Aurora - Orange Trees Do Not Bear Warmth


Today, I am getting a tattoo. I am getting a permanent work of art, smack dab on my forearm. It is going to be a daffodil. I walked into the tattoo parlor, and decided that this is my fate. 

I have been illustrating and studying the flowers my mom arranged since I was 14. My mother was one of the only florists in our town, and she was the one that everyone went to for arrangements. 

There is this engaged couple having a wedding tonight. All night last night, me and mom were preparing the flowers. For their bouquet, they wanted daffodils and hyacinths. I helped my mother pick the flowers from our garden. We were picking for hours and hours. I have always loved doing this part, the arranging of flowers for a special occasion.


Before the wedding, I told my partner Hanna that I would be gone for work.

“Ok, love, I will see you tomorrow, I will be back too late to see you tonight.”

Hanna was still very sleepy when I left because it was bright and early in the morning. 

“Byeeeeeeee, I’lll miss youuuuu!” and I left, not knowing what my new obsession was on the rise. Me and mom got into the car and drove for 45 minutes down the highways and city streets. The wedding venue was in a part of town that I haven’t been to before.



“We’re just really glad that you showed up and did a good job. This is very emotional for us”, Marley and Lane said, swallowing their tears of joy. The wedding went on, and Marley wore a buttercup yellow suit with their partner wearing a purple dress. They matched the flowers. They both matched the flowers in more than just the color

 Lane had a tattoo sleeve. She had a traditional style sleeve of tattoos varying from color to black and gray. Marley, though, had a chest piece which was able to be shown in the dress she was wearing. She had a Luna moth draped across her chest, over her collarbones and with such beauty, she single handedly made me obsess. I have never wanted a tattoo this bad. I have never wanted a tattoo throughout my childhood and teenage years. Now, I am 19, and I have never been so sure of something. 


Throughout the wedding, it was like I was moving in Jello. I was spaced out, unable to think of anything but what kind of tattoo I was going to get the next day. 

I drove my mom back to her house, and made the final stop at my apartment. Hanna was fast asleep. I went into the bathroom and listened to some music, the kind the people who lived in the mountains would play a hundred years ago. 


I fell asleep in the bathtub eventually, in my catering clothes and makeup still on. 

I felt dreary and I dreaded getting up. 
I remembered what I was doing today, and all of my sleepiness was sucked out of my body and mind and I zipped into the room. “Hanna, get up!” It was like I was a little kid on a snow day. “HUhhhhhhhh?” Hanna was confused and still half asleep. 
“Hanna, I'm getting a tattoo today! My first one!” “Ok, byeee–” and then she fell asleep mid sentence. 


I got some instant coffee from the kitchen and hopped inside my car and drove. 
I felt less alone today. I felt less like I was obsessing and more like I was just excited. This was the cheapest tattoo parlor in town, and it seems like the main majority of customers were old men. It is kind of awkward, being a queer 19 year old who looks pretty butch. Not quite the main demographic in this town. 


When I stepped inside the parlor, there was a man with very luscious honey colored hair sitting at the desk. I couldn’t think of what to say to him, so I stared for a good 20 seconds at nothing. I was spaced out because all over the walls there were flash posters of different tattoos that the different employees at the store designed. There are so many things to see, so many things to choose from even though I want my own design tattooed on me. My hands are shaking. Here we go. Permanent art on my body forever. 



After the man finished the tattoo, I drove home. I felt kind of queasy the entire time. Out of the corner of my eye, I would see a bee and hear a swarm of them behind me. They were only hallucinations, I thought to myself. I was fine and everything was ok and normal. I kept admiring my tattoo, and how well of a job the man did on it. I fell asleep very easily that night and I kept staring out my window, almost vomiting because I felt so sick. I felt hot to the touch, and everything was blurring. I took a warm shower to try and scrub away my illness, but when I started to wash my legs, my loofah had blood all over it. I washed it off and got out of the shower. What is happening to my body? 


The next morning I couldn’t move. I was stuck in bed. Hanna was up way earlier than me, and I kept talking to her and she tried talking to me, but the bees kept overriding our voices. Eventually, I tried getting out of bed. I tried moving, and nothing happened. My body was growing vines out of my tattoo, and I was rooted down to the bed. My vines kept getting tighter the more I tried to move. 

Hanna came over, and tried to cut the vines, thinking they would die. But they kept wrapping around her too. I didn’t want this to be our end. I didn’t want to be strangled. It gets stronger. She eventually took off the second skin healing wrap on my tattoo. It only got worse. The vines started wrapping around our mouths and throats to where we were muffled and choking.

I didn’t want to die because of an impulse, and most of all, I didn’t want to drag this innocent woman with me. But, things are inevitable. The ivy suffocated both of us. We both died there, in our bed. Our bodies froze in time, until her boss realized that she was not there for work that day. 


Jimmy came over to the duplex. The door was open but neither of us answered (obviously), so he went through the door. He found us. Covered in vines and ivy. My tattoo came out of my arm and into this universe, but how? How did this happen? 

I floated around and cried for who knows how long. Jimmy screamed and ran out of the house, cursing and muttering to himself. 

I attended Hanna and I’s funeral. My tattoo artist was there, snickering in the background. I know he knows we were watching him, somehow. 
My mom made a funeral flower arrangement of fresh Dahlias and Zinnias. I wanted to say thank you. I wish she knew it was all my fault. My fault I was so envious. It made me too sad, so I wandered away. I floated to the clouds and watched the rest of the world. I watched the flowers grow and die, and watched the world go on without us. 



17 years old

More by ziggy3000