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[April 2010 Vignette] Fleur's Vignette

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It was a beautiful day outside, much too nice a day to be so ridiculously busy. But April weddings brought April flowers, and April flowers were Stesha's stock-in-trade at the moment. The bride in this case had way more money than sense, wanting to give flowers to every female guest at her huge wedding, but they aimed to please at Flowers by Design. Making up five dozen tussy-mussies wasn't exactly Stesha's idea of a great artistic or creative endeavor, but it had to be done, and quickly. She looked up at the clock. Nine A.M. She'd be done by three, probably, hopefully. Time seemed to be speeding by as she worked.

Maybe she was losing her touch, she thought worriedly. She'd never meant to let the hero work be more than a sideline, something to do because it was fun and interesting. Now not only was it far more dangerous than she'd ever thought, but it was eating up tons of time as well. As it turned out, danger didn't always happen at night or on holidays, and it really, really liked to show up right when she was prepping for weddings. Her boss wasn't happy with her, but Stesha's undeniable talent for turning out amazing flowers had kept her job safe so far. But was the hero work eroding her skills, too? Maybe she wasn't as good a florist, now that she was spending so much time making plants attack things instead of making them beautiful...

She tied another three tussy-mussies, looked at the clock again. Nine forty-five? Her jaw dropped. How could time be getting away from her like this? She wasn't anywhere near on the schedule she should be on, and damned if she was going to beg for help. Almost as if summoned, her coworker Amy stuck her head in the door. "Hey Stesha, how's the bouquet-a-thon coming? Haven't been hearing much progress from in here," she said cheerfully. "You're not falling behind, are you?"

A frown creased Stesha's usually pleasant face. "I'm just fine," she promised, "there's just a lot of work to do. How much noise do you expect, anyway?"

Amy laughed. "All right, just checking. Call if you need some help!"

A little desperate now, Stesha looked around at the seemingly acres of pink and white roses left to be prepared and tied. Closing her eyes, she unleashed concentrated desperation into the plants, which cooperated by helpfully dropping all their thorns. There, that should help. Relieved, Stesha went back to work, tying as fast as she possibly could, even as thoughts kept crowding her head. Maybe she would end up having to give up one or the other of her vocations, but how could she choose now? Not only did she love being a florist, but it was what paid her bills, not to mention what she put on her tax forms. She loved helping people, and being with her friends, and making a difference, but she knew she couldn't only do hero work, she'd be homeless within months. With another five extremely rapid bouquets done, she made the mistake of looking at the clock again, and nearly fainted. "Eleven o'clock?" she croaked. "No way! No way!" She still had four dozen left to do!

Stesha went to work with feverish intensity, pushing all other thoughts from her mind. Amy stuck her head back in the door and watched her silently for a moment, grinning. "You look busy," she commented laconically. Stesha responded with an uncharacteristically rude comment, making Amy laugh. "Guess time flies when you're having fun."

"Since when are we having fun?" Stesha muttered, sweat beading on her brow. She was never going to get these done, and that would be the end of her job, and where would she be then?

"Oh, I dunno, sometime," Amy drawled. "Speaking of time, if you've got your phone handy, you should check the time. And the date." She sauntered out, laughing, even as Stesha dove in her pocket for her cell phone and flipped it open. _Eight_ forty-five am... on April 1. Her gaze flew up to the clock, which had advanced another ten minutes in the few moments she'd been talking to Amy. "AMY!" she yelled, standing up from her stool.

"April fooooooools..." Amy caroled back from the other prep room, still laughing. With a growl, Stesha sat down and began tying tussy-mussies again. She still had to get the damn things finished, but oh, there would be a reckoning. Stesha concentrated on that idea for the three hours it took her to finish the rest of the mini-bouquets, and finally had her answer. Revenge was sweet indeed when she heard Amy shriek from the other room and saw her come racing in. "Green!" Amy shouted. "All my roses are bright green! It looks like a Saint Patrick's Day parade in there, and I've got a baby shower first thing in the morning! You did this, didn't you?"

"Me?" Stesha asked, all wide eyed innocence. "I've been in here the whole _time,_ remember?" Grinning, she went back to her work with a happy heart.


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