Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
Time for a Little Dose of Retribution ...
Immediately, Jacquelyn thrusts the photograph of her uncle along with this mysterious flower. Valeri stares at it with mouth opened.
“I don’t know what to say about this. Oh poor Rose Marie!” Valeri bemoans looking from her daughter to her husband and feeling embarrassed. “Harry, I—” Before she can finish, Harry interrupts.
“You should have known better than jumping to wild conclusions, Val. It’s true that I am very fond of that little petal but it’s you that I married not Rose Marie. She belongs to my brother Chrys and you should have more trust in me!” Harry reprimands sternly.
“Yes Harry you are right to be upset but listen—” Harry rips into Valeri again.
“No Val, you need to listen. You have been unkind and almost vicious to Fern ever since she came to Cloverville. Before that, you led a group of flora conspirators that kept Stephanie out of the Elegant Rosebud Auxiliary Club. The Gardner only knows what other mischief you’ve been up to.” Harry is beginning to raise his voice.
“Dad—Keep it down.” Jacquelyn cautions.
“Sorry Jacquelyn but this needs to be out in the open! I have put up with your mother’s attitude because I just didn’t want to believe that she was that vindictive. But when she accuses me of having an affair with your dear sweet Aunt Rose Marie, that did it!” Normally a good-natured flower, Harry lets loose a verbal volcano of enormous proportions.
Jacquelyn looks at her father in utter amazement and deepest respect. She thinks that it is time Harry takes a firm leafy hand with regards to her mother’s behavior and end her reign of terror. Petals fall from Valeri in all directions as Harry finishes his oration. He then stops to catch his breath.
“What are you going to do, Harry?” A much subdue Valeri questions.
“I am considering my options, Valeri. First, I am going to find out what is going on with that brother of mine. This is not like him at all.” Harry shakes his head. Then looking at his daughter.
“You stay here with your mother until she is discharged. Next, I am going to talk to the Plant Doctor about your mother being temporarily placed in the Sanitarium until such time as she is able to come to grips with her incessive behavior. I’m sure this is what’s causing the constant loss of petals. However Valeri, you will remain there until you’re well. You’ll not talk me into partitioning for an early release.” Harry places a leafy hands firmly on his hips, gives Valeri a gentle kiss on one of her petals and leaves.
It is minutes before Valeri is finally able to speak again.
“Jacquelyn, why didn’t you try to defend me?” Valeri whines.
“Because father is right, mother.” Jacquelyn answers.
“Mother, I’ve been trying to tell you for the longest time. Madame Lily has too. Everyone is fond of you. That’s the only reason why you’re allowed to remain as president of the Elegant Rosebud Auxiliary Club. In spite of your manic phobias, you’re really a very creative blossom!” Jacquelyn informs her mother in a straightforward manner.
“I’ve had such a hard life—” This time Jacquelyn interrupts.
“Mother, please! Okay, the Countess didn’t pick you for the coveted position. She wanted a different type of plant. That is her choice, after all. But you met my father, fell instantly in love and had me and my two brothers. Dad has given you everything you could ever desire but you still hang on to that same lame—” Lily along with several other flowers and plants enter the room.
“Well say, Jacquelyn! I met Harry on his way out and he explained everything to me. He didn’t tell me that the two of you were tag teammates.” Lily lets out a robust laugh and is joined by everyone except Valeri.
“I’m glad you all can find the humor in this.” Valeri is sulking.
“You had better, otherwise you just might lose Harry. He’s generally a jolly flower, but this thing with my husband has him rattled. Then, to be accused of infidelity with me—that tore it!” Rose Marie adds.“
Rose Marie, I’m so sorry but you see Harry is so very much taken by you …”
“And with good reason. Rose Marie is a lovely floral. She tries to see the best in everyone and is willing to turn the other petal. You on the other hand, look for ways to dislike anyone who is different—especially if they happen to be a nonflowering plant.” Violet reasons.
“So, you all feel this way?” Valeri queries in amazement. Even her comrades have to bow their heads in agreement. Fern and Stephanie approach the beautiful ceramic pot. Fern speaks first.
“I saw so many wonderful characteristics in you, Valeri. However, your instant dislike for me drew a wedge between us.” Stephanie speaks next.
“When you let your guard down, you are almost enjoyable to be with.”
“Almost enjoyable?” Valeri gives Stephanie a haughty look, then breaks out into a big smile.
“Yes, almost!” Stephanie repeats before giving Valeri a hug. Soon all the floral arrangements are surrounding the shaking flower, patting her and smiling. The Plant Doctor enters the room.
“Alright you lot, time to leave my patient alone. Jacquelyn, you are welcomed to stay but the rest of you have to go. I’ve got to contact the Cloverville Sanitarium. We’ve got to get you well, my dear.”
Reluctantly, everyone leaves promising to visit Valeri in the Sanitarium when permitted to.
“Keep me informed of your progress with our sister auxiliary club, Fern!” Valeri calls out.
“I sure will, Valeri. Take care.”
Harry along with his two sons Jacob and Melvin board a plane heading for Lebanon in the Middle East. Harry had retrieved the photograph from his daughter and Jacob is intently examining it.
“That’s a very interesting looking flower.” Jacob acknowledges.
“She really doesn’t look like the type that your Uncle Chrys would want. It’s not at all—” Harry defends.
“Never mind that. It’s obvious that Uncle Chrys has something going on. I’ll beat it’s espionage—” Melvin asserts.
“Well, it’s a long ride. Let’s get some rest. Whatever is going on, we’ll find out.” Harry settles back in his pot and quietly contemplates the new adventure he and his sons are about to embark upon.
To Be Continued …
Meet the Blossoms 7
- Meet the Blossoms 7
It looks like all Hell has broke loose in Beirut as a sudden herbicidal bomb crashes through a plate-glass window into the hotel room of Harry and his sons Jacob and Melvin. Meanwhile, Valeri is being released from the Cloverville Sanitarium!
© 2020 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS