Blooming Flower Rising takes you into the not-so-far future where earthquakes and deadly sulfur gases have irrefutably damaged the Earth. The year is 2102, the skies are dark, and rain constantly falls on Earth. The Earth has not seen sunlight for many years, and only humans remain on Earth.
Blooming Flower Rising is a young teenage girl living in the province of Hawaii with her Mama, Papa, and little brother. Her dream is to feel sunlight on her face and to grow flowers, which have long been extinct. Her Mama travel all over the world, selling gas masks, and her Papa stays home to raise her and her brother. She yearns to fit in to society, but a classmate named Morning Glory bullies her relentlessly because Blooming is the only person in the world who has blond hair in a world of brown-haired people. The day of the annual dance at the learning center, scientists predict the sun will come out for a short time. During the dance, an announcement made by the principal of the learning center broadcasts that the sun is coming out, and all the students run outside to see the sun for the first time, and maybe the only time in their lives, but where is Blooming?
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.28(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Blooming Flower Rising
By Annette Greer
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2016 Annette Greer
All rights reserved.
The alarm system goes off, and tells me it is morning. The alarm system is loud through the air, so loud that you can almost see it. It blares in and out with the wind. My G-Paw says it is the same alarm system used back in the olden days to warn us of weather conditions such as tornadoes or hurricanes. We now use the alarm systems in the morning hours to wake us; we have to, for there is no sunlight. The skies are dark and gray all the time. I pull myself up out of my bed, and in an instant, my censored room light comes on due to my body movement and my room becomes light from dark. I stretch my arms, and I crawl out of bed to head for the showers.
After my shower, I put on my school uniform, and I go downstairs to see if my brother, Jaybird, is up. He is, dressed and getting his breakfast administered to him already. He beat me, and he will get the better syringe today. My Momma is not home again. She travels a lot these days. She has to. She has to bring in money to buy all of our daily doses of food syringes. My Pappa stays home with Jaybird and me. He helps us get dressed, and he helps us learn at the learning center. He volunteers there while we are there. It is nice to see him every day. My G-maw sometimes tells me of a long time ago, when the parental segments were switched and all Mommas stayed home, and took care of the children, all Pappas went to work. Seems strange to me to think that that is how life used to be. It seems strange to me to see old, old videos of life so long ago. It is hard to picture how it was. I receive my daily dose of food injected into my side, and I am energized, and ready to go to the learning center with my brother. As we walk, we talk and hold hands, and we giggle. We have a great time walking to our learning center. It is not raining now, although the skies always look like they can open up and drench us at any time. Fortunately, pushing the special button on our backpacks provides us with a rain slicker immediately. The ground is always mushy, and wet, and there is a lot of sidewalk and concrete to walk on. My G-maw sometimes tells me of a long time ago when green, green grass covered the ground and the smell of the air was crisp; you could smell the scent of flowers, and hear birds in the sky. I would like to experience that someday in my lifetime. Experiment labs now generate the flowers. Few people get to see them. Studies are taking place in hopes that the flowers can live in our environment now. It has yet to happen. It has been so many years.
We get to the learning center, and the alarms finally die down, and we go up inside alongside the other children. Of course, that is a chore within itself. The other children make fun of my younger brother and me. I do not know why, they just always have. My hair is the color "blonde" and there are no other children in the learning center with blonde hair. Hair is usually dark in color, which is either brown or black. They call me a freak. I tell them that my G-paw tells me of a long time ago, when there were children that had my color of hair, many children. It was a common thing. There was abundant sunlight. There is no longer any sunlight, and to see blonde hair on someone is very strange and different to people. I guess that is why they call me a freak. My younger brother, Jaybird, was born with a sickness, it was cancer, and it was in his head. The Doctors tried to remove it, and they were successful, but left a large scar on his head, in addition, the other children make fun of him. It hurts his feelings, and he is my brother, so it hurts my feelings too. He is normal to me. To me, he just my Jaybird. I see him off to his class, and then I go to my classroom. I sit alone, and I see the other children stare at me. Sometimes I just want to shout at them, but I do not. It would just draw more attention to me. My Momma once told me to "turn the other cheek", whatever that means. I guess it was saying they used a long time ago. I do not think it would work now. I do turn my head from side to side, but the kids still stare. My learning center instructor comes in, and has everybody settle down, place his or her earphones on, and start watching the daily learning video. Our instructor's name is Ms. Goldenrod. She stays up front, and prepares for her long day of classes. As I try to watch my video on history, I can still hear the whispers of the other kids making fun and pointing at me. Ms. Goldenrod hears something and snaps her fingers loudly. We are all startled, and start trying to concentrate on our videos. I am safe for now.
