The YING YANG Flower

A Philosophical Whimsical Fiction

Denise Thong

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Dear Dr. Stevens (My Dear Friend and Psychologist),

I have written this not only as a letter but as a safeguard lest something happens to me tonight.

As you already know by now, my step-father, the famous (or infamous) Dr. Jacob, has passed away, leaving his entire estate to my name.

I have already mentioned the following to you in therapy but it may serve to refresh your memory, and also as a prologue to what you are about to read.

Dr. Jacob was a famous businessman but in his older years developed a queer hobby of a horticulturist. His interest was in the cultivation of quaint flowers.

Driven by his newfound passion, he sold his business and moved to the country side where he bought vast expenses of land. Some he converted into farmland for organic agriculture, some he converted into specialised greenhouses for the cultivation of plants from all around the world.

What was left of his biological family considered his hobby an annoyance but also a relief. He had spent much of his earlier years in less honourable pursuits — women, whiskey and gambling, to name a few. As such, they decided to leave him alone. He returned the favour.

But he loved me and knew full well of my former training in agricultural science. Hence, he wrote to me periodically with updates on his latest horticultural conquests. Some of his letters accompanied by photographs and leaf cuttings.

I responded appropriately to all his overtures, partly out of filial piety and partly because the subject of discussion truly interested me.

And here comes the part that you are not yet aware of.

There is a legend of a plant called the Ying Yang flower. It is a forbidden plant for many reasons.

Firstly, it is a diabolical, truly diabolical flower, I say. Though, called Ying Yang flower, it is also known as “the Devil’s Hand” in some aboriginal cultures. No one truly knows what it looks like in full bloom because as it blooms, it is known to emit toxic fumes that engulfs the cultivator and sends him into a suicidal passion.

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Denise Thong

Counsellor, Writer (Christianity, Children’s short stories)