Chloris Holmes and Nyx Watson

We had a mystery on our hands.

At the Bloomin’ Good: All Things Floral & Tea opening, Nyx gifted with me with a gorgeous Prussian blue rug, speckled with actual star dust.

It was gorgeous.

Notice I said “was”.

Irony of ironies, the rug that was supposed to keep away ne’er-do-wells…was stolen.

************************************************************************

Strolling the side streets of Athens, I stopped by a quaint shop selling hand-painted wooden plaques. Almost immediately, one caught my eye.

Skillfully painted mauve Acanthus (aka Bear’s Breeches, the official flower of Greece) stood proudly near the plaque’s edges. Front and center, a brief quote in glistening silver strokes said:

Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. – Sherlock Holmes

Holmes? Who was this person?

My type, obviously. 

I needed to get back to the Olympus Administration Building to try the Google.

But first…I simply had to have the plaque for the shop.

************************************************************************

After discovering that Sherlock Holmes was a character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I spent the rest of the afternoon reading several of his short stories ( “A Scandal in Bohemia”, “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle” and “The Musgrave Ritual”—in case you’re nosy like I tend to be).

Holmes and his friend Dr. Watson—utterly delightful!

I smiled, looking at the small, but growing, collection of mysteries stacked on my desk behind the floral arrangement consulting counter. 

Recently, I had become acquainted with another mystery writer—Agatha Christie—via her love for flowers (especially deadly ones). Poirot and Marple kept me up more evenings than I’d like to admit.

But now, I had some new (albeit, fictional) friends to attend to. My smile grew wider as I reached for a book with a tantalizingly horrific cover: The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Something felt…off.

Ever have that feeling? Like something is askew, disarranged…missing?

I put the book down. 

What was it? 

We Immortals may have special powers but, contrary to popular opinion (and monotheistic lore), we are not omni-present, omni-powerful or omniscient (how I wish I were the latter!).

I walked slowly, as if avoiding eggshells (how tiptoeing would help me discover what felt wrong, goddess only knows).

Metrokoites.

The rug. It was gone.

The gorgeous, stardust-speckled rug that Nyx gave me…gone.

So much for keeping away wastrels and thieves.

************************************************************************

As soon as I received Chloris’s message, I made my way to Bloomin’ Good.

I pushed the door open and headed inside, a quiet tinkling sounding vaguely familiar (an 80s pop song?) announcing my arrival.

The smell of the flora here was intoxicating, and I inhaled deeply. It reminded me of the Elysium Fields.

I found Chloris sitting behind her consultation counter,  looking just a perturbed as she had sounded in her message. She looked up and smiled warmly at me.

“Nyx! Thank you for coming over so quickly, I wasn’t sure what to do.” 

She moved from behind the counter and gestured to one of the barrel-backed chairs on the main floor.

I settled into a cushy swivel chair, appreciating the soft fabric. 

“It’s my pleasure. How can I assist?”

Chloris chewed something, clearly annoyed. I thought I saw green. Smelled something crisp. Mint?

“You know that lovely rug you gifted to me during my opening?”

I nodded. “Yes, the one that prevents theft. What about it? Does it need cleaning already?”

Chloris shook her head vehemently, the locks of her long ash blond hair streaked with white swishing across her face. “How’s this for irony: your gift was stolen right out from under me, as the saying goes. I have no idea how. There is no sign of forced entry.”

I blinked at her. “It was stolen? When?”

Chloris thought for a moment. “Overnight, I believe. I was wondering if you could tell me more about the properties of the rug, so maybe I could track it down…?”

I shifted in my seat and leaned forward—amused, more than concerned.

“The plot thickens. Well, I’ll tell you what I know, if it will assist you.”

Chloris nodded fervently. “Hold on a sec.” She trotted back behind her consulting counter, grabbing a small notebook and pen. “OK, go ahead.”

“The rug is spun from silk, created right in your Elysium Fields.”

Chloris raised an eyebrow. “Before Zeus ordered us to get jobs and Hades turned most of the Fields into a concrete eyesore…or after?”

I ignored her. No way was I getting in between she and Hades…

I continued, “Intertwined are a few tufts of golden fleece as well. With permission from wise Athena, I had Arachne weave it together. I then bathed it in the River Lethe to finish it off. Adding these two steps is what enables the rug to ward off thieves: the wisdom to refrain from such foolish acts—and then, for them to forget why they came in the first place.”

Chloris pulled something from the pocket of her flowing dress. Yes, it was mint. She popped another leaf in her mouth. Clearly, she was mulling over what I had shared with her.

“But, I thought you said the rug was made with actual stardust? How does that come into play?” she asked. 

“The stardust comes from myself. While weaving the rug, I added my own touch of love. I imbued the entire process with my essence, which is the stardust part. Whenever that rug is lying on the floor, a sense of peace permeates the room—all from my personal stardust.”

Chloris swallowed her chewed mint. “Oh wow.” She looked off to the side, lost in thought.

She sighed. “Well, the game’s afoot, dearest Nyx. It looks like I’ll need to talk to either Athena or Arachne…or both.”

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Chloris (Janet Boyer)
Chloris is written by Janet Boyer, author of Back in Time Tarot (2008), Tarot in Reverse (2012), Naked Tarot: Sassy Stripped-Down Advice (2018), the Coffee Tarot Companion Book (2018) and the Snowland Deck Companion Book (2018). She’s an Amazon.com Hall of Fame Reviewer with over 2,000 reviews to her name, and her articles and AstroTarot Forecasts have appeared in many print and online publications. She lives in rural Pennsylvania with her husband, Ron, their son, Noah and five (!) cats (three of them, newly adopted foster kittens), and runs their Chez Boyer Etsy Shop (she’s a jewelry designer, Ron is a fine artist and Noah hand-sews awesome bags). In “real life”, Janet does, indeed, love flowers…
Chloris (Janet Boyer)
Chloris (Janet Boyer)

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Nyx (Ashley Gallaher-Pollard)

Nyx (Ashley Gallaher-Pollard)

Production Flow Manager / Advising Editor
Nyx is portrayed by fiction writer and gamer, Ashley. She has been writing poetry and fiction for fifteen years, and has had poetry published through the Poetry Institute of Canada, most recently winning the Award of Excellence for the 2018 National Poetry Contest. She has been an ardent lover of mythology, history, and the occult since elementary school, which can be found in much of her writing. She is currently working on her debut novel, a mature, high fantasy adventure novel (working) titled War Wine. If you’re feeling charitable or kind, you could buy her a cup of Ko-Fi, follow her on Twitter, or become a Wine patron. She is a simple creature.
Nyx (Ashley Gallaher-Pollard)

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10 Comments

  1. A rug that prevents thefts gets stolen? That’s the mother of all ironies. I really like to know who stole and why and also how did they manage to do that?

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