Upon the inner panes of darkened windows, piped dew drops shone like chandeliers awaiting the music of the ballroom down the hall. Within some nearby masonry, water rained down from its statuesque precipice into a basin of burbles. The air was dank and ripe with the effervescence of hundreds of flowers in full bloom. White petals of the peony began to rain down like snow as rows of terra cotta pots were violently jostled and upended. The pots that broke upon the floor, like so many pumpkins meeting their untimely end on Halloween, mixed their dusty debris with the red blossoms of poppies that were also part of the collateral damage. Once the movements and tremors subsided, a harsh panting could be heard as if some dehydrated dog had entered the room. The air had changed from its usual sweetness to now include an overpoweringly sharp metallic odor. Upon the floor, surrounded by Miracle-Gro®️ mayhem, lay a body awkwardly posed and deathly silent. The panting dog was a man who stood staring at his knife with a look of satisfaction as he cleaned its sticky blade and handle in the fountain and tossed it out one of the paneled windows. He straightened his plum-colored blazer and tried to regain his well-known professorial composure before leaving the conservatory. It was time to get back to the party.
Jason de Koff is an associate professor of agronomy and soil science at Tennessee State University. He lives in Nashville, TN with his wife, Jaclyn, and his two daughters, Tegan and Maizie. He has published in a number of scientific journals, and has over 70 poems published or forthcoming in literary journals over the last year.