The Language of Flowers


Our short story of the week is a surreal story about metamorphosis by the writer Matthew John Fletcher.

Matthew John Fletcher is a British writer, currently working on his first novel. His short fiction has been published in STORGY, Horla, The Fiction Pool and The First Line. As an undergraduate he studied English and German Literature, but has tried not to let this deter him from putting pen to paper, or rather, fingers to keyboard.

He started out writing poetry as a teenager. This was in the days before word processors and, thankfully, most of these early efforts – seething with adolescent angst as they were – are now lost. He then had a long break from writing – sidetracked by university and working life – and only started up again when he took a sabbatical. The break must have done him good, since he was seized by inspiration and quickly wrote around twenty stories, which he has spent the last few years polishing.

In The Language of Flowers, a man starts to hear mysterious voices everywhere he goes.


The window was open just enough to let in the cool night air.

‘Bring me seed.’

‘Make me blossom.’

‘Fly to me along a moonbeam, oh thou winged marauder of the night.’

The figure on the bed cast off a duvet and emitted a moan – it was unclear whether of discomfort or relief – as the air from the window struck clammy flesh. The fragrance of night-scented stock filled the room.


The executive car cast up a plume of dust as it was brought to an abrupt halt at the side of the country road. William Lynes – always William, never Bill – regional sales manager for the North-West, pushed a button on the radio. Noise filled the car. He clicked it off again. It wasn’t the radio. He strained his ears.

‘Alight on my calyx, taste my sweet nectar—’

‘I am open for you, I yearn for you, come to me, oh—’

The voices jumped in and out of hearing.

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