Flesh-eating flowers aside, the expansive gardens seemed to have been divided into areas at one time, although the plants had clearly overgrown their boundaries and had gone wild within the gigantic glass dome.
They walked by a stream, the music of its flowing waters blending with the buzzing of insects and of birdsong both familiar and, occasionally, foreign. Every now and then, Charles would point out some oddity, such as the tree whose branches formed claws resembling a bunch of green bananas which grabbed fish out of the water. There were many strange things to see, and the time flew by. Before long the evening sun began to set, filling the dome with a red glow.
“Wouldn’t it have been easier to separate everything properly, put it all in separate greenhouses?” asked Sandra.
“From what I gather my quatrayle, while a keen cryptozoologist, was not the most practical of men. He found this old ruined building here, inside of that were the seeds of some of the strange plants you see; he couldn’t resist planting them. Then he built the greenhouse around it and the manse beside that. He kept adding to the flora and fauna over the years, as his son did.”
“It appears that my ancestors had obtained insects, birds and other alien creatures as well.”
“Yes. The ruin, and much of what you see, came from beyond this world. That’s why I hired you to complete the rituals; I want to visit these places. I’m pretty confident that I’ve got the necessary scrolls and books, and all the paraphernalia that we’ll need.”
“When are we doing this?”
“Tomorrow night; the stars and planetary bodies will be aligned then. We’ll do it in the ruin; there’s a chamber in the middle of it that seems to have been set up for this. Shall we?”
As they made their way back to the manse, Sandra’s head spun with all she had seen and heard.
Finally; some real esoterica!