Orchid’s Kiss

“A word of warning, criminals are always watching. Taking money from an ATM. Using your new phone whilst walking about. Wearing an easy to recognise and expensive brand of clothing or bag, makes you a prime target. Please be careful out there.”

I wrote this poem in answer to the following prompts:
Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie– Photo challenge — The picture above by –  Bruce Boyd
FOWC with Fandango  — Impervious
Pensitivity’s Three Things Challenge — Person – Sudden – Aghast

Orchids Kiss

“Hi, Mallie Muffin. I’m home!” called Ted tossing his car keys onto the hook by the front door. Picking up his shopping bags, he headed for the kitchen.

“Hey, Teddy Teacake. I’m in the dining room,” Mallory replied sounding relaxed and cheery.

 Ted smiled, so long as she was happy, he was too. Entering the kitchen, he felt his expression become a frown. The window was missing something. “Muffin, what happened to the yellow-and-white plant?”

“Nothing, I have it in here.”

“That’s good. It was very expensive!” Ted put the groceries away then entered the dining room.

Mallory stood at the table with her back to the door. She was wearing a summery blue-grey dress and was busy with something on blue parchment paper.

Ted approached and smoothed her soft titian hair from her shoulder. Playing his hands down her slender back, he curled them around her ribs as he kissed her neck.

“Hmm, that’s better I feel loved again, now,” Mallory said in a purring voice. Looking over her shoulder she kissed him back.

“I’m feeling out of pocket,” Ted put on an aghast expression as he took in a rectangle of white powder on the parchment. Mallory had arranged four delicate flowers upon the powder and sprinkled some over them. “What did you do to our really expensive plant!”

Mallory giggled, “It’s a phalaenopsis orchid. This particular one was about to lose its flowers. It will grow new ones soon, don’t worry.”

“Well, that’s good.” Ted rested his chin on her shoulder. Like that he felt surrounded by her scent and aura. A ‘hug for the soul’ he called it. “Is this going to be some sort of artwork then?”

“Something like that. My grandmother used to preserve all kinds of flowers. She’d use a mixture of borax, cornflour and a special salt. After a few days, they’d dry and she’d shellac them with hairspray.” Mallory wiped her eyes, “It feels kinda special doing what she did.”

“I think it’s really lovely. I reckon you should do it more often to bring you special memories and a beautiful smile.” Ted gave her another kiss. “However, we didn’t have borax. What are you using?”

“This is Epsom salts from the bath supplies. Works just as well. As a bonus, the flowers will scent the salts making for a lovely bath later too.”

“That’s so co—”

A sudden hammering at the front door tore the special moment asunder.

“Bloody Wars! Seems some people feel the need to break the door when they pay a visit!”

“No kidding!” Mallory rolled her eyes.

This visitor thundered against the double glazing three more times.

“I’ll go and see who it is,” Ted left a parting kiss and walked through the house.

Reaching the door, he unlatched and opened it without a thought. “Hell —”

A man dropped his stance and drove his shoulder into Ted’s stomach.

Ted felt himself bulldozed into his hallway. His back struck the credenza, a vase shattered as he crashed over the top and landed on the floor in a shower of potpourri.

“You have something I need. Let me have it and nobody gets killed,” ordered the intruder standing over him with a balaclava drawn over his face.

Winded and dazed, Ted rolled onto his side. Anything to alleviate the ribbons of pain flaring in his kidneys. “Since you asked so nicely … Get bent!” Still stunned Ted rose to a knee. He could see his opponent was a little unsteady. Through his dark jeans and T-shirt, it was clear he was sallow and skinny. His dark eyes and narrow pupils offering a possible reason. “Go get hit by a truck. The doors that—”

The intruder scythed at him with a vicious kick.

Ted seized his ankle, punched his knee and hurled him away. “I said get out!”

Off-balance, the man grabbed at anything to stop him from falling. He hit the deck in a shower of coats and came right back on the attack with an umbrella.

Ted saw the pink-and-purple heart material arcing toward him. He smashed it away only for the intruder to bludgeon him through the door into the lounge.

Having fallen into the armchair, Ted slumped to the floor. Shaking off the daze, he prepared for another assault that didn’t come. Instead, his blood ran cold.

Mallory screamed.

