The Truest Black
As night fell upon the house the flowers began to release their strong, spicy perfume; a combination of cinnamon and musk. Frank had placed them in a large jam jar. Their tall stems splayed untidily over the mantelpiece. In the fading light, the tangle of stems and fleshy leaves had taken on the form of a giant, leggy spider.
Gradually, in gentle drifts of air, the scent began to pervade the house. It was carried through the hallway and up the stairs until it reached the back bedroom where Frank lay asleep. He began to dream, his thoughts flitting back through the day’s events to the point where he had found the flowers.
His first reaction had been surprise because of the way the seven long stems were just lying there on the occasional table next to his sofa. He wondered who had put them there.
The blooms were a deep velvet black, each with five fleshy petals that fanned out to form a trumpet. The very edges of the petals were silver, as if someone had delicately dipped
them in metallic paint. Frank didn’t know much about flowers or plants, but he thought they were pretty impressive. They reminded him of the hot-house orchids Mrs Jones liked to cultivate and show at the annual village fete. It occurred to him that maybe Mrs Jones had left the flowers there. His back door was always open and perhaps she had popped round while he was out. But she had left them out of water, which was strange. Even Frank knew that cut flowers should be put in water.
The next morning when Frank awoke, he felt as though he had slept deeply. Dangling his legs over the edge of the bed he felt for his slippers with his feet. Then, like he always did, he wrapped himself in his dressing gown and reached for his glasses. There was nothing different from his usual morning ritual until he went to brush his teeth.
When Frank opened the bathroom door he had quite a shock. Where his avocado suite should have been was the Universe in all its splendour...
Why was the Universe appearing in Frank's bathroom? Who put the strange flowers in his living room? If you want to read more, you'll find this and 24 other fabulous sci-fi and fantasy stories in Fusion, an anthology published by Fantastic Books. The paperback is beautifully illustrated by digital artist Alice Taylor. You can buy the paperback and the digital version from Amazon. If you are looking for more sci-fi and boundary-breaking fiction, drop in on Fantastic Books.