There were four Jims in a one kilometre radius of the house in which Prudence happily languished.
She knew one of these Jims owned a gymnasium, Prudence just wasn’t sure which one.
Prudence maintained though, there was only one gym where she could go for a strenuous workout, with refreshments after and ultimately, that would give her a premium service.
Ordinarily a passionate, sometimes even an angry, woman, for over a month now, Scarlett had been feeling blue.
Red, Scarlett’s partner, had always reckoned the two of them were an inseparable duo, so similar they were in every way.
All that had changed though when Scarlett had become depressed and started having relations with Blue Payne.
Although they were brothers, Red Payne very much doubted his ability to outshine the vivacious Blue; so vibrant and warm was his younger sibling.
When Scarlett had discovered that her emotions were being treated with such colourful conduct, however, she reverted to seeing Red.
Scarlett had always been synonymous with rage.
Not flowers though; beauties like Lily always seemed to be gathered in bunches.
One fresh and fragrant day, tantalisingly close to Autumn, Constance had plucked a dozen of her favourite blooms for her younger sister, April.
April had a terrible cold and Constance very much hoped a lovely bunch of lilies might help her to feel better.
Lily was older now and required assistance to keep her property as immaculate as she liked, particularly for when she held tea parties with her friends.
Constance Gardener performed light groundskeeping duties in her spare time.
Lily and counterparts would form groups, small clusters then just stand idly around in the garden, soaking up the light of the day.
Constance was fortunate to have found twelve lilies in bloom so late in the season – she thought she could sense Autumn’s impending arrival and thought wistfully of her ailing sister, April – but was furthermore thankful that she was able to take the blooms without their rightful owner’s knowledge.
Lily Field though, soon came upon her patch of absentee flowers. She called in the nice girl who had been helping her with the garden, “Constance Gardener,” she began, “a constant source of happiness my garden is for me, yet you go and do this – what do you have to say for yourself, my dear?”
“I am terribly sorry, Ms Field,” said Constance, “I required the twelve lilies to give to my ill sister, April – she’s quite poorly, you know.”
“Sibling love,” replied Lily abrasively, “don’t much care for it – what’s the matter with the child, do tell?”
“She has a cold,” replied Constance.
“Hm,” Lily Field considered, “odd time of year to have a cold, April.”
‘To the Editor,
I take issue with the frequent and ongoing slaughter of our nation’s wild animals. This is a barbaric practice and it needs to be stopped.
Thank you for your concern. You are correct, this “barbaric practise”, as you eloquently worded it – although I feel “culling” or “herd management” would be the more appropriate term – is ongoing as it is a necessary institution across our country’s many thousands of rural, and largely unmanaged, hectares.
Late March April caught a cold. Early April April still had the virus. April Gardener is lucky enough to have an elder sister who cares deeply about her. That autumn Constance Gardener, April Gardener’s sister, trespassed onto the garden of Lily Field – during one of Lily’s famed tea parties, while Lily along with her guests, Gladdy, Rose, Pansy, Daffy, also Lily’s native friend, Hebe, stood oblivious – with the intention of acquiring a bunch of lilies for the benefit of her ill sister.
The man’s title was not Christian although nor was Sir his name, making a form of address obscure at best.
Mr Down was the principal at the local High School; only Mr Down’s close friends and wife were aware of the man’s full name.
Cliff Walker and Roma Hill had been paired for so long that their differences had become virtually non-existent.
Oh, how Mr Down despised his title. He often wondered, had his parents been trying to curse him when they had passed down the name ‘Ulysses’?
Layne Yard had trouble deciding if he was supposed to be long and narrow, or about three feet wide.
Worse than that though was his middle name. It wasn’t actually the name itself that was the issue, it was that, such was the unusual nature of ‘Ulysses’, many who knew him personally referred to the principal simply as U – ‘You’ – which should have been fine, except for the wretched fact that Ulysses’ middle name was Neil.
Matt House wasn’t much a fan of bright colours thus had no time for flowers.
The trouble didn’t stop there for Ulysses, either; You Neil Down’s Asian wife worked at the local supermarket, owned by a Mr Power. Mr Down’s wife had the name Thao – ‘Towel’ – thus was frequently being instructed, over the supermarket intercom: ‘Requesting Towel Down, please, Towel Down, please, is needed in the beverage aisle, now please’.
Matt’s dour view on all things colourful was a constant source astonishment for his superior, Mr Power, who had had, and very much loved, his very own lily field now for years.
Iona Black was a little upset as, among other things, her fiancée, Matt, wouldn’t allow flowers at their wedding.
More disconcertingly was that Iona’s rental property, currently occupied by a wealthy supermarket owner (reportedly with a lily field), was soon to become unoccupied as the tenant planned to move in with his long-time partner.
Matt House could understand his fiancée’s displeasure and, shirking convention, had gone so far as to offer to take Iona’s name, rather than the other way around.
Similarly, Maximus Power, the supermarket owner, was aware that his girlfriend was attached to her surname and, at her age, was doubting that she was ever likely to become ‘Lily Power’.
Matt recalled with a grin, the time his boss had requested a word with two of his employees – he and Thao – how Mr Power had unthinkingly remonstrated with them both, ‘Towel Down, Matt House, your appearance is not befitting of our supermarket’s image – I need you to clean up your acts and, oh, Towel Down, please, I cannot believe you turned up to work in damp clothes’.
Around April, Constance Gardener arranged a bouquet of flowers for the wedding of Matt House and Iona Black, much, she was informed, to the chagrin of the bridegroom, Matt.
Iona had just begun to check the telephone book for a lily field then decided that she was much more likely to find one on Google Maps.
Lily Field (she was adamant she never would become a Lily Power) had since apologised to her casual groundskeeper, Constance Gardener, and allowed her to take as many flowers as she wished from Lily’s field.
April was to be the wedding of Matt and Iona.
Constance decided she no longer wanted to be a gardener.
April was the month April’s dozen lilies shed their petals.
The wedding was not without upset; Red and Blue Payne showed up, uninvited, bringing with them the irascible Scarlett.
One of Iona’s friends, Prudence, was there, and wouldn’t stop bragging about the way she’d been trying out all the gyms in town.
A woman named Betty Kilwell gate-crashed proceedings, using a .308 to shoot one of Matt’s eco-warrior buddies, Hunter Cleaver.
Ulysses arrived with wife Thao and together drinks went down.
Constance Gardener was there as well, with her sister April, and although Autumn was late, pedestal fans were on Max Power, as it turned out the man also owned a Smiths City chain.
While flowers were abundant, there was no sign of any Lily Field.
Article by Tim Walker
Edited by Mit Reklaw
Edited again by Tim Walker
Published by Mit Reklaw