“Bad move, pal!” Ted punched the carpet and vaulted to his feet. Fuelled by anger at hearing his fiancée screaming in fear, he shrugged off any injuries and stalked through his house.

“Let me go!” Mallory demanded as something shattered.

Ted stormed into the dining room.

The intruder had forced Mallory’s face down upon the dining table beside her orchids.

“You just made a big mistake, Skinny!” Ted yelled.

“Just, shut up!” Skinny tightened his grip on Mallory’s hair making her groan in pain. “I saw you draw a lot of money at the bank. Give it to me now. I’ll kill her!”

“You, greedy bucket of bones. How dare you trade money for the life of a lady — my lady!”

“Money – Now!” Skinny picked up a shard of glass from the remains of the orchid’s vase and held it to Mallory’s neck.

Ted took out his wallet and flipped it open. “Here’s twenty quid. That’s all I got.”

“You took out way more than that! Where is it?”

“I did. I took out four hundred. Did you follow me?” Ted said, stock-still and laser-focused on his opponent. He glanced at Mallory and gave her a comforting nod.

“Course, I did, that’s how I got here. Give me the fricken money!”

“If you followed me. You saw me go into the post office and pay my road tax with the money I withdrew. There’s a curved screen TV in the lounge worth two grand. You can take that if you let her go.”  

“No, teacake. You want that to watch the football later,” Mallory said her voice quavering with fear.

“The football means nothing. I don’t care if I never get to watch another game so long as you’re okay, muffin.” Ted took a deep breath. He caught sight of Mallory doing something by the movement of her right shoulder, “So, do you want the TV, skinny?”

“I want money. Go get me money!” Skinny brandished the glass shard and made a show of drawing across Mallory’s neck. “You got fifteen minutes before she’s dead!”

“There’s something more valuable than money,” Mallory said.

“What? Where?” If pupils could become dollar signs, Skinny’s would have lit up like a jackpot-winning slot machine.

“She’s talking about love, idiot!”

“I can’t buy anything with love, I want money!” Skinny kicked the table.

“Love is the most powerful and precious commodity on the planet. True love is impervious to death and lives for eternity within the souls that create it. Mallory and I have such love,” Ted gave her a watery smile.

“We do,” Mallory forced her head from the table. “I can share it with you, sweetie. How about we start with a kiss?”

Skinny looked uncomfortable. Ted was sure he was sweating buckets beneath his balaclava.

“Yeah,” skinny nodded. “We’ll start with a kiss then go to the bedroom while he gets my bloody money,” dropping the glass, he removed his balaclava and turned towards her.

Mallory whipped her hand to her lips and blew a cloud of Epsom salt right into his eyes.

Skinny screamed and turned away.

His face buckled as Ted unleashed a meteoric haymaker. “My love is only for Mallory,”

Skinny lurched backwards knocking over chairs.

Mallory was waiting, she seized his shoulders and buried her knee-deep in his groin. Turning sharply she caught his neck and hip tossed him to the floor. “My kisses are only for my, Teddy.”

“Urgh, you’ll … pay …” Skinny staggered to his feet and tried to swing for her like a bleary-eyed drunk.

Ted seized him around the throat with a well-practised chokehold. “When you wake up there will be a kiss waiting for you. The kiss of cold, hard, steel handcuffs,” he said as the man slumped in his arms.

Mallory grinned, “So, this is why you wanted me to practice fighting in the gym with you.”

“Well, I just wanted to spend more time with you.” Ted dumped the man on the floor. “Seems the gym has more uses than one, though. The salt was genius, by the way.”

“My kiss of death,” Mallory chuckled as she glanced at the table. “All that violence and I still have my four beautiful orchid flowers.”

“Yeah, by more luck than judgement, I reckon,” Ted said using the man’s belt to bind him.

“Maybe. I adore what you said about love lasting for eternity. Did you mean that about our love?”

Ted pulled Mallory into his arms and squeezed her for a long, passionate moment. “These orchid flowers are about to be preserved in a way that will make them last forever. That’s how long my heart and soul will be holding and loving yours.”

“Thank you, Teacake.” Mallory kissed him. “However, can you let me go and call the police to take him away, please?”

Ted laughed and took out his phone, “As you wish, Muffin!”

The End


Thanks for reading my friends.

There’s more in the Poetry CornerPoetry Nook, and the Short Story Collection

Have a great day!

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