After class, I make my way down the hall to my cube locker. In there is my snack syringe, which I decide not to administer for now, and a picture of Jaybird and me smiling, and posing for our G-Paw. It makes me smile to see it daily. All of a sudden, one of my classmates, Morning Glory, comes up behind me, and shoves me into my cube locker. Morning Glory is a tall, thin girl. Her arms look like long skinny vines I have seen in videos of plants, and her arms appear to reach out forever. The force of the impact makes me hit my head hard on the wall. I immediately swing around to see who did this to me. I can feel the warmth of the blood running down towards my nose, and I start to cry. It hurts and all I can see through the trickling blood are all the other kids laughing at me. My fists go up, and I start to swing at Morning Glory, but someone stops my hand. It is my best friend, Cardinal. He is one of my only true friends in, and out of school. His parents and my parents were friends in their school, so his family was always around. He turns me around, and starts leading me down the hall to find the nearest first aid kit. We do not have to walk far until we find one. By now, the blood is all over my learning center uniform, and on my face, arms, and legs. He reaches for some towels, and starts wiping me down. It is not the first time he has come to my rescue. He grabs the syringe that has the medicine in it, tells me that this will sting, and administers the medicine at the site of the cut on my head. I wince a little from the stinging medicine, and close my eyes waiting for the pain to subside. The bleeding stops and he walks me back to my cube locker. The crowd of laughing children are gone, and off to their next class.
"Blooming" he says", you have to watch your back! I might not always be here to rescue you! Morning Glory is out to get you! When I was younger, she was in one of my classes, and she always bugged me, and said she wanted to be my girlfriend. She would follow me home, and stare at me. It got so bad that my Momma had to go to the learning center, and make a complaint about her. I am afraid that she is capable to really hurt you or anyone"
"You are here this time," I say with a smile.
"Come on", he says. "I will walk you home."
I do not argue, but I do tell him that I have to get Jaybird first. I explain that I cannot go home without Jaybird. Pappa would be so upset if I leave Jaybird at the learning center on his own. He agrees and we walk to the office to summon Jaybird out of his class. We arrive at the office, and explain the situation, but Ms. Peacock, the secretary who works in the office can clearly see by my face that I need to go home. Cardinal speaks up, explains briefly, the confrontation between Morning Glory and me, and asks if he can walk me home safely, and then return to the learning center to finish out his day. Ms. Peacock calls Mr. Seagull, who is Cardinal and Morning Glory's instructor. Mr. Seagull agrees to let Cardinal walk me home, as long as he returns. She then proceeds to call Mr. Crow, who is Jaybird's instructor that we are heading down to Jaybirds class to sign Jaybird out, due to the circumstances. Meanwhile, in Mr. Crow's room, Mr. Crow receives the message and calls for Jaybird.
"Jaybird Rising?" he says loudly, and Jaybird looks up as if he was in trouble. "Jaybird, you must go to the office now."
All the other kids in Jaybird's class start chanting, "Jaybird's in trouble, Jaybird's in trouble." They laugh as he stands up, and slowly heads for the door.
Mr. Crow shouts, "Settle down! Jaybird is not in trouble and you all need to get back to your learning video!"
Cardinal and I appear in the doorway of Jaybird's room, and Jaybird slowly walks toward me, and then stops. My appearance scares him because there is so much blood still on my uniform, but I show him the cut on my head, and tell him that now our heads nearly match. I smile and reassure him that I am okay, and that we need to go home. He sees that Cardinal is with me, and I can tell the way Jaybird smiles at Cardinal, that being around Cardinal makes him feel safe.
On the way home, Jaybird walks ahead of Cardinal and me, and jumps into newly formed puddles from the dingy sidewalk below our feet. We just missed the daily rain.
"Why do the other kids treat me differently, Cardinal?" I ask.
"I don't know, Blooming, I wish I could answer that. Maybe it is because they are jealous."
"Why would they be jealous, Cardinal?"
"They are jealous of your family and jealous of the fact that your Momma gets to travel all over the world with my Momma selling gas masks," he says. "Our Mommas will be home soon, Blooming. When they come home, you know things are good, and our families get together in your parent's glass room and we all laugh as we learn of their trips, and travels."
We arrive at my house first. My house, as many houses in the neighborhood has no visible windows, and with all the rains, the black colored house looks as if someone poured black shiny paint on the house. The black paint is on all houses, because it is a specially designed waterproof paint to protect and seal the houses from water damage. The roof seems so steep that if you stand directly in front of the house, and look up, the roof looks like it is soaring straight into the dark charcoal colored sky. The rain slides off the roof, and it slants so rain does not gather to cause leaks in the houses. Cardinal leaves, and just as he turns to go, it starts to pour even harder. I see him flip his switch, and out pops his slicker. I turn and walk inside my warm, dry home.CHAPTER 2
When I got inside, I find G-paw with Jaybird in the common area of the house. G-Paw says, "I still can't get used to not having any windows built in these fancy weather houses. Why, back in my day, people would sit outside for hours, and watch the kids run up and down the street playing."
Jaybird curiously asks, "Didn't they all get wet G-Paw? Did they have to use their slickers?"
"No," says G-Paw, "it did not rain as much as it does today. In fact, there would be days, even weeks that there was no rain" He looked at me, and immediately sees the blood, and the cut on my head, and says "Blooming Flower Rising! What happened to you? Are you ok?"
