All for the Cause
The world has been plagued by these loathsome plants for what seems like eternity. All other creatures have been forced to submit to their will. Many believe they know the person who brought Them to earth, but only a select group knows the truth. I am one of them. I was sent to the past on a mission to save everyone from this fate yet to happen. I was appointed for this by Frederick, and told to go to his office in the Begonia Government Building.
"Hello, Stu," he greeted me, his usual blank face smiling excitedly at me.
"Hello, Frederick. What am I here for today?" I asked cautiously.
"As you know, no one like the tyranny of the Begonias, except the Begonias. The organization has noticed that our usual revolts are not enough to stop them. So it was decided that one should be taken to the past to stop the Begonias before they grow. It was you we decided should be the One."
"What will this mission entail?"
"You will stop William S. Chase from growing Begonias. I can't tell you any more right now. Do you accept?"
"Yes, but you're a Begonia " I trailed off, confused at his reasoning.
Ignoring me, he continued, "Good. You have twelve hours to report to Room 801. From there, they will give you further instructions. Good luck, Stu."
"Thank you," I responded numbly as I walked out of the forbidding cedar doors. For the next twelve hours, my mind was in shambles. I knew I was obligated to stop William S. Chase, but stopping him would cause everything I had ever known to be gone, including me. All for The Cause. Just thinking about it made me either want to cringe or hurl. I was in a state of confusion.
As I walked to Room 801, I knew my life would never be the same.
"Morning, Stu," a Daffodil greeted me.
"Hello," I responded automatically.
"If you would follow me, please," he said. I slowly nodded from there; I didn't seem to stop. My mind whirled with details and facts about the past and the mission. I was scheduled to stop William S Chase on April 2, 2901 at 9:01 p.m. I could feel the weight of this important mission on my shoulders. In my mind, I believed this mission to go off without a hitch, but little did I know that I was completely unprepared.
As I opened the telephone booth door, the air was crisp and clean. Birds were chirping and the sun was shining. It seemed as if I had just walked into a fairy tale. I was unsure as to what to do, the only thing I knew was that I had to stop William S. Chase.
* * *
"In two weeks, we will have science experiments due," the class groaned, when the teacher said this, everyone except Billy. "I know, I know," the teacher patiently said, then proceeding to give the details of the assignment. Billy was very excited about this project. He was an inspiring botanist and decided to experiment with the way begonias grow. It would be the best project ever, he was sure of that.
As Billy was planning his incredible project at home, the doorbell rang. With his mind swirling with calculations and materials, he opened the door.
* * *
A teenage boy opened the door. He looked fairly average, from what I'd seen in history books: brown hair, brown eyes, white shirt, bow tie, pocket-protector, and jeans. The house itself was decorated in suburban decor.
"Y-Y-Yes?" The boy stuttered, his face contorted with surprise.
"Does William S. Chase live here?" I asked.
"Yes," he responded flatly.
"May I speak to him?" The boy made no move and a silence surrounded us. "May I speak to him?" I repeated. The silence continued.
"I'm Billy," he finally said. "Short for William," he clarified upon seeing my blank stare. "Who are you? And why do you look so funny?"
"Billy," he interrupted.
"I am Stu-"
"STU? What kind of name is Stu?"
"It is my name," I said, slightly annoyed by all his interruptions. "I am from the future."
"The future? You expect me to believe that? If you're from the future, why'd you come here?"
"The future is not a kind place. A dictatorship of Begonias rules us. I was sent here to stop you."
"To stop me," he repeated dumbly. "From doing what?"
"From growing Begonias." His ignorance was annoying.
"What!? That's stupid! What did begonias ever do to you?" Billy said, finally recovering from his shock.
I sighed at his stupidity. "The Begonias started off like any other flower in your garden, small and harmless. Your science experiments affected their growth, and they grew and grew " My mind recalled the things that had happened to me because of them. I had lost everything, even my best friend.
"So? Big begonias. You're a big begon-"
"Lily," I corrected
"Well, like I was saying," his voice carried an edge to it. "You're a big lily. Now if you would please leave me alone, I'd like to get back to my lab." With that, the door shut, finalizing our conversation. I was confused; I kept going over possibilities to why he didn't stop experimenting. Was it what I said? Or something stupid, like the way I look? If it was the later reason, then this world was no better than my own. I decided that I would observe him in his lab. I quickly and quietly knelt beside the basement window to his lab. As I watched him, a plan began to formulate in my mind.
The sky began growing dark and the streetlights turned on. Billy began yawning and soon left the basement. I knew it was time to set my plan in action. I slowly and carefully opened the basement window and slid into the dark room. Above me, I heard the night sounds of Billy's family. I momentarily wondered what it would be like to have a family like his. I shook the thought from my mind. I had a mission.
On his worktable were numerous flasks, bottles, tubes, and other various pieces of scientific equipment. One flask stood out in the dark room. It was a brilliant fuchsia and was still bubbling; it had to be the growth solution Billy had just made. I carefully uncorked it. The potent smell wafted to me and I grew a new leaf. I sighed; this liquid would bring destruction to the world as I knew it. I put the cork back on and set it down, so that I could find Billy's notes. I found the notebook carefully placed away from the chemicals. Curious as to what the potion in the flask consisted of I began reading. His notes were very detailed and showed thought and effort. I knew would be sad and disappointed to find them missing in the morning, but this was not a choice I had the freedom to make. Suddenly, a light flickered on above me. It wasn't a good sign. As hastily and silently as possible, I hid in the dirty clothes, leaving the notebook haphazardly on the table. It was Billy.
He began talking in a soothing voice to the unadvanced begonia plants. He obviously deeply cared for them. He eventually noticed that his notes were not in their original place. "Alright, come out, Stu," he said. When I didn't appear, he started talking to me as if he knew where I was. "I know you're here somewhere, but oh well. I want to be a botanist, I love plants."
"I know," I admitted as I appeared from beneath the clothes.
"Will you tell me why you are here? I promise I won't interrupt," he asked, curious about me.
"Ok. Well, your Begonias will grow and grow. They will be more powerful than humans," I paused to let that sink in. "They will use your growth formula on other flowers so that they will carry out their wishes. Lilies, Chrysanthemums, Daffodils, Roses all species. With their power, Begonias become corrupt, making everyone submit to their will. There is a small group of rebel flowers who oppose the Begonia Dictatorship. We are united by one flower, ironically, a Begonia- a good one, of course. He is the one who organized this mission to stop you. I am the Trusted One. I swore my allegiance to him when we were in the orphanage together, when we were still buds. He told me the truth then, and always has."
" If you succeed, won't you be afraid of what might happen to you after this?" Billy asked.
"Yes. When I succeed, I was told that I will disappear."
"That sucks," he paused. "I wouldn't do it. Not for them, not for anyone," he said firmly. "I'd rather live."
"You do not understand," I implored. "The world is a horrible place with the Begonias. I live for The Cause."
"Oh," he murmured. He paused, deep in thought. "Here," he handed me the flask. "I may not agree with you're reasons, but I'll help you anyways. Besides, bringing doom to the earth will probably result in an F."
One by one, he destroyed his notes, catching them on fire with a candle. I diluted the mix heavily with water and gradually poured it down the sink. I could feel something strange happening to me. I was disappearing.
"Thank you, Billy," I whispered. Everything I had ever known would be no more, all for The Cause. I had succeeded.
"You're welcome," Billy cried out into the empty room. A single leaf lay on the floor, but that was all.