Flower Power

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Dream POV

I didn't want anyone seeing me and hearing me. I needed to get a better view of where these people are taking Joquin's flowers. It was late. Everyone s still in the communal area, which means they will have enough time to move the floret and replace them before the sun comes up. I get just a little closer.

I move to see better what was happening. The floret is taken away by the other person. They walk away. I need to keep up to see where they are going. I move behind the tees quietly as I can. I follow whoever it is. I can't keep up. The bushes are too tall and get stuck on my dress. I don't think I can keep up with them for too long. A snap of a tree branch makes me stop in my tracks.

I stand as still as possible. The person looks around, holding the plant carefully. I need to go back. Being out there in the dark is ridiculous. I can't see anything good. Grabbing a rock and stick, I mark the ground so I can come back tomorrow.

I walk through the bushes, getting a sharp pain on the side of my thigh, letting out a little gasp of pain. There was no time to stop. Wherever they were taking the plant must be where the room might be. I continue until my house is in view. Once I reach, Star is waiting for me. I clear my voice, "Hey, what's up?" She turns to me with a smile, "Oh hey, I thought you had gone home. I waited for the door to open. I have some pretty exciting news. Also, your leg is bleeding pretty bad. Are you ok?"

I look down and see my leg cut and bleeding, "I'm fine. I went for a walk and tripped on a branch. What's the news, though?" Smiling, she jumped up and down, "I think I found myself a partner! Her name is Isabelle. She changed her name to Stream. We talk about why she joined and had the same reason as the guru's."

Happiness radiated through for Star. She didn't talk to anyone or felt this way towards another soul in the community. I see her face glowing with glee. "I don't want this to be temporary. She is a very different and someone I want to know on a spiritual way." I walk up and hug her. Throbbing runs through my leg.

I feel the blood begin to roll down. We pull back, looking down at the cut. "We should go inside to fix your leg." We enter my house and clean my leg. Wrapping my leg with a cloth and some herbal medicines. For the next hour, we talked about the celebration and more about the new people arriving. We discussed the plans for Star, her new lover, and what they will be in the future. Star soon slips out of the house, leaving me by myself.

I wait a little longer for Keifer, feeling the heavyweight of my eyelids. Soon I fall into a deep slumber.

I hear yelling from the other room. I'm scared of what is about to happen. The incident occurred five times already. My father threatened to take me away if it happened again. The kids told lies. I would never threaten others. They picked on me because I was different.t I look for a safe place to hide. The yelling is getting louder. I hear someone stomping down the hall. I"m not fast enough someone grabs me. I scream. Darkness is all around me.

"I don't like it in here anymore. Please let me out!" I pound on the box walls. My parents wouldn't let me come out of the box. They told me they're taking me to a new school. They didn't like me being seen with them in public. It had to be nighttime with no light or other cars out. It had to be night. "Be quiet back there. We are almost there. Now sit still." U feel tears stream down my face. I hear my mother and father get out of the vehicle. Someone opens the box. "Mommy, where are you taking me?" He shakes the box violently, making me scream. "I said shut up!"

My father roars at me, violently shaking in the box. I curl my body into a small tight ball. I start to cry. "Sweety, this is for you. We don't want to see you get hurt. Don't scream at her, please. She's just a child." My father is carrying me, "You can't keep threatening those children, saying that you will curse them with your voodoo." I never said that to anyone. I would never say that to them. Bright lights shine in my eyes.

"NO!" I sit up with tears in my eyes. I haven't had that dream in years.

I sit up on the couch.

It's dark in the room. My body is sore. I get up, realizing I'm still wearing my dress. I feel my body shake violently. Quickly I head to the kitchen, grabbing some. I chug it down. The cooling touch of the water made me feel better. My head felt clear and refreshed. I need to go to sleep. Before I go back to my room, a noise comes from Keifer's room. It sounded like he was undressing and singing at the same time. I stop and listen, "...You told me once dear that you really loved me and no one else could ever come between, yeah."

That song sounds so familiar to me. It's almost like I've heard this song before. His singing stops, running into my room Keifer calls for me. Quickly moving around my room and trying to quiet. I grab a nightgown and throw it on. Knocks on the door filled the silence. "Coming, give me a second." I go to the door and open it. Keifer is towering over me.

