The Men Who Come From Flowers is deeper than its few words, giving us a story that’s equal parts romance, fantasy and a discussion on toxic masculinity. It’s written with feeling and a veiled intensity that I admired.
THE MEN WHO COME FROM FLOWERS
Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, September/October 2018 Issue
The Men Who Come From Flowers is the brief story of a woman who tends to a garden whose flowers grow up to become men. It’s a definite fantasy, with little explanation for how this process occurs. It creates this vivid visual of living flowers akin to Disney movies, singing in their beds and greeting the morning. The romance is made possible by the process being cut short, leaving her with a man who cares for her, who is willing to be tender and loving and helpful around the house. In the end, we see this as an unattainable dream that can’t be fulfilled because of intervening masculinity. Interestingly, they only choose the strongest, most beautiful flowers to transition into manhood, leaving the rest to rot in the compost. It’s a loud statement about our society, for sure.
The gardener is a complex character who nurtures these flowers into the macho men they will become, while yearning for a man who doesn’t come from the strongest batch. She wants real love that stands on equal footing, and she gets it for a short while before the ‘collectors’ step in. I’d love to know more about this group that runs these gardens and employs her. This story begs a number of intriguing questions.
There isn’t much said about this world. We know that women get their men from these gardens. The rest is left to the imagination.
Fantasy, Masculinity, Transformation
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