Lily

The smell is stronger and stronger as Nick moves forward. It’s fried potatoes.

— Mmm, hungry, – Nick is unsure when he ate last time. Since his appearance in this strange world he has not eaten anything… – How long am I here?..

The field is behind. Nick has entered the forest again. The smell is leading to a tiny river stream. It’s shallow and pure, crystal clear.

Nick takes the boots off and walks barefoot up the stream now. The river is only covering his ankles. Water is cold – icy.

— How could I forget about it?.. – Nick remembers his Dad doing the same on their way home as they discovered the stream on a secret path…

— May I too? – Nick asks then.

— How can you resist? What’s more important? – Dad answers with his feet in water.

— Wait! – Nick is taking shoes off and following Dad with shoes in his hands.

— Yeah, cool! – Dad’s happy.

—Yeah!.. Cold a bit… – Nick is following.

— So fresh! – Dad continues.

— Yeah…

— There’s only one thing that can beat this, – Dad remembers.

— What’s that?

— Fried potatoes!..

Nick stops. The reminiscences of him and his father going up the stream barefoot make him sad.

— Where are you Dad? – Nick whispers, – I’m following the stream like you taught and I smell the fried potatoes…

The smell is more and more intense. Nick moves along. He soon sees a hut. As he is approaching it, finally, he sees the fire stove and there – Iris is there with a pan full of fried potatoes. She’s turning the potatoes with a big wooden spoon.

— Just in time! – She exclaims as she sees Nick, – Hurry up! It’s ready!

Nick is happy to find Iris. The fried potatoes are soon in front of him.

— Wait, some extra taste for you! – Iris is turning to the side of the yard with white and purple flowers growing. She’s soon bringing a handful of lilies. 

— Lilies?.. – I know these flowers, – Nick is excited but unsure why the lilies are brought to the table now.

— Yes. Lilies… But taste these… – Iris is smiling.

— Taste? Flowers? – Nick is astonished…

— Oh, my bad! – Iris laughs and Nick suddenly no longer sees lilies. Instead, in front of him are onions, leek and garlic.

— Go ahead now! Bon appetite! – Iris is smiling.

— You changed lilies into onions and garlic?

— Never mind! It’s just you saw lilies by mistake… They were vegetables from the very beginning…

— But I saw lilies…

— Oh, again… I’m Iris, – it’s me who makes you see… And I am in a hurry sometimes… Or confused… Shall I always be right? I can be wrong too!..

— Oh…

— And, by the way, the onions, the garlic, the leek, – they are all from the lily family of plants, – so I’m just a little bit wrong with the form you saw…

— Really?..

— Really!.. Eat! Or shall I ask you again and again?…

— Sorry… Thank you!.. – Nick is eating potatoes. He tries some garlic with those.

— You can make the taste and smell change too? – He asks after few minutes when his mouth is not filled with potatoes.

— I’m what you see, little boy! – Iris is rising her eyebrow – how can you even compare the sight with taste and smell!..

— Sorry!.. I’m still a little boy, – Nick’s defending.

— All right, all right… Finish up, – Iris is smiling again.

Zack is in the room in front of his desk near the balcony. He has his beats on. He is all into music. The gaze is outside to the scene he sees from the balcony door: buildings, buildings, more buildings… He sees the two pots where he had olive trees. The olives disappeared, together with Nick. He keeps the pots and is not planting anything in them and is not throwing them away. Sometimes he doubts if there ever were any olive trees there at all though…

The view in front of him has changed. As he shifts focus from the empty pots, he notices lilies, white petals, long green stems.

— Maybe it’s Iris, again confusing something? – Zack smiles. 

It’s been a long time since his smile.