Blaze’s Flower Patch
Little Blaze toddled after the ball. A woman picked it up, holding it out. "No!" screamed his mother. "Not with your hands!"
Blaze contemplated the offered toy, blinked up at the woman holding it, smiled, and before Maxine could intervene she saw a whoosh of unsettled molecules as the ball bounced back to Blaze. The woman holding it disappeared in swirl of particles.
Maxine’s eyes darted about. Had anyone else seen? She snatched Blaze up and carried the squirming toddler to a park bench.
“No, Baby,” she whispered. Smoothing back his rumpled blonde curls. “You can’t keep sending the hands away.”
When Maxine panicked, she had a more difficult time communicating with her two-year-old son. She took a deep breath and began to form the words in her mind.
No, Blaze, you can’t keep sending the hands away, honey. Someone will see you; they’ll take you away.
The beautiful blonde cherub smiled sweetly up at his mother.
I’m sorry, Mommy. Her hands wanted to play. I sent her to the flower patch to play. I want to play with her in the patch. Blaze wants to PLAY, PLAY, PLAY!
A trickle of blood flowed from the corner of Maxine’s nostril and she daubed at it with a spotty, balled-up tissue. Her head pounded from the force of her son’s thoughts. The last sentence boomed in her head and left behind a sickening echo.
“Not so loud, Baby,” Maxine moaned “Be gentle with Mommy.”
Must control my thoughts . . . must control my thoughts . . . baby can hear . . . baby can hear.
Blaze gazed intently into his mother’s blue eyes. He reached a chubby hand up and touched her cheek.
I’m sorry, Mommy . . . poor Mommy . . . poor, poor, Mommy.
The words flowed softly into her head. They carried a soothing quality, tranquilizing her racing thoughts.
Maxine let herself be sedated. The child was getting better and better at controlling her . . . soon she would be no match . . . She twisted off the thought, packed the baby back into his stroller and headed home.
With baby tucked in for an afternoon nap, Maxine resumed pacing, her mind free to race away with various thoughts that needed to be cloaked or hidden while Blaze was awake.
Once the seed had been planted during that long ago (only three years) camping trip in the Ozarks (don’t forget that aliens don’t exist), her personal needs had been very carefully (too conveniently?) filled. An ancient aunt (she had never known about) had died and left her this house, plus enough money to care for her and Blaze quite comfortably for the rest of their lives.
Blaze’s mind connected with her own while she carried him in her womb. There had been no question that she would have the baby . . . he would not allow any other thoughts other than those of a happy delivery and beautiful life. Once born, Maxine found a few hours here and there, while the baby slept, to think thoughts of her own. Afraid to think them . . . she could never be quite sure about Blaze’s abilities and what he could “hear.”
Maxine had never been to the “flower patch.” Even Blaze with his half human body could not tolerate the flower patch for long. On occasions when he visited, he’d pop back moments later out of breath and very tired.
The “flowers” were hideous hand-like rubbery red appendages on gray stalks with bright orange “leaves” that resembled thick pod-like half moons. Blaze brought some back to her on occasion. She’d have to paste a smile on her white face while she pretended to sniff the rancid minty-decomp odor. She’d also have to control her thoughts, her mind repeating – it’s a pretty flower . . . it’s a pretty flower – over and over until Blaze’s gaze mercifully dropped away from her.
Blaze brought other things from the flower patch as well. One or two hideous insects of a sickening purple color like rotting plums. The insects were small enough for Blaze to grasp in a chubby fist. Their yellow eyes peered out from the tops of little stalks and their eight legs were studded with sharp-looking red thorns. Like the flowers, the bugs didn’t live long in our atmosphere. They seemed to gradually fold in on themselves growing smaller each day until they were gone.
Blaze’s unique mind tried to transmit pictures of the flower patch, but Maxine’s poor tired mind had a difficult time wrapping around these images. She caught inklings of a dark green skyline, purple clouds, and strange floating black pods.
Besides the strange woman from the park today, Blaze had sent others to the flower patch. A nurse from the hospital, a Department of Human Services Social Worker, Maxine’s friend Hope who had tried to get her to . . .
Don’t think about that – ever again!
He seemed to have the ability to sense animosity in others, but he also had an aversion to hands coming at him quickly, like the nurse, the social worker, and the park stranger. Sometimes his reactions were severe – quick and deadly.
Maxine now noticed that Blaze slept less and less. His power of manipulation gained strength each day. Soon she would not possess the strength to do what had to be done. She tried to shut the pictures out of her mind; afraid they would overwhelm her and spill out into Blaze.
She gazed down at the sleeping child and lifted the fluffy pillow above him with trembling hands . . . such a beautiful child . . . how can I do it?
The answer came back to her in Blaze’s sweet, child’s voice. She backed away from the crib in horror as the dark green sky filled her field of vision. A thick stream of blood fell from one nostril and the smell of minty-decomp plagued the other. Her breathing labored in the heavy purple air.
Let’s go play in the flower patch, MOMMY!
Legion Of Monsters / Man-Thing #1 / "A Flower In Alien Soil"
Author's note: The first sentence on my #fridayflash story, Blaze’s Flower Patch is courtesy of #storystarters – a Twitter Application.
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