← Issue 2
by Kara Kinnamon
House Plant anticipated Mira’s descent from her bedroom. A large grey suitcase thudded behind her, punctuating each step. House Plant watched Mira pass the second floor window sill and bang down to the first. House Plant held its breath. Mira returned with a mug of coffee in one hand and a jelly jar of water in the other.
“Here you go, Francie.”
She spread House Plant’s leaves with her middle and pointer fingers so that the lip of the jar swayed just above the soil. A steady stream disappeared like the swallow of a magic trick. House Plant sipped and smiled. Mira sipped and smiled.
House Plant exhaled a rush of oxygen. The momentum propelled the potion throughout the three-story townhouse and enveloped Mira in its blast. Mira blew a kiss. House Plant basked in the warm carbon dioxide that fell slowly like a fog. The front door opened and closed, more thudding, and then silence. House Plant readied for a day’s work.
Sip and smile. House plant kept busy with the air and water until Sun made its way to the sill of 1133 in the late afternoon. House Plant greeted Sun as always with a stretch, letting the generous warmth pour into each chloroplast.
Mira didn’t return in the evening for her goodnight kiss. But House Plant remembered the suitcase. Sip and smile and conserve.
But oxygen was slipping from House Plant little by little. The byproduct slinked from the curves of House Plant’s leaves and burst into flight only to settle into the corners inhabiting 1133.
On day twelve, Sun found House Plant huddled in the clay pot reaching inward instead of out. Sun tried to dull its rays and rearrange the clouds, squeezing and concentrating. But the window baked like an oven without a timer. House Plant shriveled and coughed.
A week later, the front door opened and closed, a reverse kind of thudding, and then a pause. Mira saw House Plant. Bent away from the window. Brown and brittle at the tips. She made a sucking noise with her tongue against the wet roof of her mouth. It meant what a shame. House Plant couldn’t muster the oxygen to greet Mira. It pushed from the root only to slip back within. Mira continued up the steps to the bedroom and unpacked the large grey suitcase. She passed the sill to start a load of laundry. House Plant shuddered.
It was two p.m.. Sun reached into the sill of 1133. The beams illuminated dust nestled in their hiding spots. Mira worked to erase the particles. They vanished within the fibers of the dust cloth. She cleared a path to the sill and made the tsk sound again. She grabbed a trash bag from under the sink.
Sun watched as Mira shook House Plant from the clay pot. Brittle soil rained down over the corpse. “Sorry Francie.” The sunburn above her collarbone tingled.
Kara Kinnamon is an emerging writer living in Baltimore, MD. She is currently working on her MA in writing at Johns Hopkins University and works as a freelance writer.