I, Who Could Have Slept Among The Live Flowers

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  1. So you have swept me back,
    I who could have walked with the live souls
    above the earth,
    I who could have slept among the live flowers
    at last;

    so for your arrogance
    and your ruthlessness
    I am swept back
    where dead lichens drip
    dead cinders upon moss of ash;

    so for your arrogance
    I am broken at last,
    I who had lived unconscious,
    who was almost forgot;

    if you had let me wait
    I had grown from listlessness
    into peace,
    if you had let me rest with the dead,
    I had forgot you
    and the past.
    The sun was covered in a dense layer of clouds and even the clouds looked like they weren't having a good time. It had been raining for weeks, and physically, it made her feel like she was wilting. Gennette, a 17 year old teenager, was sitting inside next to the windowsill. She lived in a small house near the edge of town, right near the train tracks and right near the woods. She loved that little house, and her family knew it.

    Gennette sat up, stretched, and checked her wall clock. It was time for her schooling. She was
    home schooled, for a problem that was all too apparent. She didn't have friends, and she didn't have a boyfriend. She just had herself and her flowers. Gen walked down the steps, being mindful of the vines growing on the walls. She tried not to show emotion-- they responded that way. It was hard, not being able to control it. She hid herself like a champion, and did so every day.

    Today, she was wearing a thick cowl around her neck, covering the small buds that hid under her skin. A hat under her short-cut hair, a heavy cardigan under a long, flower like dress-top and a pair of black tight-pants under that. Anything to hide the effects of herself. She walked into the kitchen, and placed some hot water in the kettle, placing it on the stove.

    She collected some herbal tea, and walked into the living room where her mother was at. She was on the couch, sitting with her father. They were holding hands, looking from eachother to her and back again. That wasn't a good sign. Gennette looked from her tea, and to them. She sighed, and sat down, placing her tea on the coffee table.

    "Mom, dad!" She started, like the teenager she was. "Please PLEASE tell me you didn't." She started, looking at them both. They were silent. "You didn't, did you?" No words. They both looked down. "You did. Of course you did, " She rubbed her eyes. "I'm fine, I'm fine. I don't need to see another doctor!"

    " I know dear, I know... " Her mother started. " We're just... worried, is all. "
    " I can handle it, mother, " Gennette sighed. " It's fine, I'm fine-- "
    " Honey, " Her father chimed in. " We called someone who might be able to help you. She's a paranormal investigator. She might know if there are others like this-- with this!! You're probably not alone. "
    " Dad, PLEASE tell me you didn't-- "
    " She'll be here soon, too. It's a good thing you're dressed! "
    " DAD, you DIDN'T-- "
    " Oh, Gennette, " Her mother started. " She's very nice. You'll like her! "
    " Mom, please tell me that you-- "
    She was about to continue her one-sided protest, but the doorbell rang, and she could feel her seeds of anxiety sprout dangerously.
  2. It had been raining for days as Neera grew closer and closer to her destination, and she hadn't even so much as the company as a coworker to remark on it with. No partners this time, to encouragement. After all, it wasn't exactly some angry spirit, or Big Foot- it was a teenage girl, which no longer was the scariest monster to deal with. Even if this one grew flowers from her body and had an unusually intimate relationship with the vines on the wall about her. Or so the parents had said.

    They'd contacted her a week prior, distressed at the futility that going to conventional doctors had offered. They explained that everything had been perfectly normal- and then it wasn't. They pulled their daughter, a Genette D'Flour (Neera hadn't missed the irony in the homophones of flour and flower), right out of school, and tried what they could, they'd told her. Neera said she would look into it, told her boss, and was sent off to report on it, alone.

    Before she had left, Neera took four days to look through all of the reports that had been filed before about plants. Given that her workings in paranormal activity wasn't exactly a common field (although it had certainly been growing in recent years) and that plants were rarely actively invasive or used as a weapon, there hadn't been much. A lot of the time had been used to simply sort the plant reports out, and then search online for anything she could find. The next three days, up until the prior night, were spent travelling.

    Some expert she was- a wannabe who happened to pick up the phone, who could barely find anything of substance, a voice told her that morning at breakfast. 'Shut up,' she told it defiantly, and drank some coffee. Her nerves had been acting up, and it was clearly starting to affect her mood. 'Perk up, Zito, this is no time to be in a fowl mood. There are fears to alleviate and plant girls to investigate. Are you going to moan about your few years of experience- which is still a ew years!- or are you going to find out what the cause of this is?'

