|Pyro Flowers by Katie Cresswell. Image found here:|
There was another dust storm, and with near gale forces winds it was like being sandblasted. It pelted against the tram windows. The other passengers were grim too, bowed heads and sad faces. All except one. A woman with golden hair that seemed to shine. She had a glorious smile on her face, she tapped her delicate fingers on the seat in front.
Korvus was drawn to her. What was her secret? Why smile when water was rationed to a few cupfuls a day.
Korvus had to find out. He sat next to her. She didn't seem to notice him at all. Just carried on looking out the window.
“Why so happy?”
“Why not, there's a lot to live for.”
“You're one of them rich folk aren't you? One of those people who relish in showing off their water. I heard yesterday that someone was keeping a gold fish. Can you imagine that? A gold fish!”
“Gold fish are pretty.”
The girl leaned past him and pulled the string for the bell. He breathed in an enchanting scent. Korvus was still two stops away from the hovel he called a home.
The girl with the alluring smile hopped off the tram. Seeming to take any hope for happiness with her. Caught on a whim he chased after her and leaped off the tram as it got going again. Using a scarf to protect himself from the worst of the wind he looked for the girl.
The girl was already disappearing around the corner of the next street. Korvus dashed after her. For four blocks he followed her. Trying to catch up, to stop her, but she was too fast.
At last they reached a back alley. The girl in the yellow dress went down it. It looked a bit dodgy, but if she wasn't afraid why should he be?
He walked halfway down and could not find her at all. Maybe it was just a shortcut. Then he heard some some clanging. He looked up. She was climbing up a ladder. Within moments she was up on the roof.
Too late to turn back he went up after her. Short of breath and dying for something to drink he stopped climbing as soon as his head reached eye level with the roof. All before him was a green garden. Stuffed with flowers, fruits and vegetables. Not even the richest water hog could afford to raise so much agriculture.
“Amazing, isn't it?”
“Sure is, and I wasn't stalking you if you wanted to know.”
“I know,” she said with a smile.
He didn't know which was more beautiful. Her or the garden. The garden was surrounded by other buildings, protecting it from the worst of the winds.
“But how? Water is so scarce.”
“Let me show you.”
She beckoned him forward, deeper into the dense garden. A horrible stench reached his nose. He gagged.
“Hey, what's that smell?”
There was no reply. Just laughter. Korvus turned around. The lady in yellow didn't look so sweet anymore. Vines were twirling around his feet and hands. Strong vines he had no hope of breaking.
The lady stopped laughing abruptly. “Did you know the average human being is 55%-75% water?”
Korvus couldn't reply. There was a vine tightening itself around his neck.
“Oh well, a woman's work is never done, I better getting going. I wouldn't want my little darlings to go thirsty.”
The last thing Korvus saw was the strange girl kissing a rose and sauntering off towards the ladder.