Weddings are days to be remembered. When things don’t go as planned, they are especially memorable. The couple of this fictional story are named John and Kira. Kira and her sister Leyna have done most of the planning themselves to save on money and to be able to personalize the wedding to Kira’s tastes.


One of Leyna’s jobs was to order all the flowers. This includes bouquets, centerpieces, and decor for the entire arena because John’s one request was to have their wedding in an arena where their new life together would begin and end in civil fighting. John is a bit of a nerd, but that is why Leyna loves him so much. Kira loves him too, but for other reasons.


Now Kira had her own quirks that she would like to incorporate in the wedding such as wearing a pink dress and making sure none of the refreshments included anything made with chocolate. Not that she hated chocolate, she just didn’t want anything competing for her focus of John, and chocolate is quite distracting.


In short, there is a lot to juggle and by this point, Leyna has already ordered the flowers which Kira has only briefly glanced at. Leyna knows her sister pretty well and has done something extraordinary. Since the flowers are going to be the main form of decoration, Leyna has found the perfect flower. Kira is obsessed with foxes and there is a flower called the foxglove. Foxgloves come in a variety of white, pink, and purple bell-shaped blossoms which makes for the perfect color scheme with an endearing name for Kira’s personalized wedding.


It is even more appropriate that this wedding is in an arena since every part of the foxglove plant, from the roots to the pollen, are poisonous. It is surprising sometimes how intelligent people can be and yet, still be incredibly stupid.


Leyna has a doctorate in nano-systems engineering, so of course, she doesn’t know anything about plants. Kira is also exempt from blame since she is a renowned viola musician and spends her days explaining the difference between a viola and a violin and why her instrument is better. John on the other hand probably would recognize the danger in putting up foxglove decorations. John reads and the last book he read was a mystery novel where foxglove powder was the poison that killed the protagonist’s cat.


Unfortunately, John is putting on his symbolic armor at home and Leyna has already put up all the foxglove decorations. Leyna had to special order and arrange these herself since there were no local floral shops that sold poisonous flowers (I wonder why). Leyna even handled the flowers wearing a heavy set of long gloves. She is allergic to most everything green and didn’t want to take the chance that the foxglove flowers would ruin her sister’s perfect day. If only she knew how much she should be worrying.


The arena is now set up for the wedding and none of the people bringing in the tables or setting up chairs notice anything wrong. Guests are beginning to arrive, finding seats within the stands, and everything appears to be moving smoothly.


All the weather channels predicted that this Tuesday would be clear and sunny all day long. And you can always trust the weathermen. I hope you see where this going.


It is time for the wedding to begin, and despite some itchy noses, no one notices the danger. The band begins to play Fight Song with all stringed instruments. The viola chairs are in prominent display. John is waiting nervously at the altar, barely looking anywhere. There are no flower girls as there is no younger family, and who would want flower adults? That’s just weird.


And then, the bride enters. All eyes turn to Kira, including John’s. She is stunning. The pink gown really makes her look like a blushing bride. That turned out to be a good call. As Kira walks down the aisle, John takes in this one in a lifetime sight. He sees the long train flowing like water. He notices Kira’s face is unveiled and glowing with light. John looks into her eyes for a long time. Kira made it to the altar and hands off her bouquet. The bouquet is a nice addition to the entire image. The flowers are a bit strange but pretty. Not as pretty as Kira though.


Everyone takes a seat and the ceremony begins. The priest has gotten to the “true love” section of his speech and is following the Princess Bride script quite well. Nobody crashes this wedding and vows are exchanged. The final “I do” seals the deal and the newlyweds consecrate their marriage with a long kiss. Everyone applauds and blows bubbles as they return down the aisle. No flower petals here either thankfully, Kira wanted their spirit lifted, not thrown.


So, I guess you can have a successful wedding with poisonous flowers. Most everyone avoided touching the plants. Even if they had, they would only have gotten severe rashes which are treatable. Consuming foxglove is what is deadly.


Everyone makes it to the bottom of the arena for cake and dancing. It is time to celebrate! Or at least it would have been if Kira didn’t faint at that point. John was still holding on to her and he noticed a rash on her hands. He suspects an allergy and the entire party rushes to the hospital. And the quiet but deadly flowers are left to drown in the rain that is beginning to downpour.


Photo by Slawek K


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