So then, of course, we all had to sneak around in the greenhouse in the dark, with our various radioactive phosphors, our maglites, our red pilot lights, puddles of glow flashing over the walls, with echoing footsteps, hushed voices, the smell of carrion, and the monstrous outline of the corpseflower silhouetted against the walls. I've never been in a horror movie before. Any minute I expected to hear, "We found Team C... or what's left of them."
I climbed a ladder to peer into the flower itself, blotchy purple with a texture like velvet, above pale liver-spotted white like the throat of a dead man. One stem, one stamen, one petal, velvet purple and larger than a bedsheet, scalloped into a cone.
A second flower that bloomed a week ago and withered had been cut into, straight through petals an inch thick like the wall of a jack-o-lantern, so that the hundred and hundreds of purple pistils were visible, blunt and curled like worms.
It was very neat. But also stinky.