Hunched over, tending to assorted flowers and herbs, an old woman doesn’t notice the four of them approaching. She was incredibly frail, the pruning shears trembling in her hand making it hard aligning for the cut, and yet the garden was immaculate.
After a brief discussion, they agreed that Yulien would approach fully, so as to not overwhelm and startle her.
“Hello!” she said softly, arms out in front of her showing she meant no harm.
“Oh a visitor, sorry, visitors” exclaimed the old woman nearly dropping her pruners in her shocked excitment. “We don’t get many of your kind here nowadays.”
“Are there others here in Giver?”
“Oh yes, though they may have seen you coming and are now in hiding. My eyes are not as they once were.”
“Why would they feel the need to hide?”
The old lady leaned in close towards Yulien as if she was about to part a great secret.
“Because only I can see them.”
The laughter that followed was loud and full of menace, not fully in keeping with the frail old woman’s stature and appearance. While she laughed maniacally, a flower pod was being crushed just out of Yulien’s sight causing a ochre cloud of pollen to rise and suffocate her airways.
Struggling the breath and clutching her burning throat, Yulien fell upon her knees gasping violently.