She stopped when she saw the shadow. Her gut tightened. Detective McCann had told her, Never take the same way twice. She considered turning back. He knows your routine; to avoid him, avoid routine. She had, mostly.
“I am not afraid!” Her words echoed. Footsteps echoed with them.
The cards said, BE MINE. One a week for a year, each with a pressed flower, no matter where she slept.
She turned quickly and crashed into a man. “Watch it,” he said, and walked on. She breathed relief, slowed, turned a corner, and crashed into another man.
He said, "be mine."
Retired detective Frank McCann watched as his son Sam contemplated the scene. It had been twelve years since flowers sent shivers down Frank's spine. It had been twelve hours since convicted killer Tom Armstrong was executed. Two vases of flowers appeared in the concrete courtyard after the flatline was announced. Sam turned from the window, his detective’s badge visible on his belt.
“CSI's coming,” Sam said. “Got a theory? Copycat? The Florist got letters, maybe..."
"Letters," Frank said. "Shit! He wrote me once talking something about pride when a son follows in his father's footsteps. He wasn't talking about you."
Officers McCann and Johns responded to the welfare check — neighbor hasn't been seen in days, not a traveler.
They knocked on the door. Nothing. They rang the bell. No answer. They searched the perimeter and looked in the windows. Dead body. They called it in, then went through the steps to enter.
A note on the floor said another was buried under the hydrangea.
A note with that body said another was buried under the roses.
Fifteen flowery graves later the governor ordered state investigators, and Officer Johns took a hydrangea cut home and planted it in his yard.