Be Careful What You Wish For
By: Stephanie J. Bardy

Stella leaned back from her perch on the windowsill.

"Vera, you still alive down there?" she craned one of her leaves, living up to the moniker Spider plant.

"Aloe love!" greeted Vera. " 'ave you 'eard from The Mother in Law lately?"

Again, Stella stretched. The Mother-in-law stood proud and silent in her planter.

"She is still pouting because she didn-t get a fancy dish." Said Stella.

Rosemary snickered from her box. The Mother-in-Law gave a loud indignant sniff. Basil outright laughed.

"At least you all get your own containers! The rest of us have to share! Except for Mint. But nobody wants to bunk with mint." Said Basil as he stretched his leaves towards the dwindling sun.

Again, The Mother-in-Law gave an indignant sniff. "You talk to much."

"She speaks!" hollered Stella. "Call the humans! She speaks!"

The Mother-in-Law drew her leaves up as tall as she could. She had endured the jeers and criticism from the other plants for long enough. She had been silent since she had been taken from her mother plant and brought to this new place. Put in a large window staring down from a great height. Does the two-legged watering can not know that a fall from here would surely end her? Splatter her dirt across the grey ground for sure. She stared longingly at the green ground not far from the beige and grey one. It was lush, soft looking, comforting. She pulled her consciousness back and prepared to berate the others.

A tiny voice beside her whispered softly.

"Do you want to be where the green things are?" she asked.

The Mother-in-Law looked around. Beside her was a planter full of almost dead buds. The Watering Can thought she could save them.

"Was that you?" she whispered back.

Bergamot waved slightly, for that is all the energy she had. "Do you want to be where the green things are?" she whispered again.

The Mother-in-Law looked out the window again at the little park across the street. She watched the river flow slowly and the birds fly freely from tree to tree.

"More than anything." She whispered longingly.

"Then say those words." Said Bergamot. "Say what you want and touch me."

The Mother-in-Law straightened as tall as she could get. She fixed her gaze on the grass and trees and river. "I want, I need, I wish with all my roots, to be where the green things are!" her voice rang out and she heard the Watering Can roll over in the other room.

The other plants laughed.

"What in the world are you bellowing about?" asked Stella.

The Mother-in-Law bent one of her leaves down and touched the tip to the dying Bergamot.

"Never you mind." She retorted indignantly. "You don-t deserve to know."

Two days later, the container that Bergamot was in, was gone. Then Patchouli left. Basil leaned over and whispered to The Mother-in-Law.

"They have gone to where the green things are." He said sadly.

The Mother-in-Law ignored him and looked at the tip of her leaf. Where it had touched Bergamot, it was brown, dry and brittle.

A week went by. The Watering Can did all she could but the leaf kept shrivelling, then others began to show signs of the brown.

Soon all of The Mother-in-Law was dry brown and shrivelled. Through all this, through all the pain, the anguish, she had remained silent. She knew that this must be the way to the place where the green things were. The others had all befallen the same fate before they left for greener pastures.

The day finally came. Her roots were so dry and brittle they could barely hold the earth around them. Her leaves were nothing but brown dried paper. The Watering Can came for her. She looked sad as she took her from the window.

Stella, Vera and the others watched in sadness as well. Basil waved goodbye as his leaves drooped.

But The Mother-in-Law was happy. She was finally going.

She smiled as she was carried out of the apartment. It was time. She could barely contain her excitement.

Bewilderment and then shock and fear set in as The Watering Can stopped at the big green bin.

All the plants had watched as bits of others had gone into the big green bin. Vegetables, plant scrapes, dead plants. All in the big green bin.

The Mother-in-Law tried to scream as she was dumped from her container into the bin.

She looked around, terrified. She lay among the onion skins, the eggshells, the green onion bits, the peel from a cucumber.

She cowered in that bin for three days. Then she felt the bin moving. She blacked out after that.

She woke up a few weeks later. She didn-t recognize herself. She felt like the earth that used to hold her, but it was took dark to see where she was.

She felt herself rising and then she was being shaken. Light slowly began to filter in from above and before she knew it, she was being dumped upside down.

She felt wider than she was in her pot. Large metal teeth came down on her again and again, spreading her thinner and thinner. She was stabbed and stuffed, then drowned.

She surveyed her surroundings. As she took in what she saw, she realized what she had become. She was compost. She was the decayed remains of herself and her friends from the big green bin. What was once Bergamot, smiled at her. She was in a compost heap, decaying in the sun. Along with the peelings from cucumbers, and moldy cheese.

"Be careful what you wish for, and how you wish for it." She said.

She had really gone to where the green things were.

The End


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