    Between the pep talk and the oatmeal, Neera Zito managed to slap a smile on her face as she payed for her meal. The breakfast that the hotel had offered didn't look as nice as the cafe down the street, and the coffee was undoubtedly better, as well. The Greenhouse, the place was called- for its economic friendliness- would be seeing more of Neera's patronage, depending how long this all took.

    But enough was enough. It was time to talk to her clients. Utilizing the GPS in the company car (a small thing that wasn't meant for continuous travel or storage, but often was used for it) and the address that the girl's parents had given her, Neera drove through the residential streets, found the D'Flour house, and parked on the curb. A moment later, she was on the front step, ringing the doorbell.

    A moment or two later, the door was opened. "Hello," the Italian woman sad, and smiled at the family- or at least as much of it that she could see at that moment. "I'm Neera, Neera Zito? The paranormal investigator with Abnormal Accordances." She paused, and thought again. "Or- I'm sorry, that is, this is the D'Flour household, correct?"
  3. A man answered the door for her, and listened to what she had to say. He smiled, and nodded. " Yes, yes. We're the D'Flours. Please, come in, come in. We were just expecting you! " He said, watching the women walk from the door and into the living room. He closed the door behind her, and sat next to his loving wife on the couch

    Gennette was still in her chair, watching her. She stood up, and looked to her mother. Then her father. Then back at the investigator. Gennette tried smiling-- she tried greeting her like someone would greet a long lost friend, but she couldn't find it in her. She walked to her parents and tried whispering to them, like she wasn't aware that the woman called Neera could hear.

    " I don't need someone else to help, " She whispered to one of her family members
    " We're worried about you, honey. It's for the best to figure out what's wrong with you! " Her mother said, not afraid to speak outloud.
    " Nothing is wrong with me! " She said, louder. " I'm completely normal! Tell her to leave. "
    " Not until she gets her job done. " Her father chimed in, " We told you this before-- "
    " I know you told me that I need help. They told me that I need help. Everyone tells me that I need help! " The small seedlings buried in herself peeked out of corners that they could find. Openings in her scarf, through the sleeve of her cardigan, out from under her shirt, and on her forehead and through her hair. It was like a bad case of ache, but she didn't seem to notice it.
    " Gennette, calm down, she just wants to-- "
    " I don't CARE about what she wants! Maybe I just want to be-- "

    She stopped when she looked down at her hands. Oh no, not again. Gennette covered her face, feeling the flowers grow from her forehead and her neck. She muttered "Oh. no no no, " and paced back and forth wildly, not entirely sure if she should stay with her parents or run back upstairs. It was that irrational thinking that caused it to happen even more so. They grew quickly, opening before everyone in the room, and especially the stranger. She turned red, almost as red as her Pansies. She ran upstairs, touching the vine that crept from all over. That grew, too. It was almost like she had an affect on the surrounding plants.

    The mother tried running after her, but a door slammed in her face. She sighed, and came back down. " I'm sorry, " She said, sitting down next to her husband. " She really isn't like that, usually. Would you like some tea? "
  4. The daughter- or really, Neera's true client- was clearly distressed by her presence. Not that the investigator could blame her; being a constant science observation must be difficult, particularly at seventeen. She did do her best to offer a sincere smile when the plan girl looked her way- but clearly, it didn't do anything to calm the girl down.

    Politely, Neera was silent during Genette's exchange with her parents. Impolitely, she listened in and looked around the house, and gathered what she could about the family. The house was lively with plants (especially one particularly long vine that Neera cold discern no ends of), and decorated nicely enough, indicating general domestic happiness. However, Neera wasn't one to psychologically analyze people, so it was really a stab in the dark; it could have just as well meant domestic fights. Given how the D'Flour adults interacted, though, she doubted that.

    The parents at least cared about their daughter- more than could be said for many, Neera noted, silently. She'd run into households that had thrown a parent out for having some paranormal abnormality. One bizarre case threw a young adult out when he didn't develop in the same, strange way his family had. He'd promptly called them in. Some people were just heartless. That being said, the daughter clearly didn't want any more investigations into her own abnormality.

    And then- suddenly- everything was actively alive and growing. There were flowers opening and staring Neera in the face. She did her best to mask her surprise, but it didn't really matter. A minute later, Genette had run off upstairs. Cautiously, Neera bent closer to one, and reached out to touch it, but stopped before she made contact. 'Better ask, first,' she determined. 'Who knows just how intimate the connection is? What if she feels it?' Deciding that she would simply get her chance later, Neera straightened back up.

