They burn when they open. The yellow-white buds quiver and twitch, then burst with a hiss. The gas inside, carefully distilled from trace chemicals in the soil, reacts with oxygen.
They start fires. Burn out the undergrowth. Make room for new trees. If they serve another purpose, no one knows what it is. Can a plant be altruistic?
I pluck a swollen bud, hear the soft sound of escaping gas from the tubular stem. It will never bloom now, not properly, not the way it was meant to. It will never burn. I saved it.
I saved it.
Ray Bradbury Award Nominees 2015
1 day ago