The Deadly Greenhouse

Posted: November 28, 2013 by writingsprint in Science fiction
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Venus flytrapAmanda flipped the page in her text to the section on pitcher plants when three things happened at once: a flash of light almost blinded her; a crack like the world opening almost deafened her; she heard Dr. Fiacre screaming from the greenhouse. Amanda threw back her chair and ran into the greenhouse.

Wind and rain from a jagged hole in the roof the size of her car assaulted her. Wind gusts and rain came through it, some of it spraying her in the face. Lights flickered in the building. Would they lose power? She was a botanist, not a meteorologist. She didn’t have time to figure that out.

“Dr. Fiacre!”

Amanda gasped as every plant within ten meters of her grew before her eyes. Pots broke open. Not just growing – mutating. Their colors were changing to things she’d never seen before. She heard a muffled scream from her left. Amanda knew where to go. In the carnivorous plant section, she saw Dr. Fiacre’s feet sticking out from between the leaves of the venus flytrap plant that she’d nicknamed Homer. Homer was seven feet tall now and getting bigger. The leaf waved as he kept fighting to get out. The plant’s leaves looked like steel teeth now.

Amanda backed up as Homer took a swipe at her. The wind blew her long her in her face. Tonight, why of all nights hadn’t she tied it back? She had to think. They had little pruning tools that would be good for sprucing up Homer’s branches, but they wouldn’t even tickle him now.

An intern, Charlie, screamed from the door. Amanda yelled, “Get help! Call the police! Run!” Charlie liked “run.” He was gone before she took her next breath. She hoped he remembered the rest.

Homer came at her again. This time he reached her. She swat it away with her hand. It snapped at it. It was trying to grab her. Venus flytraps attract their prey using nectar that coats their leaves. Every wave of the leaves drowned her with its sweet stench. The bugs in the insectarium would probably go nuts for it. The mutated flytrap wasn’t passive – it lunged at her, smelling meat. Amanda cried out as one of the leaves grabbed her hand.

Amanda yanked back but couldn’t get her hand out. A bigger leaf tried to clomp down on her head, but she ducked out of the way. She and the plant played whack-a-mole, with the plant getting closer every time. Dr. Fiacre’s struggles threw the plant off, keeping it from getting a good grab at Amanda. Rain blew into her eyes and swept hair into her view. She couldn’t see. Vines and grasses were growing under her feet. She heard the floorboards snap. Roots searched for more nutrients.

That gave her an idea.

Amanda reached across the aisle to a locker of plant care supplies. She grabbed a tube with a long needle that they used for direct intervention on very ill plants.

Her legs were caught. She cried out as Homer lifted her off the ground. The leaf grew larger – so that it could swallow her. She felt digestive juices already oozing onto her legs. As she was pulled past the core of the plant, she stabbed it with the tube and pressed the plunger all the way down.

Homer shuddered. All its leaves went limp. Amanda fell out of the leaf, along with Dr. Fiacre. She hit the ground hard, seeing stars. Dr. Fiacre was covered in clear mucus-like crap. Green lightning rippled overhead.

“Thank you!” Dr. Fiacre said. “I can’t see. Amanda?”

“The one and only,” Amanda said. She winced.

“What did you do?” he asked. He let her lead him as they ran for the door.

“Plant food. Flytraps grow in nutrient-poor soil. I OD’d it on nitrates.” She dragged him to his feet. “We have to get out of here. It’s not over yet.” She started running and he did too.

“Why?”

“Remember Spencer’s myth about the Madagascar Maneater?”

Dr. Fiacre didn’t ask. It wasn’t a myth anymore.

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Comments
  1. Very nice. Both creepy and fun to read. I’d never heard of the Madagascar Maneater before. Googling it was very interesting. Thanks!

    Like

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