This story is by Bailey Hiner and was part of our 2021 Spring Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
I attempt to sleep at night, but I can’t. I close my eyes yet I’m still stuck in the melancholy loop of day-to-day life. Though I should be thankful for the bread on the table and the ring on my finger, nothing gives me peace of mind. Am I selfish for the way I feel? Why am I stuck in a dead-end job fixing pipes for a group of rich folks, keeping tabs on the common man’s inconsequential lifestyle and trends? But of course what else would I have to complain about if they weren’t around. I suppose it goes back to “being thankful” for the things I own and the life I’m living but I just can’t find that feeling anymore. Call me a nihilist, but I view myself as more… an opportunist.
When the rich folks aren’t looking, I take a couple of coins from their bags. They say it’s against the law… yeah right, the second I comply with what they want they’d be beating me down penny by penny.
Now, while I was originally writing this diary to vent, it seems a new flower has grown right outside my window. Now while this of course is nothing new, it somehow feels entirely different from other posies I’ve seen. It has more of a ruby tone to its stem and emerald sheen on the petals. It almost feels unnatural, yet when I’ve gone to my yard to touch it, it feels real. I’ve decided to bring the posy into my home as a decorative piece. God knows this house needs it, but hopefully, it will at least make the house a bit more lively. I couldn’t sleep again, this time I felt… watched. It’s like an eye watches me from every window, from every room, I don’t know what to do. I asked my wife about it, of course as always she seems pessimistic and unmoved by my emotional plea. I searched, and I looked all over the house for something or someone watching or stalking me. Suddenly, I had a realization… it was a flower, the darn posy was looking at me. I know in writing it sounds psychotic, but I swear I’m telling the truth. It was staring at me, looking into my soul. I felt its eye penetrate into mine as we observed curiously. I grabbed that “Thing” by its stalk and I chucked it out the window. That thing should be gone now.
It’s right above me, looking at me now. I’m scared…beyond scared, I can’t leave my home anymore. Its vines are too well-rooted. It wants to stare, it wants to envy. It takes my mind in and throws it up as a shell of itself. I’m starting to feel better now, it’s telling me to look at it deeply, how can I refuse? I feel it wrapping around me, it hurts but I can’t stop it. Posey, Posey, Posey.
I got up this morning in shock, scars covering my legs, I showed my wife and all she told me was “ I don’t know what you’re talking about, you’re scaring me!” How do you not see it? How do you not feel it looking at you? I went to the store; I saw a man giving a bouquet of flowers… no, a bouquet of “it”, still staring and still watching. Everywhere I go I see its eye. I ran to my office to clear my mind, but the second I arrived, I knew something wasn’t right. Vines ran across the walls and ceiling, and a thick coat of pollen permeated the room. It felt like I entered a greenhouse. The table where the rich men ate was empty except for more of “It”. The posies started speaking to me. They said in unison, “Deny your sin or rectify it. Be bound to the flowers kin, or live beyond it. We cannot say where or how you’ll end up, nor can we speak on whether you’ll be alive or dead. but leaves will fall without you either way, and we will be the only thing that remains at the end of the day.”
I’m going to bed again. The posey is above me, it blooms with its emerald petals. Is it an angel? Or is it a demon? I don’t know. But at the end of my days… it’s all that remains.