Annie stood on the hill, looking out at the carpet of flowers. The entire field was covered in pure white, shining in the sun. It was spectacular and each year it just seemed to get better. It had been the same, ever since she was a little girl, every year she would come out to the fields to see the flowers. They were spreading too, slowly but surely, the thought made Annie feel warm inside. Reminding her that even when she was gone, the flowers would keep blooming and perhaps one day, her own daughter would come out here and stand on the hill, looking over the flowers and remember times they spent together. Annie’s mother brought her here every year on the same day until she died and after that Annie made the trip by herself. She felt closer to her mother here, like her mother was watching over her. Sometimes she would talk to her mother, tell her what has been happening in her life. It felt right somehow, more so even than doing it in the cemetery, by her gravestone. Annie hated that gravestone. So grey and dull, not like her mother at all. This, this was the place where her mother should have been buried, amidst the perfect white flowers. Annie always brought flowers to her mothers grave when she visited, even planted a few, though the cemetery people frowned on that, but it wasn’t the same.
Annie often wished she could bring some of the flowers home with her, but she knew she couldn’t touch them. They were highly poisonous, and even with gloves Annie didn’t feel safe. She remembered her mothers warnings, her descriptions of what would happen. Annie always made sure she was standing well back. She sometimes wondered why they didn’t just destroy the flowers, but that made it all the more special. It was a secret. She had never seen any other people out here and it was a good walk from the trail. It was a secret that she and her mother still shared. Some years, usually the ones that were particularly stressful, Annie worried that she would arrive at the field to find the flowers gone, razed to the ground, that someone had discovered her place, but so far no one had. Every year the flowers bloomed beautifully and insects buzzed lazily around them. It really was her favourite time of the year.
She had tried to identify the plants herself, find some information about them, always hoping that perhaps they weren’t as poisonous as her mother said. That maybe it was just her mother being overprotective of a young child, but she hadn’t been able to find anything about them. Any time she tried she was inundated with thousands of flowers, all looking similar but none like the ones in the field. She wondered if perhaps she could plant some in her own garden, maybe in a pot if they spread easily, and then she would have a piece of her mother with her year round.
The sun was setting, the oranges and reds reflecting off the flowers, turning their glow into that of a small fire. She took one last deep breath, inhaling the sweet but heady fragrance, and she started to walk back to the trail. This year she would find out what they were, she would learn all about them and she would start her own garden from these very flowers.