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The Woman and the Lilac

There was once a woman who lived in a small cottage behind a dome. She could speak to flowers. She would talk to them, and read their replies on their petals. Nobody else could to it, as far as she knew, and she kept it secret from the world.

One day, she asked a lilac a question. “Hello, ms. lilac,” she said. “Am I the only one who has spoken to you?”

“No,” replied the lilac. “We flowers may seem quick and done but we remember where we come from. Many years ago, flowers that came before me spoke to others like you. I have bloomed recently and I have not seen much, but the flowers I come from have spoken to humans before.”

The woman blinked hard. Had she been wrong? Were there others who could talk to flowers as well? She wondered. What if she put a message in a flower? What if she told a flower to bring a message to other flower-speakers? So she spoke to the lilac. “ms lilac, please tell the other humans that you speak to that I exist, and that I live in the small cottage behind the dome.”

The lilac spoke to the woman. “Yes, I will.”

Over the following eight days, every day the woman would visit the lilac. She would say, every day, “ms lilac, has anyone spoken to you besides me?”

And every day, sure enough, the lilac would say “no, not a soul.” And every day, the lilac grew older and started to wilt.

Come the ninth day, the woman woke and walked into the forest, and found that her lilac had died. She felt fire in her heart and frost in her skull, for she would never again meet this lilac again.

Seasons passed, and she wept and mourned and grew alongside them. Finally, the cycle of the year ended, someone knocked on the door to her small cottage behind the dome. She opened it and saw a hooden figure. “Hello,” they said. “I can speak to flowers too.” The two of them spoke for hours about how neither had ever met one who could talk to flowers before. They discussed the nuanced differences between their methods, and the hooded figure told the woman that they lived at the other end of the village, next to the clocktower.

The two of them swore that if they were to ever find another person who could talk to flowers, they would tell each other.