He was roused from his afternoon nap by a noise. At first he was too discombobulated to realised what the noise was, but as he sat up, rubbed his eyes and stretched a yawn at the same time, he realised it had been the front door bell.
It took him a while these days to get to his feet, every muscle and bone in his body squealing and moaning with the effort. But once he was up, he was pretty nimble on his toes, even if his eyes weren’t that great.
His gnarled hand wrapped around the door handle, pulling his paper thin skin around his swollen knuckles. The door creaked more than he did.
And there, on the mat, bathed in a shaft of afternoon sunlight, sat a potted cactus.
It wasn’t big, but it was exactly the shape of the cacti you used to see in old cartoon. A three-pronged affair, luscious green, peppered with big black spikes.
He bent down, much to the annoyance of his whole body, and scooped up the pot, being careful not to have his clouded eye out. The soil was damp, freshly watered, and there was no note attached.
Once inside, the door creaking shut behind him, he put the pot on the windowsill directly opposite his favourite chair, and settled down into that chair to look at this weird, and wonderful new arrival.
The cactus burst.
It sent a million different pods flying in all directions, all of which somehow managed to miss him and the chair. Before he had a chance to react, each of those pods started to bloom and blossom.
Within minutes, the room was a vibrant mix of colour and smell, as little plants flowered, covering the whole place in a verdant overcoat of wonder.
He settled back into his chair and enjoyed the view.
Such a lovely day to be inside.
Such a beautiful view before he closed his eyes for the final time.