    When Mrs. D'Flour returned, Neera offered a sympathetic smile. "No, it is fine, it must be overwhelming for her, and you as well, I'm sure," she said. "I can return at a later time, if that would be easier... Though, if you wouldn't mind, a cup of tea would be lovely, and if I could, I'd appreciate asking you two some more details over it. If that's alright with you, that is," Neera amended. It was easy to get carried away, and impose when it was inappropriate.
  5. Mrs. D'Flour made a cup of tea for the welcomed guest. She noticed that her daughter forgot her cup, and she sighed. " I'm just worried, is all. " She started. " She'll never be able to finish school the way she is now-- even if she can, she won't be able to do anything out of the house. She wants to work out of the home a lot, but I just... worry that we cant protect her. " The women placed a hand on her husband's knee, and he touched hers gently.

    " If there is some way you can help our daughter, please, we'll do anything. " Mr. D'Flour said. He checked his clock, and sighed. " I have to leave for work, but I'll be back at five. " He kissed his wife, and placed a hand on the other women's shoulder. His lips were a thing line, and he just patted her. He had nothing more to add. He walked out, and into the car, and drove off. Mrs. D'Flour looked down at her tea and drank silently.

    Up in Gennette's room, she was dealing with her own problems. He was sitting infront of the mirror, watching as the flowers grew out of control. Oh, she hated when that happened. It made her stressed. And stress only made things worse. Gen opened a drawer from her dresser, and pulled out a pair of gardening scissors. She bit her tongue, and held her breath as she began to snip at the flowers, cutting them all down one by one.

    This happened almost daily, and it began to hurt after a while. She grew accustomed to the pain, but it wasn't anything she couldn't handle. It was like if someone was plucking her eyebrow, or pinching her as hard as a third grader could. But soon, after she got through the pain, she put all the flowers she cut off into a pile. She counted them, and got 46. Gennette sighed, and grabbed a pen. She always wrote the number of flowers on her calender, it was just a habit. It was a month's record.

    She wrote 46 on the day's date, and sat on her bed. She flopped down, looking up at the ceiling that was covered in vine. Gennette groaned, and covered her face with her hands. She breathed in and out to calm herself down, because she really didn't want to grow some more Pansies. After about ten minuets of the breathing, she felt that she was ready to face the new 'helper'. She slowly walked down the steps, avoiding the vines and plants growing from there.
  6. "Of course," Neera said. "I'll do everything I can. I can't promise that it will the most quick process, as I would fully like to understand the nature of your daughter's... Growth patterns before doing anything, but I will do all I can," Neera repeated. She sipped the tea- herbal, it seemed, and not bad, at that- and held her cup, not exactly eager to take a seat. If Genette was to come back down and see her, at the very least Neera would like to not be accidently encroaching on the girl's territory. Teenagers worked like that, didn't they? It was difficult to tell, even only four years later.

    Though Neera was about to say more to Mrs. D'Flour, she heard some slow steps from the stairs and instead looked that way. Genette was approaching again. Assuming that it was best to treat her delicately, Neera smiled and greeted her simply. "Hello, Genette." She would have apologized for her sudden intrusion, but best to talk this one step at a time. Greet, apologize, carry on. Gather information and report it back to the boss.

    The flower buds were gone, Neera noted as the teenager crept down the stairs. She wasn't sure how but, given that a petal or two had clung to the girl, the process likely wasn't as natural as growing the flowers had been. Neera had never gardened, but a brother of her had, and she remembered how sharp many of the tools looked. Not exactly relishing the thought of the girl chopping the flowers from her body- or ripping them, or weed whacking them, whatever the process was- she took another sip from her tea to cover the grimace.

    'How are you going to help this girl? No one's ever encountered anything like it. What are you going to do?' the nasty voice from that morning hissed. 'I'm going to find out how this happened, even if I have to question the dead. I'm going to give this sweet woman the peace of mind she deserves, and give this teenager a chance at normalcy,' she thought back at herself defiantly. A pleasant smile stayed on her face as she watched the two D'Flour ladies.

    Still, the question gnawed at her. It was a rather consuming topic, especially when one was looking directly at it. A girl that was... Well, what, exactly? Made of flowers? Or just grew them like skin cells? Or perhaps it was something entirely different. There were questions to ask, answers to get, and solutions to find; all of which should have probably happened some time ago.
  7. Gennette sat in the chair across from her, clutching her luke-warm tea like it was going to save her life. She looked down, avoiding conversation. She didn't want to talk at all. She wanted to leave, maybe, but it had been raining for days. She took a sip of her tea and sighed. Her mother had been watching her, and just then Gennette caught her gaze.

