Thursday, June 18, 2020

Microstory 1389: Flowers

Nature Surveyor: Good afternoon, sir! I was hoping you could answer a few questions about nature, and the environment.
Fiore Stern: Are you trying to get me to save the whales, or something?
Nature Surveyor: No, agenda here, sir. We just wanna know how you feel about the arboretum, and whether you think there’s anything we should change.
Fiore Stern: Well, I think you could do with a few more flowers.
Nature Surveyor: Okay, so we were considering expanding to become partly a botanical garden as well. Are there any examples you know? Like, is there a botanical garden you’re particularly fond of?
Fiore Stern: I don’t understand why you can’t just plant more flowers. You don’t have to change the name.
Nature Surveyor: Well, we do have some flowers, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but an arboretum will focus more on the trees. It’s less open, and you can kind of get lost in it. With a garden, you’ll be able to see a lot more from any one vantage point. So there is a difference, but I’m not rejecting your idea. 
Fiore Stern: Okay.
Nature Surveyor: We were also considering building a second arboretum on the other side of town, but a land developer is also lobbying for that acreage. Would you rather have something like this—or, I suppose, something with more flowers—or a high-tech intentional community that doesn’t allow cars?
Fiore Stern: It doesn’t allow cars? How the hell do people get around?
Nature Surveyor: The developer is hoping to build a robust public transport system, and keep the buildings close to each other, and more vertical, so they take up less land.
Fiore Stern: Weird. So, I guess you do have an agenda.
Nature Surveyor: Both projects are designed to enrich the community, and support the environment. We’re not fighting against them so much as both sides are trying to figure out which development the people would prefer.
Fiore Stern: Well, like I said, I want more flowers.
Nature Surveyor: Yes, I understand that. I’ll write that again over here, to reiterate that you would want less of an arboretum, and more of a botanical garden.
Fiore Stern: Okay, good.
Nature Surveyor: So, this question isn’t on my list, but why is it you like flowers so much? Do you have fond memories of planting with your mother, or something?
Fiore Stern: Not really. When I was a kid, our neighbor planted toxic flowers, and then covered them with this meat paste so our dog wouldn’t be able to resist eating them. It was retaliation for him eating all her good plants.
Nature Surveyor: Oh, dear. Was the dog okay?
Fiore Stern: Nope. I’m the one who found the body. It was the most interesting thing I had ever seen. Of course, I was only a few years old at the time, so pretty much anything fascinated me. I started learning about flowers after that day, though, so I guess it was particularly important.
Nature Surveyor: Oh, my. You wanted to be able to make sure something like that never happened again?
Fiore Stern: No, why would I do that? I don’t eat flowers.
Nature Surveyor: Right, but...okay. Well, that’s all I have for you, so I better get going.
Fiore Stern: I’ve learned a lot since then.
Nature Surveyor: I’m sure you have. I need to go find more people to interview.
Fiore Stern: If you’re hiring, I could use a job. I know a lot about plants, which ones are poisonous, and which ones are fine. The reason I’m in the area is because I’m hoping to go to college here next year. I know I look old, but I was held back one year, and then I took a gap year, and then I was arrested...
Nature Surveyor: Oh, that’s interesting. You can ask for an application at the front office. I gotta go. Bye.
Fiore Stern: (Bitch.)

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