Story and Photos: A Pretty, Savage Town


The town was pretty and full of lies. Luka found the contrast entertaining. Bright, colorful buildings packed with even more vibrant people. Forever spring. The lawns and sidewalks were filled with flowers you couldn't find in any other part of the world.


Everyone dyed their hair some candy color, often with matching contacts and outfits.

But, he could practically taste the darkness under the surface. Something in this pretty town was causing people to act like beautiful savages. So entertaining.  They were calculated about it too. No fights to the death in the street. That was too obvious. It was much better to frame someone for murder. Saying it like that made it sound simple. The residents plans were far more convoluted.

The level of vicious plotting going on was impressive given the town's quaint feel.


What did anyone gain from stabbing their neighbor in the back? It seemed the residents plotted each other's demise for fun.

Three years and Luka believed he finally found the source of the darkness. A blue mansion near the edge of town.

A shinning black and blue feline with golden eyes approached him. On four legs, Aani only reached his knee. She was small for her kind.

A female with short silver hair, brown skin and green eyes followed. He hadn't seen Nisha in months. They traveled together in the sense that when they decided to stay somewhere for a long period of time, they lived in the same house.

But, it wasn't uncommon for them to travel separately for a few weeks or months. Nisha believed they'd never find answers to the town's problems here while Luka doubted any outsiders knew what was wrong.

"Find out what's wrong with the house?" he asked her.

She smirked. Maybe outsiders did have the answers.

"It's possessed."

Luka rolled his eyes. That was too boring a story for this town.

"Try again."

She shrugged. "I don't know why you like this place. Everyone makes everything so complicated. What happened to a clean, simple assassination?"

"The house?"

Nisha smirked before her face settled into her usual annoyed expression. She complained about this town a lot but even she was enjoying the story.

"It's the flowers. I don't know what kind of bile they're throwing up or how but," she waved her hand to Aani, "is positive it's the flowers."

"All of them?" he asked.

Nisha nodded. That smile was back again.

He and Nisha lived for more years that they could remember, never staying in one place for long. It got boring. They didn't care about fixing this town. They were investigating because they both found the puzzle fascinating.

Aani brushed his leg.

I think the flowers run the town.

Aani was far older than he was. Years taught her how to communicate with them in their language.

"Evil flowers? Still too simple. Can you talk with the plants?" Luka asked.

Aani shook her head.

"Can we use them?" Nisha said. "I'm tired of this non-magic town."

I wouldn't.

She'd been complaining about that too for years now. It wasn't like they needed magic in the town to use their powers. But, he would admit, it did make the town a little comfortable, like wearing clothes that were too small.

A glowing purple flower pushed through the stone street. Followed by another and another. Strange, even for this town. Even stranger. The three of them seemed to be only ones who could see it.

The flowers spelled Hi.

"Are we finally part of the story now?" he asked.

They'd spent years watching things happen but no matter how much trouble he tried to cause, no one plotted against them.

The flowers disappeared, replaced by pink ones, Welcome.

Luka clapped his hands while Aani danced around them. Nisha smiled. He loved this town.