Her hope was to one day open her own shop, filled with the pale golden glory of the morning sunshine. She drew up architectural plans on her legal pad, scratching out lines that turned into doors and windows. Lots of windows.

Two years later, her flower shop was complete. The sign above the door read “Amber’s Flowers.” The goldenrods, daffodils, marigolds and lilies took over. The never-ending arrangements of saffron- and lemon-toned flowers overflowed the floral shop, guarding their territorial rights.

It ate at her, though. The sickly hues of her golden flowers took without giving back, yet she turned a blind eye to it all.

One night, while pruning a bed of black-eyed susans, the clippers slipped and sliced her thumb. The red of her blood dripped onto the upturned flowers, creating an unmistakable contrast. Delirious with her obsession, she cut herself again, and again, and again, painting the flowers with red.

They found her body the next morning, drained, the flowers standing as silent murderers.

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