Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
Embracing the Unknown …
It is early the next morning when Harry and his two sons board a plane for the Middle East. While Jacob, the optimist son is extremely excited regarding the trek, Melvin, the more cautious and complaining son is not.
“Dad—is this really necessary? Primarily, this affair is between Uncle Chrys and—” He is interrupted by Jacob.
“Very poor choice of words, Mel. And, it is our business. Aunt Rose Marie is a very sweet and sensitive flower. We need to do everything we can to see what in heaven’s name is going on.”
“Yes, Melvin. I asked you to come along because of your level headedness during a crisis but maybe I was wrong.” Harry looks questionably at his elder son.
“Sorry dad, I just wasn’t thinking. Amy is excited about me going to Beirut. Do you know she even wanted to come along?” Melvin replies incredulously.
“Not Eva! I tried to explain it to her and all she did was lament and complain.” Jacob shakes his head.
“Now that’s one thing I could never understand. You Jacob are like me, fun loving and cheerful. Yet you marry an introverted flower like Eva. And you Melvin, so much like your mother—marries a bubbly blossom like Amy!” Harry laughs.
“I guess it’s true that sons follow in the footsteps of their fathers for no one is as opposite as you and mom.” Jacob jokingly reminds Harry.
“Oh, but I had an eye on Rose Marie.” Harry confesses.
“What happened?” Both Melvin and Jacob chime in unison.
“Well, two things. Your Uncle Chrys is more flamboyant. Being a born diplomat he is able to charm the leaves off the trees.” Harry offers.
“And mom?” Melvin encourages.
“I met her through Lily. Lily gave me the background of Valeri and how disappointed she was because of that Countess affair. Such a pretty little thing with a full yellow bloom. Then—”
“Yeah dad we know, mom started to shed petals.” Melvin states sadly.
“Do you think the Plant Doctor will be able to help her?” Jacob inquires.
“A lot of it is up to her. She needs to finally get over not being chosen by the Countess. It wasn’t a rejection but a preference.” Harry concludes, then sitting comfortably in his pot he closes his eyes. His sons, taking a cue from their father, do likewise.
Time Passes …
Valeri has recovered nicely from her shock and is being released from the Cloverville Sanitarium to go home.
“The Chrysanthemum Journal has a wonderful article regarding the Congratulatory Ball.” Violet retorts, handing Valeri a copy of the magazine.
“And, there is no comment regarding your mishap and what followed.” Hyacinth adds much to Valeri’s relief.
“What about our newest President, Fern?” Valeri remarks, taking another look around her room to insure she hasn’t left anything.
“Fern sends her love and looks forward to your complete recovery and hopes you will be assisting her with Delicate Rosebuds?”
“They are coming along extremely well. Your daughter, Jacquelyn is Vice President and Stephanie is their Secretary/Treasurer.” Violet informs her. “They’re planning a special reception in your honor. That’s why Jacquelyn is not here today.”
“Oh this is all so unexpected!” Valeri gushes with fake surprise. She knew that this was in the making when Stephanie said something about renting the Conrad Hibiscus Floral Gardens during one of their visits and got a stern look from both Jacquelyn and Fern.
“Has anyone heard anything from my husband. He hasn’t called or dropped a comment since he left with Melvin and Jacob.” Valeri is very concerned and a couple of petals fall.
“Don’t you dare!” Lily commands observing the fall. “I will not have my President relapsing on the day of her release. Harry and the boys are fine.”
“Do you really think so?” Eva is with them and can’t hide her dismay.
“But of course!” Lily lies for she is just as concerned as the others.
Trouble in Beirut …
Harry and his sons have been there for three weeks. Chrys explains that the picture is only a slander tactic. Its purpose being to discredit Chrys and thus shatter the thin relationships between him and the Floral Minister of Lebanon. Factions are arising and there is the possibility of total disruption in the talks.
“I am having quite a time of it Harry; I don’t mind telling you this.” Chrys confides in his brother.
“Yes, we’ve been observing the unrest ever since we set root in this place. It’s hotter than Whiteman’s Floral Shoppe.” Harry chuckles.
“And just as difficult to get anything done.” Chrys joins in the merriment.
“What will you do if there is a breakdown in communications?” Melvin asks.
“I won’t have any choice but to request a transfer. Petals will fly and I don’t want any to be mine or my family’s.” Chrys is ferment in his convictions.
“Who or what is behind all this?” Jacob enquires.
“A troublemaking plant of Ficus carica family. He’s a flowering Asian genera of the mulberry species—aka a common fig!” Chrys retorts in disgust.
“A common fig?” Harry echoes his brother’s sentiments in the form of a question.
“That’s what I said—I couldn’t believe that the Flora Minister would allow a fig to bring the talks to a stalemate. However, he weighs in a lot of influence around here and—” Before Chrys can finish his rhetoric an alarming cactus enters the hotel room.
“You’ve better get out of here, Chrys. Talks have totally collapsed and there is a threat of insurrection.” The cactus cries, grabbing some papers from the room and rushing out.
“What should we do?” Melvin asks while seizing his luggage.
“Just what you are doing my boy, getting the Hell out of here!” Screams Chrys as he along with the other flora scramble to secure their belongings.
A window is shattered and herbicides are discharged into the room.
“Forget our belongings, let’s just get out of here!” Harry bellows as each grab a small bag and hurry out of the room. The clerk has already disappeared and there is a stampede of various plants out into the streets of the city.
“There’s our rented car—let’s head for the airport.” Melvin yells as everyone heads toward the car. There is a lot of pushing and shoving but the group makes it safely to the waiting vehicle.
“What do you think will happen next?” Jacob questions as he begins to shake dust and grime from his foliage.
“I don’t know but I’m sure not waiting around here to find out.” Chrys advises as they make their way down the highway.
To Be Continued
© 2020 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS
Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on March 16, 2020:
There is definitely a conspiracy!