Chapters 7-9 by Britta
Laurel’s new house
Laurel’s old house
David visits Laurel’s house to see how she is doing. Laurel wonders how she can be okay with a flower sprouting from her back. He assures her that they will figure something out. A man stops by her house inquiring whether her parents are home, and Laurel invites him in. The man’s name is Mr. Barnes, and he is a realtor seeking to purchase their old house. Laurel has a bad feeling about him. He inquires whether there have been any trespassers on the property, and if their have been any unusual occurrences. Before he leaves, he promises that he will have an offer to her parents by the end of the week. Laurel questions whether they will sell their land to Mr. Barnes because she finds him very creepy; However, her parents disagree. Before David leaves, she asks him if he found Mr. Barnes to be weird, and he says that he didn’t with an exception for his nose which looks to have been broken multiple times. He remarks that her condition is the weirdest thing he’s ever seen, but that he would do what he could to help. After he leaves, Laurel is assured that he was the right person to tell about the flowers blooming on her back.
The next morning, Laurel is apprehensive about going to school with the bloom on her back, but David assures her that he cannot see the flower through her shirt. She continues to eye him, realizing how handsome he is, and that she has butterflies in her stomach. While outside, she holds her hand up to the sun, and realizes that unlike David, whose body seems to block out the sun, it almost shines through her skin. The petals became uncomfortable underneath her shirt, and she longs to walk freely in the sun. Laurel invites David to see her old house with her parents, however, he has taken on a job at a drugstore and cannot accompany her. Laurel and her parents haven’t been back to the house since moving to Crescent City, and they have to prepare for the sale. Laurel walks away, trying not to be disappointed that David cannot go with her.
On the ride to her old house, Laurel remembers the twelve years she lived there, and the convoluted pathways of the wood behind it. She had spent hours wandering through the pathways, and she wasn’t ready to part with the house. Laurel takes her mom’s guitar and asks if she can wander for a bit. As she drifts deeper into the woods, she lifts her shirt releasing the petals. A person sounds behind her, appearing from behind a tree, and she falls to the ground. The person greets her, but she is apprehensive, especially at his surprise that she doesn’t remember him. She wonders if she should remember him, as a memory tries to surface but fades quickly. He introduces himself as Tamani; he has deep green eyes, and black and green hair. Laurel tries to hide her petals from him, but he assures her that he will keep his distance, at least for now. He inspects her for ‘broken petals or stems’ while she continues to be confused. She asks him why he’s there, and warns him that he is not welcome there, but he continues to step closer seemingly unfazed by her threats. When she asks who he is, he replies that she will know in good time. As he pulls her through the forest, she is compelled to follow. Once they find a place to sit, he tells her that she gave them a scare when she ran off; he was starting to panic. Laurel is baffled at his questioning as he continues to regard her with familiarity. Tamani asks if she has told anyone about her petals, and she mentions only one person: David. His attitude shifts, and he questions David’s place in Laurel’s life. . Tamani asks her if her parents know, and she stumbles through her answers before standing to leave, telling him not to follow her. Tamani panics and tells her that he has the answers to the strange occurrences happening in her life. He explains that a blossom has grown on her back, and like every blossom it will disappear and return again next year. He informs her that they are the same kind only that he doesn’t blossom as she does. She is an evolved species of plant: a faerie. Outraged at his claims, Laurel rises to leave. He implores her to tell him what her parents intend to do with the land, but Laurel demands that he leave, or she will call the police. She storms away angered by her encounter with him. In the sun, she spots a glittering residue on her wrist , and rubs it off.
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“When no one was looking, Laurel held her own hand up to the sun. It didn’t look quite the same…Her hand appeared to only block out part of the sun, and the light seemed to glow as if it had found some route through her skin. She shoved her hand in her pocket. She was getting paranoid now” (Chapter 7).
“You’re a plant. You’re not human, never have been. Blossoming is only the most obvious manifestation…Yes. Not just any kind of plant, of course. The most highly evolved form of nature in the world…Laurel, you’re a faerie” (Tamani, Chapter 8).
“What scares you more, Laurel…that he’s (Tamani) right, or that he’s wrong?” (David, Chapter 9)
1. Does Tamani seem like a good character, or someone with more sinister motives?
2. Does David seem like a good character, or do you feel as if there’s more to him that what he seems?
3. Who is Mr. Barnes, and what part do you feel he will play in the full scope of things?
4. What do you think of Laurel’s previous life that Tamani alludes to?
5. Do you feel as if the faerie world is much grander than it seems at this point?
6. What do you think the connection is between Faeries and causing forgetfulness (Examples: The Doctor forgetting about Laurel’s condition, The woman completely forgetting to make an offer on Laurel’s old house, and Laurel’s own amnesia on her past faerie life (alluded to by Tamani). What are some other abilities you already see exhibited in the faerie world?
7. Do you feel as if Laurel will begin to settle into her life as a faerie, or will she continue to fight against it?
8. Who would you choose, David or Tamani?
9. Favorite scenes?