Dolores had been married to William Fletcher for ten years. She seldom lost her temper but her rage once resurrected was like the fury of a Scottish ghost. William was a reserved man exhibiting occasional spells of passion. This lack of real love was annoying, but Dolores never complained.
Dolores, out of boredom and in want of a child, would take long walks in the countryside. One bright sunny day, she saw William picking a bouquet of wildflowers. She blushed and ran home hoping that it might lead to an afternoon lovemaking. Willian returned to the cabin several hours later, exhausted, and ambled off to bed.
Two weeks later, Dolores watched William picking another bouquet of wildflowers. He seemed to have a cheery disposition and a spring in his step. Staying out of sight, she followed him up the lane to a widow’s cottage. The widow accepted the flowers, wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him.
Dolores sat on a log heartbroken, trying to think about what she was going to do. The more she thought, the angrier she became. She called her childhood friend Molly Figgins, who still lived in Scotland.
“Hello,” a mild, high-pitched voice came over the receiver.
“Molly, this is Dolores in America.”
“Is anything wrong?” Molly asked.
“I need to hear a friend’s voice from home.”
“Is William well?” She asked.
Dolores could feel the heat of anger boiling in her blood.
“Aye, he and his mistress are just fine.”
“A scoundrel!” Molly spat.
“Aye, I discovered his indiscretion today.”
“What can I do to help?”
“Remember when we were girls and we used to read the poetry of David Mallet?”
“Yes, I do. I remembered you were always fond of William and Margaret.”
“Aye, I remember too. I must admit missing Corn Cockle the most.”
“Do you have a garden?”
“Aye, a bonny one. If I say so myself.”
“After a travesty like the one you just experienced, nothing will set you straight faster than a reminder of Scotland. I’ll pop a package in the mail. It should be there within a week.”
“I appreciate your friendship as always.”
“It’s the least I can do to cheer up my best friend.”
A week later, a small parcel arrived at Dolores’s door. She opened it and found a bag of dark seeds and a pair of rubber gloves. An hour later, she had mixed the seeds with a large bag of birdseed, and poured the mixture into the feeder.
Springtime arrived. A new aqua marine wildflower no one had ever seen bloomed in the grassy fields around the cottage.
It wasn’t long before William noticed the beautiful blossoms growing along the path to his mistress’s bedroom. William plucked an enormous bouquet and presented them to his lover. That night, Willian did not return home. On his second day missing, Dolores reported his absence to the Constables. Four days later, the postal delivery officer described a foul smell coming from his mistress’ hut. The patrolman found the two of them lying in each other’s arms. The Detectives believed it was a suicide pact between the two lovers. No one noticed the garland of Corn Cockle in the vase on the nightstand next to the bed. As sure as the grim ghost came from the east of Scotland, the birds ate the birdseed and deposited the seeds in the fields. Agrostemma Githago was the most poisonous wildflower in Scotland. Human contact with the stems, leave, or flowers would cause imminent death.
This is a month long journey with the A to Z challenge. Each day the letter is the prompt for my short stories themed: “Thirty Ways to Kill …”
And keep on the lookout for my upcoming novel – “Lifeblood of the Dragon.” Lifeblood is set in the seedy alleys of post-war Los Angeles. The morgue is full more often than not. Cameo appearances by the well known gangster Mickey Cohen and his goons.
many thanks to my editor: Leslie Moon aka Moondustwriter