It had started as a childish thing, I suppose, this perfume-wearing secret society. It was one of those ideas that seemed so wonderful late at night, and rather silly by light of day, yet it had lasted for several years. We started calling ourselves the Hyacinth Society, and had all sorts of secret meetings.
When World War III was in full swing and religion itself was attacked, we decided that the Society aught to do something. Instead of Rosie the Riveter, it was the Hyacinth Spy. We infiltrated everything in our city: Wanda in the governor’s office, Marilyn at the FBI, Alexandra at the police station, and me in the post office. I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but pretty soon the Hyacinth Society had grown well beyond our city.
Then the government started really cracking down on Christians. The Resistance became something much more serious. It was more serious for most, that is. I think the Hyacinth Society was too hormonally giddy at our past successes to take much seriously!
So when we heard that Wanda’s son, James, had been arrested for leading a Bible study, we took action. We booked a hotel room near the jail and giggled and whispered all night. But it was a good thing we didn’t sleep, because I think if we had we would have realized how stupid of a scheme we’d planned.
The next morning Alexandra stayed in the hotel, hunched over her laptop as she broke into the prison’s computer system. It had been simple for her to schedule an appointment between her boss and this station’s manager, Mr. Porter.
I marched into that prison office with a big grin and an even bigger bouquet of hyacinths. “Oh don’t bother getting up. I know my way around!” I chirped to the front-desk lady as I bustled down the hall. I paused at the end of the desk. “Hehe, it would be good if I put the card on, wouldn’t it? Not that Mr. Porter wouldn’t know it was from his wife, but still!” I laughed and trotted on down the hall. The receptionist had no way of knowing that on the other side of the flowers I had peeked at the security codes for the doors.
I went right into the manager’s office. The whole room filled with the flowers’ fragrance as I waited for Wanda to distract the receptionist.
Emerging cautiously, I was relived to see that Wanda and the worker were nowhere to be seen. I peered around for Marilyn. Just then I heard someone--and it wasn’t Marilyn! Plunging into the first room I came to, I ducked behind the desk. From my not-so-good hiding place I saw a scowling woman surveying the room. It would only be seconds before she saw me. In those seconds the gravity of the situation hit me for the first time. But my dark thoughts were interrupted by the unmistakable scent of hyacinth perfume. I stood up, putting my finger to my lips. The poor lady obligingly caught the scream in her throat and simply stared at me, her mouth and eyes making three big Os.
“Did you like the hyacinth flowers I left in Mr. Porter’s office?” I smiled brightly.
Two Os blinked. The bottom O spread into a thin line.
“Oh, don’t worry! We are just getting James Landon out of jail.” I shut the door behind me and grabbed Marilyn, who was standing like an ice statue halfway down the hall. At the end of the hall I saw the key pad next to the big metal doors and I punched in a code from the paper. The door opened.
When we rushed back out, we were dragging a shocked James. I waved merrily at the three Os that were glued to the office window. Then we were out the front door and around the corner. We collapsed, panting, against the car. We didn’t have to wait long before Wanda traipsed up.
“How’d you distract the worker?” I eyed her wet shoes.
She grinned. “Oh, the toilet clogged something awful.”
We dropped James off at a safe location before returning home. My husband eyed me suspiciously as I unpacked my suitcase. “Did you have fun on your ladies night out? I, uh, heard that James mysteriously got out of prison this weekend.”
“Oh, we had a marvelous time.” I smiled innocently and kissed him in a great cloud of hyacinth perfume.
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