Sometimes people like to write things about florist’s shops. Here are two things you need to know, the most egregiously wrong things.
1. It makes no fucking sense to sketch out a bouquet before you make it. Every individual flower is different in a way that cannot really be adjusted the way other building materials can be adjusted, and each individual bouquet is unique. Just put the fucking flowers together.
2. No one — in months and months of working at the flower shop — has ever cared what the flower/color of the flower means. No one’s ever asked. It’s just not something people tend to care about outside of fiction and it’s certainly not something most florists know. You know what florists know? What looks good and is thematically appropriate.
Here’s an actual list of the symbology of flowers, as professionals use it:
Yellow – for friends, hospitals
Pink – girls, girlfriends, babies, bridesmaids
Red – love
Purple – queens
White – marriage and death (DO NOT SEND TO HOSPITALS)
Pink and purple – ur mum
Red, orange, and yellow – ur mum if she’s stylish
Red, yellow, blue – dudes and small children
Blue and white – rare, probably a wedding
Red and white – love for fancy bitches
Here are what the flowers actually mean to a florist:
The Fill It Out flowers:
Carnations – fuck u these are meaningless filler-flowers, not even your administrative assistant likes them, show some creativity
Alstroemeria – by and large very similar to carnations but I like them better
Tea roses – cute and lil and come several to a stalk, a classy filler flower
Moluccella laevis – filler flower but CHOICE
Delphinium – not as interesting as moluccella but purple so okay I guess
Blue thistle – FUCK YEAH, some fucking textural variety at last! you’re getting this for a dude, aren’t you?
Chrysanthemums – barely better than carnations but better is still better
Gladiolus – ooh, risky business, someone understands the use of the Y-axis, very good
Long-stem roses – yeah whatever
Lilies – LBD, looks good with everything, get used as often as possible
Hydrangeas – thirsty fuckers, divas of the flower world and rightly so, treat them right and they make you look good
Gerbera daisies – the rose’s hippie cousin, hotter but no one admits it
Peonies – CHA-CHING, everybody’s absolute favorite but you need guap
Orchids – if this isn’t for a wedding you’re probably trying too hard but they’re expensive so keep ordering them
You know what matters? THE CUSTOMER’S BUDGET. THAT’S TELLING.
-$20 – if you’re not under 12, fuck off, get your sugar something else
$30 – good for bouquets but an arrangement will be lame
$40 – getting there, there’s something that can be done with that. you can get some gerbs or roses with that and not have them look stupidly solo.
$50 to $70 – tolerable
$80 – FINALLY. It sounds elitist but this really is the basic amount of money you should expect to spend on an arrangement that matters. That’s your Mother’s Day arrangement. You’re probably not going to spend $80 on a bouquet.
$90 to $130 – THE GOOD SHIT, you’re likely to get some orchids
$130+ – Weddings and death. This amount of money gets you a memorial arrangement or a handmade bridal bouquet. Don’t spend this on a Mother’s Day or a Babe I Love You arrangement, buy whosits a massage or something.
Everything needs greening and if you don’t think that you’re an idiot.
As a new employee, when you start making arrangements, you can’t see the mistakes you’re making because you’re brand new and you’re learning an art form from the ground up.
With a few exceptions customers don’t have a clear plan in mind. They want you to develop the bouquet for them. They want something that will delight their little sweetbread but you’re lucky if they know that person’s favorite color, let alone flower.
Flower shops don’t typically have every kind of flower in every kind of color. Customers generally aren’t assed about that. Most people don’t care about the precise shade of the rose or having daffodils in July, because they’re not boning up on flower language before they buy. That would imply that they’ve got a clear bouquet in mind and, again, they don’t.
Being a florist is essentially a lot like what I imagine being a mortician is about. You’re basically keeping dead things looking good for as long as possible. You keep the product in the fridge so it doesn’t rot and look horrible by the time the family gets a whack at it, and in the meanwhile you put it in a nice container.
Anyway that’s flowers.
