Greenhouse Flash

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With his arms crossed, Parker angled his head attempting to understand what he was seeing. Once again, he stood in his grandfather's filthy basement. A room filled with old boxes, trunks, and the classic, ever-present headless mannequin. Parker admired the vintage chalkboard, this time with new eyes. On the black, dusty surface were sketches of plants and circular renderings of strange animals surrounded by naked women...poorly drawn, naked women, he considered with a raised eyebrow. It was evident his grandfather was no Rembrandt.

He then glanced over at his laptop perched atop a wooden stool. On the machine's much smaller, luminous screen were similar illustrations drawn roughly six hundred years ago. The Voynich Manuscript, a pdf copy extracted from some website.

It appeared that the Horo thing was somehow connected to this strangely untranslatable document. A document that some believe originated from somewhere else...and looking down at the device in his hand, Parker was inclined to agree with them.

With a tap on the back of the device, the image would change; each of the depictions matching either a drawing on the chalkboard, the Manuscript, or as in the case with most of them, both.

Parker's grandfather made many, many notes out beside each of the naked ladies encircling each hand-drawn disc, including one that said, "Home" followed by an image's name in latin and a pair of time stamps. Parker imagined he might should memorize that at some point in the future.
He shrugged and continued reading. Many of the notes on the board referred to a page in the Voynich Manuscript. When Parker cross-referenced these, he found several contained descriptions of plants.


The young man's eyebrows lowered, eyes narrowing as he examined the laptop's screen. "Hmmm..."


Parker noticed the massive gardens, as well as the two large greenhouses when he first arrived, however, he had no real interest in them at the time...only the money and large house. In fact, the lawyer reassured him at the signing that weekly lawn and garden maintenance around the estate were already contractually scheduled for the next several years and it would be something the young man would not have to worry with. That was, with the exception of Greenhouse #2. It for some odd reason was off-limits to anyone but Parker. Period.

The sounds of birds and chirping insects echoed throughout the peaceful property as Parker made his way along a perfectly manicured stone path surrounded by all manner of flora. The large fronds of tropical plants interspersed with fern and multitudes of colorful flowers greeted him on either side no matter where he strolled.

"And here we are," he said aloud, standing before the massive arching greenhouse bathed in the overhead sunlight. The squinting Parker reached out with his left hand and grasped the bronze door handle. It did not budge. Once more he pulled. 


It was then when Parker noticed the metallic panel mounted on the surface of the door only a few inches above the handle. In its center was a circular indentation.

"I gotcha, grandpa," Parker muttered as he inserted the Horo into the slot. With a click, the door opened. Parker stepped inside the steamy enclosure and found himself surrounded by a world unlike anything he had ever seen. A myriad of strangely colored trees and plants.

"What the hell?" Parker threw his arms over his head and ducked as something dove at him. After another apparent flyby, the flittering noise ceased and parker decided to slowly lift his head from beneath the protection of his hands to search for the culprit.

On the far end of the greenhouse rested a dark creature with bright blue eyes. Parker carefully walked over to take a closer look. The size of a fat squirrel, the odd flying  thing was attached to one of the metal support frames by four leathery wings with claws on each tip. Parker imagined it looked like a cross between a large butterfly and a bat.

It chirped nervously as Parker approached.

"Where in the hell did you come from, buddy?" Parker said softly.

With another chirp, the winged animal shot away from the riveted frame, flew over Parker, and disappeared into the foliage.

Parker blinked. He wondered if he was losing it just like the old man.

A fan activated overhead followed by the sprinkler system, misting everything in the greenhouse, including Parker. The young man shook his head and sighed. He looked down preparing to leave as the water dripped from his eyelashes. It was then he noticed a 3" x 3" white sign jammed into the soil near a large red fern. He wiped his face and knelt down to read it.

"Leonis,1:1,2:14" it said.

Parker thought of the Horo. "So, that's where you're from, then," the former technician said, suddenly realizing he was now talking to a plant. "No wonder grandpa seemed crazy..."

The sprinkler system shut off and Parker knew he only had one more of his Grandfather's puzzles left to unravel...How to activate the damn Horo. But, before he did anything else, there was  one other thing he needed to do.

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