Categories > Original > Humor

Trouble in the Greenhouse

by Vashti 0 reviews

The plants in the greenhouse had abandonment issues... I nearly titled this story "Such Good Cheese", but I didn't think my English teacher would appreciate it.

Category: Humor - Rating: G - Genres: Drama, Humor - Published: 2007-05-13 - Updated: 2007-05-14 - 1210 words - Complete

No one at the factory ever warned me how uncomfortable getting installed would be. All that bumping and hammering and rattling. It was enough to make my heat coils cringe. After the dust settled I looked around at my new home. It was a shabby and rather neglected looking greenhouse. The floor was covered in dusty gravel and there was a patch of wicked looking goat heads at one end. The walls were made of sturdy plastic and plywood, but I wasn't sure the metal beams that supported them were up to the job. Indeed I could feel the wall behind me straining to hold my bulk. In front of me were many metal tables and on them, on them lived the plants. Looking over at the small green beings I had sworn to keep warm I felt a swell of pride.
"Hello out there!" I called. There was no answer from the plants so I tried again:
"How are things growing today?" at that point I really did expect some kind of reply but none came.
"I'm set pretty high, are you tropical in nature?" This time I really expected something. Plants have a tendency to be self absorbed. Most just can't resist talking about themselves. When nothing filled the silence however I was proved wrong again. The silence was unbroken and I began to long for the factory where someone was always willing to chat about nothing. Just as I was working myself into a lovely depression I heard the first whispers:
"Who does she think she is... trying to talk to us?" the voice was low and gravely, but I couldn't tell if that was due to the whispering tone, or his actual voice.
"The nerve, as if she really cares!" this voice was younger, cooler, more macho somehow.
"...probably alien in nature... spy to tell about plants!" I could only shake my head at these words. Their speaker matched them in terms of eccentricity. She sounded high and reedy, there was no effort to keep quiet. Apparently she didn't care if I heard her or not!
"She'll be gone in a month, I guarantee it!" I listened closely, this voice seemed to be coming from the Beets.
"Who?" asked the second voice I'd heard (the Beans perhaps?) "The new heater or Lilium?"
There was a muffled snicker and then "Lilium's gone already! I was speaking of the heater." Their voices had started out quiet but they soon rose to a normal pitch. I was right, it was definitely Beet and Bean talking.
"You laugh now," Lilium said "but when the Great Ones come to take us away you'll be left... waterless! Then you'll be sorry!" I grinned, Lilium was nuttier then a can of hardware, but I found myself liking her all the same.
Beet spoke up, "Lilium, you are just as persistent as grass in the asphalt!" Lilium gave a pleased sort of sniff and then Bean added:
"And just as crazy!" Well this started another squabble, with Lilium predicting the ultimate death of all beans on earth, Bean accusing Lilium of getting high off MiracleGrow, and Beet making fun of both of them. I couldn't help myself; I started to laugh. At once they stiffened up.
"And just what do you find so funny?" Inquired Lilium.
"Well, you just sound so much like... like... teenagers!"
"Oh what would you know?" snapped Bean "You're just a propane sucker!"
Beet cut in "Yeah, what could a lifeless thing like you know about us?"
"What do you mean, lifeless? I speak and think and feel just like you do."
All their voices clamored together "Everybody know you machines just don't care about plants!" "You'll stop caring soon enough, I've seen it before." "All I can count on is the seasons and the Great Ones. I know you'll fail." I tried to sort through their words to find meaning, but a massive headache cut them off at the first avenue.
"One at a time, please tell me what is going on here? You think I'm just going leave you? I don't have wheels you know, I can't just roll off."
"You don't need to. Our last heater didn't leave. He just stopped heating." Beet sounded sulky and upset.
"Yeah, just blasted out cold air night and day." This was Bean.
"You silly plants, machines aren't immortal you know, just like you get root rot we can get rusty and break down. 7th Kingdom and all that..." My joke fell flat, plants know surprisingly little about biology. I tried to engage the plants in conversation again, but they didn't say anything more. I wondered what they were thinking, and wondered if my brothers and sisters were doing better then I in their own greenhouses.


Evening came and the air began to cool. I felt myself click on and a warm breeze began to circulate through the little building. It felt nice to be doing my job without stressing over relationships and plants with abandonment disorders. When the temperature rose to an acceptable degree I switched off with a sigh. My first job was over and done. I had accomplished my mission and all was well in my domain. I remained silent for a while and started to form a battle plan to gain the plant's trust. In the greenhouse trust and teamwork are the keys to survival. I was just coming to this conclusion when a wind began to blow.
It began slow and steady but soon it picked up its pace. I could feel my thermostat getting lower and lower as the wind grew louder. I thought I heard a whimper from one of the plants. Then it began to rain and hail, seemingly at once. I turned on full blast fighting the weather with all my might. I thought I heard one of the plants say "You're working after all!" but between the noise I was making and the tempest outside I couldn't tell who it was or even if it had been said at all. It got colder and the wind blew harder. The walls of the greenhouse began to shake. The plants were whimpering and I was getting worried myself. The wall behind me was swaying; this wasn't a usual spring squall. I focused on heating the greenhouse, consuming propane like it was WD40 and working, but despite my efforts the greenhouse was getting chillier.
Just as I thought I was going to fail after all the wind started dying down. It didn't get much warmer, but without all that cold air being forced through the walls the place finally got warmer. There was a collective sigh of relief, and then I heard Lilium say "I shall have to give an enormous offering to the Great Ones tomorrow. Clearly you are a gift from the heavens!"
"What are you going to do?" Bean asked, "Shed a few leaves in their honor? Create an 'I love the heater' fan club."
"Oh shut up, you know you'd end up vice president of that club." Beet told Bean sleepily. I gave a laugh, and Beet added "Careful, they'd do it too... and knowing my luck I'd end up treasurer." I laughed again. Maybe I'd be okay after all.

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