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Welcome Back, a CLH short
The part that is previous in the chronological order (but not necessary for understanding this thing): [The Gays: Unburied]
Word count: 2382 words.
TW/CW: body horror with graphic description, pain w. graphic description, please tell me if I need to add anything!
A/N: This is it. This is the weird emotional rollercoaster thing I was talking about. It's... both darker and lighter than what I usually write. I'm not sure how to describe it, but off-beat dark humor + self-discovery galore fits it best. Enjoy?
Current taglist (contact me to be added/removed):
@enchanted-lightning-aes @47crayons @the-titular-bird @sleepy-night-child @mel-writes-with-her-dragons @a-completely-normal-writer @pagesofcursive @rainycatto @pandawriterstuff @aditiwrites
“Hey, Elin, do you have a moment?” Lev’s voice made Elin open their eyes.
They were in their office: a dimly lit room full of strange potions, old books, what they called “spare parts” - you shouldn’t look too closely at what those are - and, probably the most prominent sign of their profession, giant amounts of thread.
When Lev called them, they were chanting a spell from one of their books, drawing symbols in the air over something on their office table covered with a sheet. They interrupted their movements to raise their finger in a “just a moment” gesture, after which they traced a few more symbols, a yellow glow following their finger, and slammed the palm of their hand into the object under the sheet. A bright flash, the sound of an explosion, and everything seemed to be exactly the same. Except it wasn’t.
The figure under the sheet moved, raising its- her head, looking around. A moment later, Angelica was sitting on the table, swinging her legs in the air, her smile as wide and carefree as ever.
“Welcome back,” Elin breathed out, wiping the sweat from their forehead, “and try to stay with us a little longer this time, okay?”
“What do you mean?” Angelica tilted her head, a few locks of dark-blue hair covering her forehead, ”I stayed alive for three whole weeks! That’s a personal record!”
Elin sighed and rubbed their temples.
“Anyway, what did I miss?”
“Umm,” Lev interrupted, “We… it appears we have a problem. Elin, may I borrow you for a while?”
“Sure. It’s not like I need rest after performing one of the most difficult spells in existence,” Elin squeezed out a sour smile, stretching on their way to the door, “I promise to get you up to speed later, Angie. So, what are we dealing with?”
In a classroom near a broken window, a disheveled figure sat in a trapping circle, one of their arms wrapped around their legs, the other lying near them on the floor, disembodied. Disheveled was what they looked like at first glance. After a more thorough look at their form, the word decaying came to mind. The student who brought them back tried their best, but the illusion of life can only last so long.
At first, they didn’t notice the differences, distracted by their chase of that pesky vampire, fueled by their rage, but now they were stuck with themself. With their corpse, to be exact.
They tried to ignore it. The knocking sound their fleshless hand made when it touched the floor, the strange, unfamiliar movements of their body. But some things couldn’t be ignored. Their mouth felt wrong: after a few seconds of shock, they discovered they had no tongue. Breathing didn’t work, so they gave up on that. They didn’t want to think about what was going on inside their body.
They told themself they were lucky that there are no mirrors in the classroom, but they were stuck with something much worse than reality: their imagination.
“How long have they been like this?” Elin asked, peeking through the keyhole.
“A few hours now. They were fine at first: they tried to kill Evgeny, we talked about education, things were going great! But then, when their arm fell off...”
Elin nodded and, without further questions, opened the door and walked over to the trapping circle.
“Hello there! Wonderful day today, isn’t it?” Elin asked, leaning over to see the undead’s face. This ridiculous statement shocked them enough to raise their head and look at the newcomer.
Even though the sight displayed to Elin was far from pleasant, to say the least, they did nothing but smile in the most honest and friendly way.
“I wouldn’t call this day a particularly good one, sir”
“Yeah, you’re probably right. But ‘sir’ is not really my cup of tea, and it’s a bit too formal, anyway, don’t you think?”
