Flower Girl: Ella & Carver
A few persons had come to inquire after the flowers. Ella had told them, quite believably and harmlessly, that she was as shocked as they. She'd received a shipment, and where were the forms? She'd need to look, as she wasn't terribly good at paperwork. Her smile, her entire demeanor was a thing made for trustworthiness. She was no grand beauty, and she dressed like some spinster forgotten across the ocean. Certainly, there was a moggy in her bed, tea at the ready, and she likely had photographs of a childhood awkwardly spent conversing with the flowers on the wall.
On the surface, this was Ella.
You had to listen closer to hear the accent that slipped and faded, replacing itself with with warm and old sticky places where booze was lined with rotgut. You had to converse with her, and then you'd hear tales that made no sense in current day. Days old cabbage water, and who did that? No one did. Surely she was just an eccentric old gal, and there was likely nothing sinister about the odd blooms.
She'd spent that morning furthering these very opinions. A bright yellow cardigan over a very sedate and knee-length skirt in robin's egg, she walked around her shop with flat shoes and a little hum. There were the regular orders, and she was working on the weekly arrangement for Old Betty, who lived a sedate and quiet life in the fifth row of the Catholic cemetery. Ben, Betty's husband, had blooms arranged for her weekly. Not just a bushel or a bouquet, because these things wouldn't suit for Betty. Betty, who Ella had it on good authority had been the bee's knees, needed to have something special. And, weekly, Ella provided.
The door opened, and Ella looked up and smiled. Freckles dotted her nose, and she wore no makeup. She looked as if she was made for Sundays and Jesus, and her humming became more clear as the man approached. Amazing Grace, and she knew the man in her store by name. Carver, and she knew he glowed in a way few things in her life did. Conviction, belief, and that was little seen. Even in the pews of the church, few bloomed and few turned their faces to the Heavens. Most pious planned their debauched evenings, or they worried over their bills, or they played Candy Crush. Few glowed, and most couldn't wait to get a giggle on as words flowed from the pulpit. Ella attended both churches, remaining for whatever service felt like the best performance that day, and she knew these things.
"Have you come about your flowers?" she asked, setting aside the lilies she was working with. "Or," she continued, mischief in brown eyes and her hip against the counter, " is it something of a personal nature? You've the look of a man in love. Bank's closed and you need a pretty bouquet to open it back up?" Ella, she reeked of sin. Too sweet, like flowers gone dried between the pages of a book, and the sensation was a hard one to pinpoint.