    " What? " She asked in a whisper.
    " Say hello to our guest! Don't be rude, Gen, dear, " Her mother chuckled, but she didn't think it was all too funny.

    Gennette looked to the investigator, but looked down again. " Hello, Miss. Zito. " She said into her tea. She really wasn't in the mood to have someone question her all day. Mrs. D'Flour began talking about when her 'problems' began and what have happened because of it. She began talking about Gennette's personal life-- or, lack thereof one. " She hasn't had a friend over in over eight years. " She said, whilst Gennette just played around with the bag of tea. " It isn't healthy for her to be cooped up for this long. " She continued.

    Gennette just sat there like a good little daughter, taking it all in. She pretended like she hadn't heard it all before. She pretended that this was the first time her mom was spilling out her problems. Gen soon left briskly, just to place her empty cup of tea in the kitchen. She put another kettle of hot water on there, to make some more, simply just to get her out of the line of conversation.
  8. "Please, just Neera," the investigator remarked quietly, and then focused her attention in on Mrs. D'Flour. Neera sipped her tea while the woman explained everything to her, and only glanced when Genette left the room again. A lot of what Mrs. D'Flour held with what her husband had said on the phone the week prior; by no stretch of the imagination could Neera determine that this wasn't the first time that they'd told the story. (Being told that she was far from the first person consulted about their daughter also helped with that hypothesis.)

    When Genette's mother had finished talking, Neera gingerly put her empty cup down on the table. "Eight years? Is that when this started happening? Forgive me, how old is your daughter again?" Neera thought she recalled something about this happening when their daughter hit puberty. Which could point to something genetic... If anything remotely similar had happened in either line prior to Genette. It was a long shot, but it was better than some exposure to an obscure chemical during pregnancy that altered the child this much.

    At any rate, there had to be something that was causing this to happen. It wasn't exactly like the neighborhood witch would have cursed the child to be half flora (Neera had yet to find so much as a report of a witch, no matter how bizarre her paranormal findings got) or some angry, forgotten god bestowed their power upon a random suburban girl (again, Neera had yet to find evidence of gods, forgotten or otherwise).
  9. " Seventeen, " She said, sipping at her tea. " It started right when I was sure she was about to get her period-- " Gennette cut off her mother right before she was going to whip out the baby pictures. " Mom! " She started, glowing a faint hint of red. Mrs. D'Flour chuckled lightly, watching her daughter from the kitchen. She made another cup of tea, and used the water that she wasn't using into a near-by plant. She walked back into the living room, and soon, her mother spoke up again. " Now, Gennette, " Her mother started, " I'm going to head out quickly, you and Neera can talk, okay? "

    Before she could object, she left the scene. Genette looked down at her cup, watching the steam rise up from it. She was questioning why 1) Her mother would leave her with a stranger and 2) Why she would insist on leaving now. She didn't know how to start conversations at all, not even with strangers. Especially not with strangers. She looked over towards the women, and tapped her glass. " Soo..... " She started, looking down at her feet. She had nothing to say to her.
  10. Rather than try to assault Genette with questions right off the bat, Neera instead tried a more diplomatic approach. "I know that this is a comment more usually directed towards your parents, but with their absence, I am afraid I will make you suffer through it: you have a lovely home," she remarked. It wasn't something made up to break the ice, either; Neera rather enjoyed the aesthetic of the home. "How long have you lived here? ... If it's not prying of me to ask, that is, my apologies."

    Now being alone with just Genette, Neera was forced to really look at her, and contemplate her. This was a seventeen year old girl. A young woman, sure, but just barely. One who had been robbed of a proper childhood at that, but still seemed to have grown up with relative normalcy despite it. From the psychological viewpoint that Neera barely pretended to have, that was certainly an anomaly. From her standpoint as a paranormal investigator, it meant a coin flip between a trickier client or a more workable client.
  11. Gennette shook her head. " No, no, it's... fine. It's fine, " She said, looking around the house. She guessed it was nice. Every once in a while her mother would ride her about how the plants were overgrowing, so she'd have to trim them a little, but that was fine. She enjoyed tending to the plants, but not so much herself. She winced slightly, before she found out that she was talking to someone.

