Ángel’s winter-resistant flowers

The beloved boy with the jade eyes, Ángel, somehow concocted a way to grow spring flowers among the snow-pelted winter ground, an enigma which captivated the whole overcast town. Winter was an enchanted spirit, yet sharp and strict when she had to be. She was the center of attention and never bent down for any miniscule wonders such as mere flowers. Ángel found a way to work with her, somehow, and, through some miraculous bribery, he enticed her into a mutualistic bond. Nobody knew how he harnessed the laws of the seasons and brought them down to ground level with himself. However, not many questioned his magic or methods, they adequately adored his thoughtfully embellished bundles for themselves. He’d sell his flowers on his mossy, wooden cart by the ice rink in the apple blossom park, with a beam on his face and a gentle concentration on his watercolor blooms. 

The boy loved (a heavy understatement) his flowers. He thoroughly enjoyed clipping stems into diagonal straws with his dull garden shears because it never ceased to satisfy him. The beheading of a strawberry rose, the effortless pluck of wild milkweed, the soft descent of sugary daisy heads; it all fed him and never-endingly kindled his passion. However, amidst his dizzy floral arrangements, he also loved a girl.

Her name was Daphne and she had honey curls and forget-me-not eyes with feathery lashes and plum lips. Her voice was like silver bells and her smile was sunshine enough for Ángel’s withering cosmos. She visited him everyday at the ice skating rink with either a sweater or a jacket, but always with a taubenblau ribbon fastening sections of her honey curls. She’d talk his ear off, some days he’d mind a bit, others he wouldn’t, but he liked the things she said and the way she’d say it and the way she wanted him to talk to her too. 

They’d talk about anything. About where they were born, what day, what season, how they imagined the day must have looked—was it hazy or clear? Their favorite type of tea and how they steeped it and which cup they used. Ángel had a handmade green and brown mug sent from his mother in Peru that he adored. Daphne mused about the china tea set she inherited from her smoke-haired grandmother and how nicely the cups clinked together. He’d compliment her jacket and she’d go on a tangent about the bird-nosed shopkeeper who gave her the rudest service ever encountered and cynically wrap-up the storytelling with a spit conjured from her contempt over the current society. She’d ask him about his healthy cart of flowers and he’d tell her stories of the various butterflies and bunnies that had wandered into his garden to collect its nectar and ambrosia. She’d talk about how cold her hands were and he’d hold them for her and tell her they looked like sickly lilies. She’d laugh like excited silver bells. 

Ángel loved Daphne, and he knew he had to make her a bouquet that lasted for eternity to show her that. And, of course, he wandered back home after successfully emptying his cart, shut his door to the wind and the snowflakes outside, and disappeared into the blue-whipped night. Rumors say, that night, he spoke to Winter and requested some gathering of the other seasons. He reasoned with them for hours and hours, nobody knew about what, until the sun awakened like a rising daffodil.

Daphne stepped out of her house by the edge of the glass brook and stopped abruptly when she espied the spectacle before her. She stood in the static entrance of her front porch, winter air enveloping her and her blooming cheeks, curdles of steam emanating from her plum lips as her feathery lashes lifted so she could see the crooked winter branches overhead. The snow appeared alien and false, almost like swan feathers. Amongst those swan feathers, were flowers. Thousands of them that had not been planted there before, rising from the frozen soil. The roses and bluebells and cosmos were dressed in crystalline frost, still and stuck, like phantoms in an acrylic painting. She saw the static colonies of gardenias and periwinkles and freesias, rising from the pillowy blankets of snow set before her winter-booted feet. They look as though they are stopped in a dance. She thought with a smile.

Daphne went back inside and got dressed, freshened her honey curls, and fastened the taubenblau ribbon with a sigh. She set off into the frosted aerate and skipped through the snow with irresistible repeated glances back at the unbelievably heavenly garden flourishing from her house. She ceaselessly blushed and found herself unable to stop laughing. 

When she spotted Ángel’s mossy, wooden flower cart by the ice rink after what felt like an eternity of walking, she knew just what today’s conversation was going to be about.

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