Upon hearing that a young lady of his acquaintace had fallen ill with pneumonia after working a punishing schedule in a flea pit theatre with no heating, Aristophanes Brown resolved to pay her a visit as she convalaseced in her lodgings at Charing Cross. He had seen her in a preview production of some Wildean fantasy or other and thought she was uncommonly good, but her admirable and steadfast refusal to give her all to the producers of the West End, it was rumoured, had led to a falling on harder times. He always liked to give her a good write up when he could, i.e. when the paper was happy that the the theatre concerned didn’t double as a brothel, and felt that a visit with cheering news of a new production by a more trustworthy producer would go down well.
Alone, he walked along the embankment, looking for a florist of high quality recently come into business by the river near the rail bridge. It was late morning, the streets quiet, and slipping a coin to a newsboy for the Times second edition, he made his way to the shopfront on the corner of a small street leading towards St Pauls.
The flowers on sale were indeed brilliant, and he took time to inspect all the blooms. They utterly glowed with life, irises, carnations, roses, violets and other brilliant efflourusecences a non-botanist such as himself had no chance of identifying.
“Are you going to spend all day spreading germs on those blooms, or are you going to buy anything?” said a scolding voice.
It was Carina the cat burglar, black hair spilling out from everywhere under a strawish hat, a green apron about her.
“Indeed I am, dear shopkeep! I’ll take a large spray of irises, and do we have any of those white things, you know, drat it I forget.”
“Lilies?” asked Carina. “We have nothing at the moment, but as you see, my gardener is giving the matter his most urgent attention.”
She stepped back with a discrete flourish to reveal the back of the shop. In the darkness, there was a familiar song, the natural sound of the most un-natural thing in the world.
“Hoooooo-heeeee….hooo hooo hooooo heeeeeeeee….woooo wooo, hoo-hee-hooo…”
The moon-a-muck sang to several plant pots full of dead flowers salvaged from parks and gardens of the city, before breaking off to snort a selection of alum crystals up its trumpet.
“Yes, he’s got natural green…er…claws” said Aristophanes, as Carina passed him irises wrapped in day old damp newspaper…
Copyright Mulberry Lighting 03.04.15
15 minutes work, thinking of spring and trying to bring colour into my mind