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A Kiss From a Rose

Posted on 26 Oct 2023 @ 11:00pm by Petty Officer 2nd Class Alizabeth Omari

762 words; about a 4 minute read

Mission: Miranda
Location: Sick Bay
Tags: Fever, dream

As much as Aliza was convinced she was getting better, a rational pocket of her mind knew she was not in the least. The med bay personnel were terrific, they were as attentive as they could be, she knew she was not one of the worst cases in the least and felt an unnecessary drain on their thinly stretched resources. Honestly, she wondered if the worst cases were not sent to their quarters because there was no room in the med bay for someone suffering this affliction worse than others that shared the floor with. Whatever worse looked like.

One of the med staff came over and gestured for Aliza’s arm, “You need to sleep.”

Aliza responded as she did every time, “Yes, yes I do.”

The sedative did not take long and she was pulled under, drawn from her place on the in medical and into the depths of dreams only the mix of the sleep medication and the fever would bring her. These were not like they had been at the beginning now they were just… wild.

Dancing through a well tamed garden, pathways clean, perfectly trimmed bushes and plantings, a hedgerow to the side circling the path she was upon. Passing the same rose bush three times she realized she was encircled by the hedges, no opening, no escape, she was trapped in this image of perfection. Music played and her feet moved to it even as she tried to reach out to grab something to stop herself. Focusing on her feet, willing them to just stop, the song kept playing, growing louder as she tried to scream out for help over it, hands clawed at the air, wanting to stop, needing to stop.

The center of the garden tipped and her ballet carried her over petals of a deep red rose, rising and falling around the outside edges where they opened and curled under. Around her grew other plants, pink half circles unfurled from a light green stem, opening like oysters, mouths edged with spikes dipped and reached for her, trying to devour the dancer. Sprays of pollen were kicked up as she was pushed further towards the yellow stigma by the hunger of plants surrounding her. Feet leaping from anther to anther, the filaments beneath them bending, adding to the bounce of her step, until one snapped and she fell into the pistil.

Then there was nothing, no sound, no light, no feeling around her, just… nothing. Aliza took a breath and exhaled with a huff, just wanting proof that she still could breathe and the darkness was pierced by a pattern of red fading through blues to white and disappearing into the inkinesss of the space she was in. Reaching out, unable to see her hand until she blew out towards it and her skin became coated in pink that followed as she moved her fingers, weaving the colors into little patterns that circled and flowed around her body. She looked like a bioluminescent creature suspended in a void of black.

Touching a comm device in her ear, calling out to see if anyone would respond. Unable to hear her own voice but something, or someone, was speaking and the sound surrounded her. “You are so beautiful,” the voice suspended in the void. Aliza tried to question, tried to speak but only the colors of her breath escaped, “Such a special little sight.” Frowning as she spun, trying to find the source of the voice only to be wrapped in it like a caress, “I will keep you forever.”

The voice came closer and her body became engulfed in ribbons her breath created, extending out and then wrapping close. Petals rising from a base she became anchored upon, two hugging her curved form, then three around them, layer after layer until she was fully engulfed in the floral scent of a rose bud.

“Such perfection,” a face lowered, pink lips nearing, seeking her as the ones who ushered her to the dark before had. A gentle kiss was placed on the edge of velvety petals before a glass dome encompassed her. “You will always be safe with me.” The words rattled around inside the glass until it shattered and she fell, each glass shard cutting her then joining with stems and becoming thorns.

Tumbling down wood like branches, her skin scraped and punctured from the plant’s defenses until she was dropped into a wave of darkness again, only to wake on her mat in the grasp of another high fever.


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