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A Beautiful Thing
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TITLE (EDIT)
A Beautiful Thing
DESCRIPTION
A girl picks a flower in a park despite her boyfriends objection and finds there is an unexpected consequence.
[996 words]
TITLE KEYWORD
Literary Fiction
AUTHOR
Ben Jonjak
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ben Jonjak is the author of seven novels including Thief, Glorious Failue, and Small Time World. He currently lives in Lima, Peru.

[October 2002]
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
[email protected]
A Beautiful Thing
Ben Jonjak

Mark and his girlfriend were walking through the park. Most of the people who passed by looked at her, but she didn’t notice. Mark did, he was always on the lookout for danger but she existed in a world where she didn’t have to worry about it. She was immune, everything watched out for her.
There were a couple of nasty guys in leather coats across the way. They locked on like guided missiles. She always dressed so nice. Sometimes Mark thought she craved that kind of attention. He felt as if she were aware of them, but she waltzed on, smiling. She could draw a crowd whenever she wanted to and never even show strain for the effort.
“What a pretty flower.” She said out of the blue.
They were standing next to a hedge. The hedge was lined with flowers. Not so many as to seem plentiful but not so few as to seem sparse. They peeked up from in between the leaves and the vines of the bush and they looked quite lovely. They were white with a blue center and on the bottom of each petal was a splash of purple that stretched to the tip of the gentle oval as if the color had been dragged there by a silkworm.
Mark was somewhat distracted, he was still scouring the horizon in search of danger, in between a dozen thoughts. He was half-turned around and looking at her as she reached slowly for a particularly distinctive flower that stood up in the exact center of the hedge, the focal point, the one that the whole bush seemed to be growing to highlight.
He was caught in one of those moments of limited time when you have six things to say. She continued reaching, reaching. She can’t be thinking of picking the flower? But he knew she was. Don’t pick the flower, he wanted to say. Or if you pick one, at least don’t pick that one, pick one of the ones at the bottom where nobody will notice it is missing. Once you pick it, it’s dead and nobody else will be able to see such a beautiful thing.
“Don’t pick it.” Was all he managed to say and her hand hesitated in the air so he knew she heard him. He held his breath, he wanted to say more in a rush of explanation. How she could pick one of the lower ones, how she maybe could just leave them all and admire them from afar. He probably would have had time to stop her if he’d wanted, but his brain froze up and so did his body. It seemed he could only stand there and watch. Or maybe he secretly, egotistically, wanted to see if his command had any effect on her.
For a moment he waited and held his breath and watched her think. But then, just like with him, she seemed to get caught up in a flow of destiny, and she continued her motion as if he wasn’t there. In between the time her motion started and the time the flower was picked he had a flash of panic, again he sent deter signals to his mouth and limbs but it was already too late.
“How pretty!” She squealed holding the flower, lifting it up to her nose. If only she’d bent down to smell it before she picked it. If only she’d taken that split second more of time before committing the irrevocable action he could have explained the logic of his request. Now it was done.
“You didn’t have a right to take that, that’s the park’s flower. There are people that work to maintain this place you know. It’s to be shared, it’s not for you alone.”
She looked at the flower forlornly, but not for what she had done. She was upset because he wasn’t delighting in the beauty of her happiness. She was upset that her actions weren’t ignored for the beautiful picture she was. The beautiful walking masterpiece. She pouted with the look of the girl who has just found out there is something she can do to make it so that daddy doesn’t love her. She is accountable. And he did feel a little bad. He decided to ease up.
“Next time, at least take one from down below, down where nobody will notice it is missing. In your hand it will look just as beautiful.”
“Why don’t you lay off boy?” It was an old man in overalls working on all-fours next to the hedge. “I’m the groundskeeper here and I say that pretty flowers belong in the hands of pretty girls.”
The old groundskeeper smiled at the girl and she smiled back at him, then tossed her breasts forward an her arms back in that little-girlish pose that is so undeniably sexual, though they pretend that they don’t realize it. She turned back to Mark with a look of triumph.
Mark was furious but his face stayed blank. There was nothing he could do or say now to change his position, he would only look like a cad either way. There was a legitimacy in what he had said, but logic had once again been trumped by a beautiful thing. She knew her power, and she reveled in it.
Just then two fingers reached down from the sky and squeezed his girlfriend’s head. Her mouth opened in a surprised “O” and, with a jerk, the head and most of the spinal column was ripped from the body.
Mark watched, speechless, as the dangling vertebrata was lifted high into the air, blood dripping down behind. Her body falling to the ground with a thud.
“You know if you had just bent down to look, you wouldn’t have killed the creature.” Came a booming voice from high above.
But then another voice responded with a touch of ire, “I couldn’t resist, it was such a beautiful thing.”

The End

      

 

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2002 Ben Jonjak
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
October 2002
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
1921
 

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