Friday Flash Fiction 240 – Secret Garden

The ground floors of department stores are bright, white and overpower you with a nauseous mix of perfumes. On board the yacht I have a stomach of iron, but I was not looking forward to hunting for my sister’s favourite perfume.

A young man, with more make up than the girl assistants, came skillying up.

‘Good afternoon Madam, may I help?’

For a moment I was so fascinated I could not answer. He looked like a beautiful slender doll, high cheek bones, rosebud lips, hair spiked immaculately and dressed totally in black. His charm was enough to make me, in my jeans and anorak, feel I was as entitled as any other woman to grace these hallowed halls of beauty. He laughed when I confessed my predicament. I had forgotten the name of the perfume.

‘Can’t you phone or text her?’

‘She’s just started a three hour exam and I’ve got to get back to the harbour while the tide’s high.’ I looked at the shelves full of elegant boxes, none of the names jogged my memory.

‘Treat yourself instead; what do you miss most out at sea?’

‘Flowers?’

I was talked into buying an expensive tiny bottle.

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In my cabin I cautiously removed the delicate stopper, sniffed and was transported to a walled garden I had visited as a child. A summer scent never recaptured until now. How was such a scent created? How did the young man choose so perfectly?

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