"I heard you get up. Are you ok?" I didn't know how to answer. I didn't want to keep him up and explain to him that I had a nightmare. "I'm alright, just wanted something to drink. How was your night?" I try to fake a smile and not cry, "It was exciting. I met some unique people and had more of those cakes. Brought you some home for tomorrow morning." I can't believe he brought me home some of those cakes. I am going to eat those in the morning. "That's fantastic to hear, and thank you. That means a lot to me."

I motion for Keifer to come in. We sit down on the floor and stare towards the ground. Keifer is first to break the silence, "I wanted to know if you had been expecting to have a child live with you?" I laugh, "Well, that used to be my bedroom. I moved into this room after my mother had passed. I should have gone to Joaquin to ask him if he could help with the bed."

Now I can't he's gone. "Oh. I can wait then, maybe figure a new way to sleep." I shake my head, not feeling comfortable about doing this. He can't sleep like that. Maybe this will be good for me and my healing, "Don't worry. I can find someone to help.

In the meantime, you can stay here. I can sleep in my old room." My heart feels a sting of pain, "I don't want to do that to you. It's hard to lose someone," "No. Insist it has to be painful and uncomfortable for you. Here go ahead and get some rest now." I leave going to my old room.

My room is plain and mostly bare. Here we can decorate our rooms and houses how we want. We have designated travelers who travel and sell our items and even bring used items back with them. Some of the things we have we decorate our rooms with like maps and educational posters.

One of the travelers was my mother. She only left for the items to bring home. She brought me back surprises every time. The community never allowed us to have those things. We hid them in a box. Every night she would share stories and sing me music. We both promised each other not to tell anyone of these items. I hid them in the floorboards. I don't think anyone knew of this.

I reach for a movie poster she got in Chicago. It's deteriorating. I remember seeing a little girl and a white rabbit. She told me how she snuck it and went to the movies to watch the film. She talked about it with excitement in her eyes.

I get in my bed, looking at the ceiling. All I think about is the hole with pictures, shiny jewelry, and a tea set. I fall asleep thinking about our plans for tomorrow. Trying to think of ways to sneak off and see where those flowers went and if the room is there, wondering if I could get answers. My dreams take me back. I'm back in the place that I promised to stay away from, the building that nightmares are invented and made.

Bright lights shine in my eyes, the fresh smell of coffee hits my nose. I open my eyes to see a cup on my nightstand. My mind is groggy, my eyes feel heavy. The sheets on my bed stick to me twisted all around my body. I untangle myself from the bed getting up and taking a sip from the mug. I have to. It's going to be a busy and long day. Should I bring my notepad, take notes, and more?

Grabbing some fresh clothes for my bath, a knock on my door brings me from my thoughts, "Hey Dream, left you some coffee on your nightstand. Also, are we still heading out?" Opening the door and smiling, "Yes, we are still heading out, and thank you for the coffee." I move past him quickly. "I'll be out in a second. Make sure to get dressed. First, we are heading to the Tailors, then the market for that tub." Before I can reach the bathroom, "I went to the tailors. Still need help with the new bed and the tub."

"Wow, was I asleep all day? Well, maybe we can hang out later. I have to do something after this bath. We can meet up at the communal hall." The perfect plan for today, "That sounds like a good plan. I'm heading out. I'll see you later." Keifer leaves. I quickly get my bath made and get in.

My plan needs to be perfect. I dunk my head into the water, the thoughts of my dreams come rushing back to me. The darkness is surrounding me again. I can feel someone's hands holding me like it's their last time. I jumped up, attempting to catch my breath. These dreams are not going to affect my day. They are not going to distract me from what I have planned.

I quickly get out, doing my hair, and running into my room. My outfit needs to change, a pair of my gardening pants and a blouse should be fine. I run around my room, grabbing all the supplies I need.

I grab some pencils, a notebook, and some matches. You can never be too sure of what you might need. Maybe I should pack a first-aid kit, a lantern, and a camera. The only piece of technology that doesn't harm us is the camera. We use these for documenting celebrations and life.

The items I have are enough besides the lantern. It's daytime. I don't think that'd I need it or would even use it. I pack up, heading for the room. Before I head out, my eyes catch on the cakes. I grab two and pack and pack them.

Exiting the house and the sunlight hits me instantly. The humidity instantly absorbs me. I can't let anyone see me. Everyone should be at the communal area cleaning up and doing their morning breathing exercises. It's going to be a long day. I reach our flowers. The field looked fantastic in the sun, empty and quiet.