The figure from the circle looked Elin over one more time. They were quite a sight, wearing a red bowtie, a white shirt, a red vest that was made of nothing but pockets, a long, black skirt, high-heel shoes, and a tiny blue cylinder that held onto their thick, curly hair by nothing short of a miracle. A bird skeleton with a matching bowtie sat on their shoulder.
“What should I call you, then?”
“My name is Elin, but you can pick a nickname if you want. I’m fine with anything. And what may I call you?”
The undead stared at Elin. This was too good to last. When will they finally notice? When will they run away? Why won’t they run away? “Louis. My name was Louis, I think.”
“Nice to meet you!” Elin said, beaming, and it didn’t sound like a mere courtesy form. “Now, I was told that something seems to be bothering you. Would you mind telling me what that is?”
Do they really not see? Without saying a word, he picked up his arm and waved it in the air.
“Oh, that. That’s not really a problem, is it? I can sew it back on, good as new.”
“That’s not the worst part,” Louis lowered his detached arm, trying not to look at any part of himself. He thought about how he could see, considering the state his eyes must be in. If they’re still there, of course. He tried not to think about it. Then he thought about how he could think, and what must’ve become of his brain. He tried not to think about that, too.
“Tell me, then! I’ll do anything I can to help.”
Louis fell silent, staring at the floor. “All I want is for it to go away,” he said finally, in a small, weak voice. “This-” he gestured at himself, “can you get rid of it?”
“Well… I could do that. But I have something better to offer. I think you might like it, too. But first, there’s something I must ask you.”
Louis raised what he hoped was still his eyebrows.
“Do you hate magic?”
“Do you hate magic? Because what I’m offering is very much magic. Moreover, magic will become a part of your life forever, and that would be just bad for everyone if you really, deeply hate magic.”
Louis froze. Did he, really? Everyone at the Order hated magic. That’s why they were there. That, or because all of their ancestors did it, so it would be strange to pick a different profession. That, or they wanted to see magic - just a glimpse, just for a second, even if you have to kill it to know that it was real. That, or…
Something bumped into Louis’s leg. He looked down to see a tiny bird skeleton in a bowtie ramming its head into his leg. It looked up at him and tilted its head. “Meow?” it asked.
Louis reached out and petted the little thing, the bones of his hand clanging against the bird’s skull. It gave out a purr and buried its head further into what remained of his palm.
“Hey there, fella,” Louis smiled, petting the bird’s skull, “you’re a friendly one, aren’t you? Who’s a good bird? You are! Yes, you-” a quiet chuckle reminded Louis where he was and what he was doing. He jerked his hand away from the bird as he tried to recompose himself.
“Kitty likes you,” Elin said, the happy chuckle still in their voice, “and she’s not the one to trust new people.”
Louis just nodded, looking at the little creature. She now climbed onto his leg and was pushing his hand with her beak for more pats. And of course, Louis provided more pats.
“Just… do whatever it is you want to” Louis sighed, looking back at Elin, who was staring at the picture of Kitty and Louis bonding with childlike happiness written on their face.
“Shouldn’t you at least ask what I’m offering?”
“Eh. I suppose it doesn’t get much worse than this.”
Elin shrugged and dug through the pockets of their vest until they found a small flask.
“Here. Drink this. It’ll help”
“I’m not… I’m not sure I still have the, you know… internal organs necessary for drinking”
“Doesn’t matter. This just has to be inside of your body” Elin handed him the flask so that it would be inside of the circle.
Louis studied the liquid on the inside. It looked transparent and didn’t seem to have a smell, not that he was sure that he could sense smells. “Looks like water”
“Yep. It’s a special kind of water. Pretty rare, too. It's called the water of death, even though the result is closer to the opposite. Only crows know where to get it for some reason”
“That sounds like absolute gibberish,” Louis thought but kept it to himself. Instead, he took a long sip of the liquid from the flask. And regretted it immediately.
Do you know that funny feeling when you’ve been sitting for too long, and your legs feel sore all over as if tiny needles are pricking them? Imagine that but to a hundred. A thousand. Flesh that had been dead for years trying to start feeling again. The first feeling to wake up was pain.