    " Oh, well, " She started, sipping at her tea. " I've... been here all my life, really. " She shrugged, like it was a normal thing. " I can't remember the last time I went out of town-- maybe when I was little. But, I've lived in this house for seventeen years. " It was obvious, too. With the vines on the house, almost forming grooves into the siding. This was her home, and nature knew it too. " My school was just a few blocks away, so I never really got to run off and 'experience' things. " She shrugged, using her hands for the word experience. " But, I've had a good life, I guess. "
  12. With a nod, Neera let her eyes wander around the room. She did her best to not make it too obvious that she was inspecting the plants and how they interacted with the house, and so just kept her gaze flitting around rather than worry about how evident it was. "For a long time, I lived much the same. Mi- my grandmother, my parents, my two brothers and I." For a moment, she almost slipped back into Italian. It happened, every so often, as English was a late-learned second language. But Neera was usually quick to correct. "A bit of a larger family than you have, but family is family, it's all the same after a couple of years, you know? We had a local school, as well, right in town." Neera looked back at Genette.

    "I'm no philosopher, and I haven't seen much of the world. But I can tell you that you've got all the experience of a city here, without near as much as the violence." The woman tried a small laugh here. "Still, at your age? It must be annoying, at the least, to be so cooped up. If that's not too intrusive to say."
  13. " Oh no, " Gennette said. " I sorta like it here, really. It's... safe. It's sound. My mom said that there are people who might think I'm a freak, and really, I just... " She didn't know why she was spilling out her guts to a stranger, but she felt... wildly calming, almost. " I'm scared, mostly. " She looked down at her cup. She sounded like she wasn't appreciative. She took a deep breath, trying to fight the anxiety that was growing like a seed. " I'm scared that I'll just grow like a-a plant, for lack of better words. " She couldn't believe she was having a therapy session with a paranormal investigator. " I'm just here, I'm just pretty then I die. But I'm too scared to actually do anything other than be here, " She paused, to take a drink. Gennette took another breath.

    " I'm not very sociable. Or adventurous. Or book smart, or street smart, or amazing at something-- other than, y'know-- but, just, something that'll probably get me on the news in a good way. I'm not out-going, I don't go out of my way to help people. I'm just.... here. Like a tree. Like a plant, really. But I.... " She shook her head. She was getting too far ahead of herself. She was coming up with all of these fake scenarios in her head that are probably never going to happen to her.

    " I... I guess that's okay for now. "
  14. "Safe and sound is what lots of people would like to get away from, at least for a bit," Neera pointed out. She glanced at the empty cup on the table, wondering if it would be too imposing to ask for another cup, but given that the conversation didn't allow for requests of more tea, Neera avoided the whole situation. "Your mom's not wrong. I'm sure that you've noticed from history that people tend not to react in kind to those who are different. We've come a long way, sure, but it's still not a perfect system. For all our brains, we've still got a lot to learn." Hey, if comforting a teenager about the troubles of the world was the key, then Neera would offer all of the worldly advice that she could.

    Not to say that there wasn't any truth in what she was saying- there was.

    "Well, no. You're young and don't have much experience and probably more book smart than you realize- it seems America has that with its students- and well, if we take care of... This, then, those other things will change. That's just how things work-" Neera caught herself before she added a "y'know", and instead just cleared her throat.

    "You've got good reason to be scared. For now, certainly. But, we'll see what we can do about it."
  15. But we'll see what we can do. Gennette furrowed her eyebrows. We? We? " Don't think me rude, " Gennette started. " But I've done all I could. " She said, placing her cup down on the table. " I've read book after book, watched show after show, talked to person after person. I've seen roughly twenty people just this year about it. " She explained. " This isn't a 'we' scenario. This might be, but for now, I'm at a dead end. " She raised her arms up to surrender. " I don't mean that I don't want help, I mean that there had been so much help, there isn't anything I can do further. "

    This happened every time she got riled up about a topic. When she debated, or spoke her opinion, she bloomed. Literally. She tried to continue on, but a small flower peeked from her skin and stemmed out. She cupped it with her hand, and sighed. " Do you mind if I...? " She looked at Neera, but didn't wait for an answer. She used her fingers to grab the base, and she pulled it out quickly. She hissed slightly, but didn't mind the pain later. Gennette handed the flower over to Neera.

    " A Pansy for your thoughts? "
  16. "Oh, I'm sure. But your situation is unique for how unique it is. No answer is going to come easy, of course, but-" Neera started, before a flower poked its way into the conversation. Its guest appearance cut the woman off from her words, and she was unable to mask her surprise as it bloomed, and then was plucked away. Meekly, she took the severed flower (it was difficult to think of it being anything different after that display) and inspected it gingerly. It looked like a normal, young flower, from what Neera could tell. She may only have been related to a gardener, but she'd seen enough plants to know what was too bizarre and what wasn't. The only bizarre thing here was that it had grown from a girl's skin as opposed to the ground.