I stop by my soul and the spacious patch where my mothers used to be. There is no stopping for me. The room is what I need to be focused on right now. I go over to see that Joaquin's floret is still here. I'm guessing that this is the replacement until they can heal his other soul. I would pass them and see that they don't look like his at all. I touch and feel them. They didn't look real to me, but they are. I can't stay here for too long. I continue walking towards the woods.

The big trees give me shade which, feels great on my skin. I remember falling exactly down right here. I can see the branch that cut me. My cut should've been more disgusting than this cut. I'm in eye view where I placed the rock and stick. Closer and closer, the rock and branch are nowhere in sight. I know I put them exactly in this area. That doesn't matter. I remember seeing where the person went, which was straight down a wooded path.

I don't think anyone has ever walked down there besides that person. It doesn't look like people come down here. Grabbing the notepad and pencil, writing down, 'this is the spot, little opening in a wooded area. Small tree, a tree is broken in half, little palm bushes on the side.' I put the book in the bag and continue walking. I don't see anything that seems to be different or significant for me to remember.

No buildings are in my view, where could this place be? Is it even a room, an actual building they take them to? Pulling the camera out and taking screenshots, a crack from far, makes me jump. Screaming comes from around me.

It sends goosebumps all over my body, the hair on the back of my neck stand. The only thing in the area that I can see are trees, grass, and vines. I run and put my camera in my bag. Nobody can know I was out here. I continue running, seeing the different birds flying around me. Thank the spirits no one is at the field.

When I reach the front, my legs give out. The humidity isn't as bad as it was earlier. It was still early, which meant I had time to change and meet Keifer. I get the water and cake, destroying them. The house is in view and, my calves are screaming for the stop moving.

I have to see where the room is and where Joaquin might be. Whoever screamed sounded like they were in pain. It chilled me to the bone, undressing and stepping the cold water. My body went into shock at the touch of it. I can't be in here too long. I have to meet up with Keifer. Why haven't I heard of this place?

After I got out of the bath, the camera and notepad are nowhere in sight. They're supposed to be on my bed. A clicking sound comes from outside the room. Running out, Star and Keifer are playing around, taking pictures of each other. "Hey, Dream, we're taking pictures. How come you have the camera out today?" I stood still, not knowing how I was going to explain anything.

They both stare at me, stuttering out the words, "I...was. I had gone out and took some pictures. Keifer also needed some of the pictures done, especially since he's new here." I fake a smile. They don't need to know what I was doing.

"That's a fantastic idea. Should I grab Stream and my camera? We can all do a photo session at the pond. Make something for the four of us the share." I nod. The pond is by the woods. I can get a better view of the woods and see if there is an actual building. I need to think of an idea that could get me far from them and closer to the woods.

"Maybe after the pictures, we can have a picnic and go for a swim? Keifer and I can pack lunches for everyone." Star smiles, "That's an excellent idea. Make sure to pack enough for all of us. You pack so little every time." I wave her off, "Goodness, make sure to have something nice on and to bring drinks." We say our farewells.

I turn to Keifer, who looks surprised, "So, what do you want to bring with us, maybe some cheese and fruit?" Keifer nods, "That'd be nice. Maybe we can get some bread and meats?" I walk around, grabbing the picnic basket from the shelf, "I can bring those for the two of us?" That's very sweet of him, "Of course, let me wrap them up. On our way to the pond, we can stop by the produce market and grab more things for the picnic."

I look around for the plates and forks, placing them in the basket neatly. "Can you hand me the teacups and cloth from those drawers and cupboard?" We both pack the basket, "I never asked did the tailor get your measurements?" He looks down, "The clothing won't be here for a while. They gave me more Kaftan's to wear in the meantime."

I nod, "That's good. The tub and bed shouldn't be hard to fix. We can't stay out too late. The Stemtress and council will be here to ask questions tonight about your first day." I go into the room, finding a sundress to wear, "What do you think they'll ask about?" I can't remember the questions they asked me, "I don't remember the questions but, maybe they'll ask you about how comfortable you feel. If you feel safe and happy."

Goodness, hopefully, he enjoys being here. "That'll be simple," I find my simple white dress and put that on, "I'll tell them that you beat me on the first day." I laugh, knowing that I would have said the same thing, "Be quiet you. I only do that when I'm angry." We both laugh loudly.