The water fought its way down his throat, or rather made room for a new throat in the mess that was there now. It reached the stomach area, squishing, stretching, and tearing everything in a way that would make the contents of his body internal organs. The liquid settled for a second, allowing Louis just enough time to try and scream. Then, it went to the head, and screaming became a dream ten circles of pain down. His sight blacked out as that demon pretending to be water ravaged through his brain, nose, ears, face. His vision snapped into place as two renewed eyes took their place in their eye sockets. A moment to rest, cry and scream, and his limbs were under siege, new flesh and muscles fighting for every inch of space. It took an eternity until the last drops of agony settled near his left wrist, and everything was over. He had the time to scream now, but he couldn’t. He was empty and overwhelmed at the same time. He felt terrible. He felt great. He got up from the floor - he didn’t notice how he fell - and the hard wooden floor pressed against his hands and feet. He shivered under the light breeze that entered the classroom through the broken window. He sneezed, involuntarily covering his nose with his hand. His soft, warm nose with his soft, warm hand. He looked at his hands again. His right hand was a completely normal, human hand, with skin and veins and nails. His left hand was a skeleton all he was down to the wrist, after which his arm looked ordinary.
“Well, how are you feeling?” A voice he managed to forget about asked
“Fine,” Louis said, still studying his hands. He felt the difference in his voice: instead of sound simply exiting the body, it was his voice. He used his lungs, vocal cords, tongue, and teeth. Incredible.
“If you’re wondering about the hand,” Elin said, trying to read Louis’s expression, “it’s a sort of payment. You see, it’s technically against all the rules of the universe to resurrect a person. So, it’s a way to get through a loophole. You’re not completely alive, just about ninety-eight percent of you”
A soft “oh” was all Louis could say.
How was that of any importance? He could breathe. He could blink. He could smile and feel the muscles on his face stretching. His vision became foggy, and he realized one more thing he could do: cry. And he cried, and he laughed, and he felt the wet, warm tears run down his face and fall into his mouth. He could taste how salty they were, and that was the best thing he ever tasted. Elin didn’t bother him.
After about half an hour of this, they said: “I will go get you some clothes, then,” and quietly left the room.
Louis froze. So that’s why it felt so chilly. A feeling of warmth on his cheeks indicated that blushing worked too.
“So, how are… things?” Lev asked Elin as they exited the room.
“Don’t try to convince me you haven’t been watching the whole thing. I know you.”
“Oh, I would never-” Lev tried his best to make an honest face, but in all the centuries of his life he still didn’t learn how to lie.
“So, what size would you say he is?” Elin asked, already heading down the corridor in the direction of the storage room.
“Umm- a medium-sized... human… size? We have those, right?”
“Weren’t you in charge of ordering uniforms? I thought you’d know the sizes.”
“Yeah, I was, but I just ordered a lot of everything and hoped it would fit somebody.”
“Well… if it works, it works, I guess. We’ll figure it out.”
“Wait-” Lev caught up to Elin and grabbed their shoulder, “shouldn’t we think about this first?”
“About what? Providing him with clothes?” Elin raised an eyebrow. Kitty, who was back on their shoulder, tilted her head.
“No! Just, listen. They were a monster hunter, and now, after you brought them back, they won’t be able to leave places with magic. Like the academy. I know the safety standards here are… not the best, but isn’t it just like trapping a fox in a cage full of rabbits?”
“He’s hardly a fox. He’s more like a severely misguided cat. Besides, if he really hated all things magic, the spell wouldn’t work at all.”
“You keep Evgeny around, don’t you?”
“That’s different! He was a monster-hunter centuries ago! I didn’t have to worry about over a hundred kids back then”
“And now you have Evgeny to stop this guy if he turns out to be a fox after all. And me, and Angie, and Arthur, and Bylur, and literally everyone at the academy. We’ll keep an eye on him.”
Lev opened his mouth. Lev closed his mouth. Lev sighed. The rest of the way to the storage room was quiet.
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