The Flower Room

RDP Friday: ROSE

At my last job, we had a ‘flower room’.

That’s the room where we kept flowers before we set them out for the Funerals.

I buried the lead, sorry.

I worked in a funeral home and we had room where we kept the flowers.

Because the room was windowless and fed non stop by a state of the art air conditioning unit, it was cool. It was also the room you went through to get to the embalming room.

The door  to the flower room was never open for very long.

I’m sure you understand why.

Artist: Henri Fantin-Latour

So this is what happened after being around the heavy scent of flowers.

Every time I am around flowers- like if I’m in a garden center , or in the flower section at the grocery store or someone is wearing perfume and the high notes are floral, I have about 5 seconds to enjoy the smell before it’s chased away by the  memory of the scent of a freshly embalmed body.

The memory passes as quickly as it happens, but after all of these years it still does happen,

But it’s also a reminder- roses and lilies and other flowers most certainly do  represent love and life and beauty and who does not want a bunch of those bad boys showing up on your doorstep on Valentines Day with a little gift on the side?

Sadly, in my case,  the scent of roses is tinged with a sad reminder about life and how frail it really is.

I still love flowers- I just wish their scent stayed with me a little longer before I am reminded that it is all very, tragically, temporary.

Knee High By The Fourth of July

RDP Thursday – Farm

“That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
‘Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?”
T.S. Eliot

When you write tales of the macabre, when your interests involve forensics, when you are fascinated by the terrible things people do to each other because it’s not the act but the justification that actually captures your imagination then in your research and travels and the strange places to learn about these things,  you end up meeting some unique people and you are bound to learn about places like The Body Farm.

The Body farm is a place where corpses are planted and set out in various stages of being and they are left there to let nature takes it’s course and while nature and the corpse are working together to return the body to the Earth people who study forensic science study them.

It doesn’t smell great, bugs are involved and what was once inside of us finds a way to briefly, to have  their  moment in the Sun.

Odd imagery aside- Body Farms are important places of learning and study; they’re not amusement parks.

Body Farms, like morgues and embalming rooms are sad places and they are lonely places but in the end, one corpse is willing to go through this experience to help the living understand what has happened to another corpse under much more tragic circumstances.

Noble as that is, it doesn’t make their situation any less sad or any less lonely and unlike their brothers and sisters, sleeping in cemeteries under neatly trimmed lawns and their resting places marked by tombstones and flowers- for a brief time the corpses at the Body Farms have some unglamorous  work to do.

 After their work is done, they are taken away to meet their  new neighbors in  their quiet gated community with the flowers and the green grass and shady trees  where they are free to  join them  in their  interrupted slumber.

But in the end, I think we can agree, it is a very well deserved rest.

 

 

 

Ghost of Me

RDP Wednesday – SIBLING

The only sibling dynamic I have ever found interesting is the one that involves human Chimerism.

Human Chimerism occurs when a woman is carrying fraternal twins and one of the embryos dies very early in the pregnancy and the surviving twin absorbs it.

Cain and Abel? Ha- Cain has nothing on an embryo that absorbs it’s sibling and then carries it’s twin’s DNA around like a hunting trophy or something.

While that thought rolls around in your brain, here’s an interesting factoid about Chimerism.

I read that in utero twin loss runs up to 30% so it’s thought that there are actually more then a few human Chimeras out there.

In essence, these Chimeras are carrying around the ghost of their twin, which I suppose makes them a human haunted house.

Yes.

I went there.

So. Like.

Happy it’s almost Halloween.

Raison d’être

From The Bancroft Project: Creating Character Dossiers-Establishing Blocks of Time. To add to our dossiers we worked with the concept of blocks of time and pathways chosen, blocked, travelled, and bypassed. We also considered others whose paths crossed ours or the path of our characters-

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” I have all the time in the world.” the Ghost said to herself as she stood, or more specifically,  as she floated a little above her empty Grave.

Even though she knew she was alone there in her spot above her empty Grave where nobody had left her flowers for so many years she had lost count, she waited for a reply.

Of course there wasn’t one.

There never was.

” I have all the time in the world to decide what kind of ghost I could be. ” the Ghost said firmly and the place where her eyes would be seemed to glow a bit and the place where her jaw would had it not been covered by a  shroud of light blue haze, looked a little firmer.

The Ghost thought about her options for a moment. ” I could be a vicious ghost and throw things around and push people down stairs and scare cats and dogs-well. Not scare exactly but I can  make them puff up and growl.

Or I could be a nice ghost and when I show up people would smell things like freshly baked cookies or flowers. Actually. I wasn’t exactly a nice person so that probably isn’t going to happen at all.”

The Ghost looked down into her empty Grave and then her misty face swirled like fog rolling from the sea up to the beach and when the mist settled down she was smiling.

” I know, I could be one of those ghosts that shows up when bad things are going to happen. I could make myself look like a cat or a big black dog or a black as coal rabbit with fiery red eyes. Now that sounds like the ticket, doesn’t it? The possibilities for what I could do there are only limited by my imagination- which as we both know was pretty wild monster back in my day. I mean, that’s how we ended up together after all.”

Her empty Grave, as dark and inscrutable as ever offered no opinion.

It never did.

She sighed and her misty face broke apart.

 

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” I have all the time in the world.” the Ghost said to herself above her empty Grave when nobody was listening because nobody was ever there.

Even though the Ghost knew she was alone there in her spot above her empty Grave where nobody had left her flowers for so many years she had lost count, she waited for a reply.

This time she got one, in fact, this time she got several.

She swirled in confusion, a light blue mist hanging above her empty Grave because something behind her roared and to her left,   dead rose bushes  snapped and fell to the ground which was a riot of sticker bushes and weeds and chunks or marble and concrete.

The roar was gone and after a few bangs and thumps she heard someone say not very clearly, ” yes I’m sure it doesn’t matter if we dig around here. We might find a few bones or maybe some wood but who cares?”

The Ghost followed the voices  with her almost non-existent eyes and saw that the voices  belonged to two men with shovels.

They chose a spot and begin to dig into her empty Grave and after several hours they seemed satisfied with their work. They went away and came back many  times with black bags- several in fact and after looking at each other for a minute one said to the other. ” Lunch at The Oak Tree  on Main Street after?’

The other man said, “Sounds good. Their burgers really  hit the spot”

Unceremoniously they began to drop the black, lumpy and in some cases leaking black bags into her empty Grave.

Then they filled it.

They were not acting like they had all of the time in the world.

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” So  now you have a purpose, . ”  the Ghost said to her dark and inscrutable Grave. How tragic is that? My empty Grave has a raison d’être and I don’t. ”

Had she had  lungs she would have taken a deep breath  before she screeched- so she just skipped to the screeching part, ” My entire situation is ridiculous and intolerable!”

This time she felt like her dark and inscrutable formally empty Grave was listening to her.

The ghost simmered and then she snapped together atom by atom, nightmare by nightmare and when she was done her eyes were fiery red and she was covered with dark silky fur.

Then she hopped over her once Empty and inscrutable Grave and she went to start her own  reason for being and her little black nose quivered with excitement.