Shatter (Vignette)

Xanadu Weyr- Wildflower Boutique
Whitewashed walls form the canvas for the colourful array of flower, garden and decorative goods that are to be found lining the shop's polished shelves and smooth granite countertops. Around the edge of the room, a slim metal frame supports deep glass buckets in which a variety of freshly-cut flowers sit to be selected for bouquets and arrangements from as few as half a dozen stems to much grander affairs. Above them, shelves contain a selection of clay, glass and stone vases, handheld gardening equipment and decorative stock, such as ribbons, small cans of waterproof paint and fancy paper wrapping. Fertiliser, pots and troughs are kept on display outside and beneath an adjustable awning in-case of rain, a wider range available upon request.

Three islands in the centre of the shop floor provide space for gift items and the like, including metal flower pins, single ornamental stems for vases, and taller metal blooms to be stood in gardens. A price list notes them as crafted by Ka'el and also available in precious metals such as gold and silver. Other items on the counters include a range of small bouquets deliberately designed with firelizard delivery in mind, meadow-themed silver jewellery, and small gift-baskets containing the seeds and markers needed to start small herb gardens and plant window boxes.

The main service counter is situated along the back wall, where a list of bouquet prices and other fresh flower products, including circlets, arrangements for special occasions, and petals by the bag can be seen on a large chalk board hung on the wall.

“No, no. These are more in season; they should be at the front.”

« You should be out here in the sun, » Isyriath entreated from just outside, tilting his wings so that the sunshine hit his shoulders just so.

Marel paused, glass vase in hand, as she felt that warmth across her own back, easing the tension there. Sometimes, she wondered if such things were all in her head, but then, how literally was she to take that? Isyriath was in her head. Of course it was all in her head. Do you have an opinion on the flowers too? She was only being partly facetious.

« I… »

He didn’t need to tell her what happened in the moments that followed. She knew all too well and didn’t know all at once, without a single fragment of a word shared between them. She wasn’t inside the shop and he wasn’t outside in the sunshine, but they were somewhere else, together, and it hurt. Confusion soon turned to the agony of uncertainty, then certainty and back again. Gone. Gone, gone, gone, gone…

Isyriath keened, and work in the shop paused around Marel, who stood frozen and silent, icy-green eyes distant and staring.

She tried desperately to pull away, to try and separate her grief for her mother - whom she could only assume, in those few seconds, was gone, if Seryth was gone - from Isyriath’s grief over Seryth. She couldn’t handle the pain of the loss magnified and multiplied by their minds being so (too?) close, and wanted some small scrap of herself back to selfishly hide away and grieve without having to feel the rest of it flooding in to drown her. Seryth’s loss was enough in itself, but…

What if…?

Was it right or wrong to hope? Was it right to hope for Thea without Seryth? Would Thea want to be without Seryth? Was it wrong to hope for a life for her without her queen?

No. No, no, no, no, no, no…

Outside, Isyriath’s keen gave way to an awful howling, so uncharacteristic of the usually quiet brown, yet his rider heard none of it, still lost in the tangle of sorrow that bound the two together and permitted no escape. Mama. Seryth. Mama. Seryth.

No, no, no, no, no…

The vase slipped through her fingers and shattered on the floor.


Not one of her employees was quick enough to catch her when she followed and slumped down, blessedly unconscious.

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