Monday 31 January 2022

A Bit of Botany


By Clive Gresswell

a frothy, milky coffee


Boris the belligerent botanist furrowed his brow as he twiddled with a messy strand of his overgrown blond hair. He was focusing on the Date plants in his greenhouse. Normally he had them eating out of the palm of his hands, he thought, but things were looking perilously close to a rum-do he mused. He smirked at that play of words crossing his mind as it had been a series of rum-dos, as in the sense of boozy parties, which had led to this impasse he faced at work. Actually, he was glad to be left alone with his plants. At least he could talk openly and honestly to them. He smirked again and reached over gently to take a cutting from one of the more generous of the plants. Boris the belligerent was always pleased to be enjoying his gardening and it took his mind off having to deal with those bar stewards from the press. A little while ago he could do no wrong but now…now just like the dirty dogs they were they had started to bite the hand that fed them. Anyone would think he hadn’t done a sterling job both politically and otherwise in dealing with the Pandemic.

Boris’ wife, Barbara, hated the way he locked himself away in the greenhouse talking to his plants for hours on end. She was sure it wasn’t good for him and he spent more time talking to those wretched plants than he did talking to her. He even had names for each of them, often derived from Latin, as if they were his children or something. Whatever this strange little life was it wasn’t what Barbara had envisaged when she and Boris tied the knot.

There was an urgent knock at the door which pulled her out of her reverie. It was Colin Chancellor from next-door who wanted a word with Boris.

“Well, if you can tear him away from his plants, you’re a better man than I,” Barbara joked with Colin. She liked him and figured if he could pull him away from the plants that would be a fine thing.

Colin stood in the greenhouse his arms folded and eyed Boris up and down. Colin wore a frown and was holding a fistful of letters in his left hand.

“Listen Boris, I don’t need to tell you what these are do I?” he started.

As he hesitated Boris stared intently at him. He took a cutting and reached out to his neighbour.

“This should give you what you want,” he said a sense of pride still in his voice.

“It’s the Date when I plan to resign.”

About the author 

Clive enjoys writing metafictions and absurdist stories. He lives in Luton, UK, and is also a well-published poet. His latest poetry books are with erbacce-press. He has an MA and a BA in Creative Writing

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