6C. Red Orange

Then there was the time he tried to get her high.

No it was hilarious, really. Scintillating seeds, and highly specific instructions that sounded more at home in a grimoire than a scientific journal. "Only the light of a full moon, seriously! No, we're still not sure why. Trust me! You got the pot, right?"

So she plugs in the pot and the lights dim a little and it makes this low growl she can feel in her guts. Sure enough, translucent shoots in a fortnight, and when she takes it outside (feeling the fool) to bathe it in moonlight...transformation. A hypnotizing array of color changes so vivid, so kaleidoscopic it would make a chameleon blush. Finally the petals settle on a traffic cone orange-red, yellow at the center. Eschscholzia Victora, named after his father. God knows why. She takes the plant inside.

The complexity of conditions for germination are a trade-off for the simplicity in ingesting it. No waiting for seeds, no cooking, rendering down, etc. She just pulls it out, shakes the dirt off, washes it, and puts it as a garnish in her chef salad for dinner. It tastes the way burnt-out lightbulbs must.

She washes her bowl and puts it away. Brushes her teeth. Turns off the lights, gets into a nightgown. Picks up a book from the couch for some light reading, and goes to her bedroom.

She opens the door. And --he-- is there. Smiling that crooked smile. Her eyes immediately go to his waist. Faux snakeskin. It must be Wednesday. The book's a teddy bear now. Her height, halved.

Nicotine-stained voice scraping over a rough tongue. Coyote-grin. "How my little girl?"