Teacup Story – The Gardener

Melyy was known as the Gardener, with a reputation for cultivating those plants that could kill others. She was a specialist, and a specialist’s skills were always in demand (Genre – Fantasy, Fiction, Action, Rating – 12)

Melyy hummed to herself as she went through her greenhouse. The plants were flourishing in the heat of the summer, especially the small seeds of Ueeisl which was just starting to poke through the green soil. Hopefully she would get a good crop this year, she needed a good crop to pass onto the Triage so they stayed off her back.

She tugged her gloves up around her elbows, carefully pruning back one of the larger Iopi plants which was starting to get to the grow wildly and in every direction stage of growth. What had been a mere seed back in Inner’s month in the winter was now a young sapling of a tree, complete with purple and yellow leaves. In a year or so it would start producing the namesake red-berries that when distilled properly, could kill a horse.

Dropping the Iopi cuttings into her basket, Melyy picked her way between the pots that were scatted over the floor, making her way outside into her little garden. People were always surprised when they first came to her for help, they imagined the Gardener’s, well, garden to be something magnificent. Not a tiny square of land which was packed with more plants than the common eye would pick out. The garden buried her little house, which sat right in the centre of her plot, so it was barely visible from the pathway which ran outside her land.

It acted as a barrier to stop intruders, removing the need for any stupid fences or walls. Nature was welcome in her garden, the animals knew how to naviagate her garden without being brushed by a deadly leaf of Vetri Besssobanie, but humans didn’t. the first few who had tried normally died by the time they had taken five steps into the garden. Their bodies were currently buried under the Invrenou bushes that lined the inner pathway. Invrenou was a plant notorious for growing on battlefields, literally encompassing corpses and accelerating the rotting process so they could themselves draw nutrients from the corpse.

But they had such the wonderful bright pink flowers, with delicate petals and a lovely green leaf. Not harmless to a human, just another miracle of the plant kingdom which recycled the old into the new.

Melyy glanced up at the sky through her mesh visor. The sun was almost above the Regiva bush now, so it was nearing twelve o’clock. Almost time for her next appointment.

This appointment was going to be interesting, and curious. A young woman, not many years than Melyy herself, needed a potion to kill her rather vicious and vindictive father. Of course, she needed it to be discreet, something that she herself could eat but that would kill him. That was what the Gardener was renowned for – those poisons that were untraceable and unnoticeable.

Excellent, Melyy thought to herself. This one was going to be a challenge, the concoction would take at least a week to prepare properly, and the antidote another week. It would be dear, but Melyy always knocked the price off whenever her clients were young women. Melyy couldn’t help but see herself in their eyes, desperate for help, no where else to go.

In any event, she had the Triage to pay for her upkeep. And they were planning something much more sinister than knocking off a father.

They were going to assassinate the King.

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