The sheer beauty of the flower that emerged from bud startled me. I’d never seen something so remarkable, the flower or the fact that it had grown so quickly. Somehow I knew this was Damien’s doing, I thought as I looked between his now smiling face and the beautiful flower. His eyes were still closed but it was as if he knew the beautiful thing was growing. My eyes were now glued to the flower. It was completely white outside of the stem and it seemed like a mixture of all the most beautiful parts of every flower I’d ever seen. The flower looked to have the smooth texture of a rose and the distinct petals resembled a carnations. I was started when I saw Damien’s hand take hold of the flower and delicately pluck it from it’s spot.
“Thought you’d like a flower.” He said holding it out to me.
“Is this my present?” I asked breathlessly and he nodded. I took it from him and held it lovingly in my hands. “It’s beautiful.”
“Just like you, happy birthday Hayden.” Happy tears stung my eyes and I jumped up to kiss his cheek.
“This is the first flower I’ve ever gotten from a boy.” I sniffed. Besides all those flowers I found in my room long ago, but that’s not really the same thing.
“And it won’t be the last, I promise.”
“How did you...?” I didn’t even have words to describe what had just happened. Did he really grow this flower or was it some kind of magic trick?
“It’s called a Warflower. Do you want to know why? Or are you content just thinking it’s a pretty flower?” He teased. I nodded with excitement, like a child hearing a fairytale.
“I want to know. Tell me please!” I begged and he chuckled.
“Alright, a long time ago my people didn’t live on the planet we live on now. We used to live on a planet that was much like Earth, it was covered in forests and beautiful flowers. But we’d been left to our own devices without anyone in charge, naturally, all hell broke loose. Even though we’d left to escape war the first thing we did was try to kill each other. The gods were furious. They’d taken us away from Earth and given us a beautiful new planet, but we still hadn’t learned.” He said but I cut him off.
“How long ago was this? Were you alive?” I asked.
“No, I was not alive. Please don’t interrupt me Hayden, this is a long story.” He pleasantly replied. I pretended to lock my mouth and toss the key behind me.
“Sorry.” I mumbled as my lips were locked closed.
“That’s fine, I understand you’ve got a lot of questions but please save questions until the end of the story. Okay…where was I?”
“You didn’t learn?” I reminded him.
“Oh yes, it wasn’t one big war with armys on each side. Everybody fought with everybody, anyone who looked at somebody wrong was looking for a fight. No one could stop the fighting between us so the gods took care of everything. They gathered a couple families together under their protection.”
“Was one of them your family? Er wait, I’m sorry.” I bit my lip nervously and he chuckled.
“Yes one of the families was mine. Anyway, they protected those families and burned the rest of the planet.” My mouth fell open. Burned the planet? Like with all the people on it? What does this sad story have to do with this pretty flower? “When the protected families looked upon their once beautiful planet they saw that it was completely destroyed. There was nothing left on the charred ground, not even the bodies of the people they’d once known.”
“This story’s sad.”
“I know. Obviously they couldn’t stay on this planet, nothing could possibly survive there. We were relocated to the planet we’re on now. It wasn’t beautiful; there were no beautiful flowers or long green fields. It was just a place to survive, not a place to live. The people still felt a tie to the planet they’d once called home so they would go back from time to time to see it. One day, hundreds of years after the fire, they traveled back to the once beautiful planet and there was something growing. Just one plant that was fighting for life.” I looked down at my flower and smiled.