    Clearing her throat, Neera looked up at Genette. "My most brutal thoughts are that I just witnessed you pull a flower from yourself, like someone else might pull a cap off of something. And of course, lots of questions, but I'm sure you're tired of hearing them, answering them, and the like. And now I'm thinking, well, I certainly can't do anything if I don't know everything, so I'm going to have to find out eventually- but later. And I want to do something, if only not to fail where others have."

    Then, the woman blinked. What boring thoughts, she internally said. Externally, she added, "I also think that for a seventeen year old, you have a good grasp on where you fit in the world, and a good realization of it, as well, which is more than most can say." Neera cleared her throat again. "Would it be too much to ask the same of you?" she finished, held the pansy up, and twirled it in her fingers.
  17. Gennette retrieved her cup that had been previously full of tea. She looked over at the other's cup, noticing it wasn't full. She had half a mind to be a good hostess, but now wasn't the time, and she didn't want to come off as rude to the other. She tapped at the glass gently with her nail, and faintly thought that she ought to paint them. Faintly, she could never keep them on for longer than a day or two at most, maybe three if she was lucky.

    She looked at the other, as she twisted her flower through her fore fingers and back again. Thinking back on it, she figured she should have waiting till she was in her own privacy to do that, but what was done was done. As far as her thoughts on the whole situation, she thought she should probably apologize. " Sorry, about the... uhh... " She pointed to her neck. " The thing, " She said. " I don't usually pluck them around people, especially strangers, but I figured I might as well get it over with. "
  18. "I-" Neera started, but stopped. 'I understand' wasn't the truest thing that she could say here; the investigator didn't have habits that were anything like what Genette had just done. "I don't mind," she amended. "It's not the worst thing I've seen someone do," she added. That was true; though pulling a flower from one's skin was one of the stranger things Neera had encountered, there were some people. More of which claimed to be normal and could blend in just fine with society than anything else.

    As subtly as she could, Neera stretched her legs. "I hope this isn't too personal, but, do you have any places outside of the house that you like to hang out? Or did?" The subtle aspect hadn't exactly hit the nail on the head. Or at all. "I'm not used to sitting for very long and just spent a few days driving. I'd love the chance to stretch, and anyways, fresh air is always nice. And who knows? Maybe the secret to your superpower is hiding out there."
  19. Gennette nearly coughed out of shock. Someone wanted to actually go out in public with her? Someone wanted to be with her, in her favorite places, and hang out? No one ever wanted to hang out with her in such a long time! She was so excited, she started budding. "You mean it? You really REALLY mean it?!" She smiled wickedly, balling her hands and bouncing in place happily. Gennette was about to ramble on, before she saw what she was doing. Oh no, not already. She was just about to go, in the first time in days!!!

    "Oh, uh," She started, nervously. She blushed wildly, almost as pink as the pansies she spouted. There were stems reaching out from her arms and hands-- all over, really. She pulled her shirt down her arm, and covered his neck. "Sorry, but I just..." She shrugged. "I like the woods." Ironic, huh? "There is a really pretty place a few blocks down from here. And there's this cool abandoned library that the wild just over-took. We can go in there, it isn't locked at all. I just go there to think. " That was half true. Most of the time, she went there because they had books that were so eroded that they started sprouting moss and mushrooms. She had herself a cute little ecosystem in the tails of Huckleberry Finn.
  20. Unable to help it, Neera chuckled kindly at the teenager's excitement, and stood up. "Of course I mean it. I'd very much appreciate the trip," she explained. "Library, woods, both sound like good places to me. Though given the condition of the weather, perhaps the library would be best- assuming it has something of a roof left?" she asked, and looked at the clothes that covered the girl's growing flowers. It was still something strange to consider, and even though the flowers pressed against the fabric, it was still a little more dreamy and unreal now that Neera didn't have to look straight at it.

    The rain was still drumming against the world, but it sounded like it had cleared up. Hopefully, that meant that the onslaught of rain would end soon, but for all Neera knew it was just getting ready to redouble its efforts and come down harder later. Hopefully, though, that would be after she could escape to the safety of her hotel room. Even the short trip from the car to the nearest building was much to far for Neera when it started raining- having water assault her without jumping in a pool or a shower or the like wasn't exactly one of Neera's most favorite pass times.
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