie loved roses, with their delicate coloured petals and beautiful smell. She would plant roses in every colour she could find. Her grandmother hated roses.
The above flash fiction was written for Sue Vincent’s weekly photograph challenge which you can find here: https://scvincent.com/2019/01/31/thursday-photo-prompt-fragrant-writephoto/
I also had some inspirational assistance from fellow author and poet, D Avery, who wrote this post: https://shiftnshake.wordpress.com/2019/01/31/fragrant-writephoto/. Mine is the antithesis to hers.