The Gardeners

All the stories said if you went into that garden, you’d be eaten, and B– imagined the place was full of towering venus flytraps and pitcher plants and cape sundews. It wasn’t the sort of garden B– found herself in often, anyway; in the nice part of town, far from the highways and strip malls, by the tall brick mansions that loomed like strange monoliths. But she went there for a party (a “garden-party,” which she’d heard of but had never seen in real life), and she arrived in her black pants and white shirt, her caterer’s uniform, and she stepped through the gate to find towering flowers in alien colors, barbed flytraps, vines twisting around slender trunks with a soft creaking, fog heavy between rose brambles, a distant syrupy smell of rot. She wondered: who would plant such a garden anyway? Then she found them, rich folk wearing barbed dresses in alien colors, looking at her and not the silver-covered platters she carried, and she realized it wasn’t the plants who were going to eat her after all.

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