72 lines (412 words)
Inspired by a prompt given by ysabetwordsmith for the March 2016 Thank Muse It's Friday session.
Priya and Ynez were painting murals of flowers
on the outside of their rental house.
They had permission from the landlord.
And they weren't the only ones in the city
who were painting flowers instead planting them.
To protect the citizens of Easy City
from the Berettaflies,
most of the city's daytime insect attractors
had to be removed.
It was practical and necessary
but that didn't make the sudden empty pots
and disturbed soil where cheerful flowers once lived
any less depressing.
The moonlight gardens helped.
It was nice to see something alive
in those barren spots
but it wasn't enough.
Moonlight gardens were most interesting
in the evening or during the night.
Not always hours that people could or did enjoy.
It was a problem.
Garden had never exactly been Priya's thing.
She thought plants were beautiful and
she admired well-made gardens.
But her immune system hated pollen
with the fury of a thousand sneezes.
And it seemed the sweeter smelling the flower,
the worse her eyes itched and her nose ran.
Many night-blossom plants smelled very sweet,
almost cloyingly sweet.
And sure enough, as dusk fall over Easy City
and the night air filled with flowery perfume,
she was transformed into sneezing, coughing, eye-watering
ball of misery until the medicine kicked in.
There was no way she was putting
that stuff in front of her place.
And Priya knew that she wasn't
the only allergy-sufferer
making that executive decision.
Her landlord was one of them.
People debated over what to do
about the depressing lack of daytime color
until someone suggested murals.
Businesses and private homes were
now applying paintbrush to ceramic,
brick, stone, and glass.
Some of them were better at it than others
but even the most amateur of these efforts
was damn sight better than nothing.
Priya and Ynez were given carte blanch
by the landlord to paint whatever
flower murals they wanted.
Ynez had hauled out a
book on flower symbolism
to help them pick.
White heather for protection.
Forget-me-nots for remembrance.
Cowslip for healing.
Eramurus for endurance.
And Euphorbia for persistence.
They also painted flowers to represent themselves.
Hibiscus for Priya.
Irises for Tsubasa.
Magnolias for Ynez.
They added a rhododendron wreathed in red roses
for Ashley and Haruko.
They weren't sure what to use for the other two,
Facet and Adalina, that Tsubasa had mentioned.
So they left space open for later.
They were covered in paint
but both agreed that
their garden was lovely.
The symbolism comes from floriography or the language of flowers.
Hibiscus are symbolic of consumed by love and delicate beauty.
Irises are symbolic of faith, wisdom, promise in love, hope, and valor.
Magnolias are symbolic of nobility and perseverance.
Rhododendron means danger, beware, I am Dangerous. Appropriate for Ashley, isn't it?
Red Roses can mean love, I love you, respect, and beauty. They were thinking of the respect meaning for Haruko as well as his adoptive grandfather's hybrid roses.