That smell. Her smell. I hadn’t been able to place it when I first met Nyssa, but the other night, as I was walking home from work, I had a strange flashback. I remembered walking the previous summer, and passing a strange, vining plant with flowers that were shut tight as eyelids against the day, and that opened as the sun began to set. Bees flocked to these flowers, crawling all over them. They crawl atop one another to get their fat little bodies closer to the source, a congregation of angels, drunk on pistil and petalscent. I too came closer and inhaled. It was incredible. Sweet but not cloying. I couldn’t imagine a scent that would attract me more. Naturally, it was her smell.
I later discovered this flowering vine was Datura, otherwise known as “Angels Trumpets.” And in this name we find the truth behind this plant, as angels trumpets refers to the call before final judgement. The apocalypse.
The fruits that dangle from the tendrils of this plant are these spiked, fleshy balls. Inside are hard, smooth seeds that when consumed, cause intense hallucinations. I’ve taken some psychedelics in the past but Datura was in a class of its own, not so much in regard to intensity as malevolence. Datura was a wicked ride to hell, ergot on steroids.
I wondered to myself if I was like one of those bees, drawn to her by her scent. I wondered if sucking on her seed pods would prove as lethal. I doubted I’d ever have the opportunity to find out. But this was definitely another breakthrough for the story, whatever it might wind up being.
Excerpt from Loves Notes to a Stranger, one of the seven stories in Words of Traitors.
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