I guess I had forgotten or a moment that I was covered in my own blood. "I am okay G-Paw; I will go get cleaned up."
I head upstairs to my sleeping quarters. I see that I have a message on my graphic communication interface. This is a machine that my G-paw and G-maw still have trouble using. They say when they were much younger, people used something called a computer, and watched something called a television. The graphic communication interface or G. C. I. was invented to eliminate both of those types of machines.
"I wonder whom that is," I say sarcastically. I slip off my learning center uniform, slip into my comfortable night clothing, and sit in front of my G. C. I. to see who has left me a message. It is a girl in my learning group named Amaryllis, a friend of Morning Glory's, of course. The message states in bold letters "We don't like your different colored hair, and you look like a freak! Morning Glory is not finished with you freak! She will pound your head into the wall even harder next time!
As I shut down the G. C. I., I roll my eyes in disgust. Bullies! Both of them are nothing but bullies! I think to myself. I have never done anything to either one of these girls. Amaryllis has always been friends with Morning Glory. She has long, black hair, and she is and dark. I always thought she was beautiful, and wanted to look like her growing up, but she is a bully who just wants to hurt me. I decide to find comfort in G-Paw; I know he is probably tired, and ready to go to sleep. G-Maw is already in her sleeping quarters, and he is not far behind from joining her.
I position myself on the big, plush, comfortable couch. I sit next to G-Paw, and sitting on the other side of him is Jaybird playing with one of his action figures. G-Paw knows what was coming. We both yell, "Tell the story G-Paw!"
"Okay, okay," he says, with a smile, and we snuggle up close to him. "It all started back in 2015, the year the bees started dying. I was still a young lad. Bees were crucial for pollinating our fruit crops all around the world. Bees were responsible for pollinating 1/3 of our crops, such as blueberries."
"What did a bee look like? I ask curiously.
"Well," G-paw says", a bee was about the size of the end of my finger." Jaybird and I study G-Paw's finger closely as if it is the first human finger we have seen in our lives. "The bees were yellow and black, and had tiny, fast little wings, and made a buzzzz sound when they flew," he says. Then he makes a zzzzz sound with his old mouth, and his lips quiver as he makes the sound. Jaybird and I laugh aloud.
Jaybird says, "How old are you, G-Paw?"
"I am a very young 93 years old! I feel that I have the mind of a 20 year old! Back in the old days, back when I was born in 2009, your great G-paw, my Pappa, was what people called a 'farmer', and he would grow corn and soy beans in the rich, brown soil. There would be acres and acres of the crops as far as the eye could see. There would be sunlight to make the crops grow, and the sun felt so good on your face, and if you stayed in the sunlight for too long, it would make your skin tan and red." As I listened to my G-paw, I pictured how the crops must have looked, and I could almost feel the sunlight on my face.
Just then, we all heard the main G. C. I. ding, and we heard our Pappa's voice in the other room. We all three suddenly became quiet. We strained to hear the conversation, but we could not make out the words. After what seemed like forever, but was probably only a few minutes, Pappa comes walking in to our area and says, "Mamma is coming home. She will be here in about two hours. She said if you both have been good, you would get a present!"
Jaybird squeals with joy, but I feel anxious from the day's earlier events, and I know my Momma will hear about what had happened to me for sure. There will be no present for me once she finds out. I do not dwell on that feeling much, because I am still very excited to see my Momma. I miss her because she travels so much for her work. She travels all over the world selling gas masks to people that are exposed to toxic air due to the sulfur leaking out of the ground during a sinkhole event. She and Cardinal's Momma work for the same gas mask company. My Momma has told me that when she was a young teenager at around the age of 15, the same age I am now, she remembers many changes the Earth went through due to the rains. Sometimes there would be sinkholes that would appear, and omit terrible toxic gasses in the air. People sometimes could not move out of their houses, so they started using gas masks to help them survive and breath. My Momma has an antique gas mask up in her living quarter's closet. I sometimes get a chair, and I climb up there and study it. If my Pappa ever caught me, I would be in some sort of trouble for sure!CHAPTER 3
I head for my living quarters and see that I have another message on the G.C.I. This time, it is a message from the learning center announcing the seasonal gathering dance. On the screen, I see a list of names that have responded with a check mark, confirming they were going to attend the upcoming dance. The dance was in July, just about a month away. I look at the names, and I see the name Violet Butyl. She is nice to me sometimes. I see Aster Manning, and I make a grimace. She is a snob, I thought. I do not know why the learning center calls it a "dance". No one dances; we just stand around and talk, mostly we talk about other students or what we are learning at the time. There are people that have signed the list as well. I see Cardinal's name, and my heart skipped a beat. I also see Goldfinch Hopper, and he is not a nice person. I will not go near him if I go, I think to myself. I also see Magpie Marks name. He talks a lot.
Excerpted from Blooming Flower Rising by Annette Greer. Copyright © 2016 Annette Greer. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.