I leave out the room and see that Keifer changed his Kaftan to a dark yellow Kaftan. He looked so handsome. "You look nice." He looks away. But I can see that he is blushing. "Thank you. I didn't think I would look that good in it," I can see his face turning bright red, "Enough about me, you look very radiant in that dress." His smile is radiant, "Thank you, it was a gift for my fifteenth birthday."

I take my hair down and let it puff out. My hair begins to curl up. "How does my hair look? Should I put it up?" He puts his hands and waves them, "It looks good down. I like your hair down. It's beautiful." Keifer takes the picnic basket and holds his arm out for me. I grab his arm and walk towards the market.

Everyone is communicating, eating, and moving around the market. Keifer and I got the items that we wanted and picked up some extra materials. Ha asks about communal eating and why we eat together on certain nights.

I tell him that we eat together only when we have ceremonies and when new arrivals come in. We eat in our own homes every other night. Sometimes if we want, we can eat there as a community. Once we collect our things and leave, Keifer and I set out for the pond. We talk about tomorrow's plans, the pond comes into sight. We see Star and Stream.

"Hey, are we ready to take these pictures?" Star holds up her camera, "Let's set up where we are going to sit first. I want to have a place for us to sit when we're done. Maybe even have the pictures taken here as well." When we set up the picnic area, Stream and I get to know each other. She is the opposite of Star. She's smaller and a lot quieter. I wanted to get the pictures finished and out of the way. I need to figure out a way to swim out and see where I can spot the room.

"Keifer, can you grab that end of the blanket? I need it spread out. So we have a place to sit." I look out at the water and grab my camera. I take pictures of the water, "Take some pictures of us." I turn around and see everything is finished and ready to be eaten. I take pictures of everyone smiling and laughing. My thoughts on the room were pushed back. It was time to have some for right now. I never felt comfortable having my picture taken until now.

We set up Star's camera and got to take pictures together. "Star, let me get some pictures of you and STream together." I have them sit next to each other, getting them to hold on to one another with their heads on each other. I get five snaps of them. Once we get their pictures taken, Keifer takes the camera and passes it to Star. He whispers something to her.

"Dream, I need you to come over. We need to get some pictures of you and Keifer. He towers over me and wraps his arms around me.

She tells us to smile and clicks the camera. We soon begin to pose and make obnoxious faces. "You guys are cute but, we need to get something that looks good." Once we stop laughing, we stand straight and smile nicely. When we finish, we all sit on the blanket, taking in the afternoon breeze.

Star and Keifer set up the plate and food. Stream begins pouring drinks for everyone, "Star and I made tea and brung some homemade grape juice." I look at the beverages, "The tea smells wonderful. What kind of tea is it?" She passes me a cup, "We brewed some black tea with a little bit of chamomile. It is divine." I take a sip, "You want some Keifer?" I turn to find him eating some of the bread and cheese.

His face looks funny. I giggle, pouring some in a cup for him. Passing it to him, Star raises her cup, "I have to say, today is a very blissful day. We have two new people to be a part of our friendship," I look to Keifer and smile, "I am glad to have found someone like Stream. You must be lucky to have someone like Keifer in your life." I was lucky and even happier. Maybe I should focus on this right now. Star finishes her toast by thanking Zennia.

We all eat and tell each other stories about our lives. I lay on the blanket while the others swim. I feel a splatter of water hit my forehead. I look up, faced with freckles and two different colored eyes. "Aren't you coming in?" I held my hand out so he could lift me, "I will if you help me up." He laughs, lifting me. I walk towards the water, filling the warmth consume my dress and body the water takes me in.

I feel at peace. I look around to see Star and Stream are in their own world together. I lay in the water and float, "This is relaxing. I could stay in the water all day long." I feel Keifer's hands touch my arm. I look over and see he's on his back with his eyes closed.

"I could too." The sunbeams down on my skin, Star and Stream are laughing. They will be together for a long time. I know it. Keifer and I have something between us that will be strong and something that I hope to keep. Maybe Joaquin will come back soon. Maybe there wasn't anything wrong with what they are doing with him and that he needs to be helped and cured. Hopefully, they'll put his flowers back everything will go back to normal.

At least that's what I hope will happen.


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