The Venus Flytrap

This is a piece from a prompt called Mimosa. We were told to write a non-fiction piece by our Creative Writing teacher, and this is it. Not really much to say at the moment, I’m currently still writing the commentary, but that should be up soon. I hope you enjoy this though.


Venus Flytrap

They were the biggest fascination when I was a child sticking small fingers into the traps to make them close. Venus flytraps. Their discoverer likened them to the Goddess of Love, Venus. Darwin considered them ‘one of the most wonderful plants in the world’. I saw them as toys, existing only for my pleasure. Watching as the spikes closed softly around my fingers.

They are most recognisable by their fleshy petioles and hinged traps, which resembles a gaping and bloody mouth, with fangs bristling. They are most recognisable for their carnivorous propensities. The trap closes with a speed of 0.3 seconds or faster, and with a suddenness that screams of premeditation. Like how we use traps when hunting, so it is with the Venus flytrap. It is the flora equivalent to a bear trap. The snapping jaws of primal animals, which have waited centuries for the chance to bite. The pre-emptive strike. Go for it before they can.

It can be said that there exists something of a Venus flytrap in our minds. One brush of a mental trigger hair, and we’re poised, just waiting for the next time that same probingly light touch is felt. First strike. Second strike. You’re out. Instantly doors lock, but instead you’re on the outside. Any gaps left are chances for apologies and reconciliations. For the small excuses and attempts at recon to worm through. The plant has the same associations as ancient temples and forgotten cities. Enter at your peril. Abandon hope all ye who enter. A pressure plate which triggers a rolling boulder. A trip wire that closes the walls in around you. Here there be monsters. Demons within, demons without. But there’s always a chance to go for the treasure. The only reason you entered the bonelittered tunnel. Who would do anything if not for what they can gain?

It is the leading lady, the top femme fatale. Enticed in with honey and nectar and trapped, staring through bars. They are love embodied. Venus, the Goddess of Love. Dionaea, Aphrodite, Goddess of Love. Men come from Mars, and women from Venus. Venus is the second planet from our Sun, and with an atmosphere consisting largely of Carbon Dioxide and Sulphur Dioxide there is no way that Venus is the birthplace of women. Is it due to a caustic attitude thrust upon us by men and popular stereotypes? Men are from Mars. The God of War and Men. The planet has low atmospheric pressure. Venus has an atmospheric pressure 92% stronger than Earth. Doesn’t that say it all?

You talk to me. I don’t know you, you don’t know me. You don’t know what to say or what not to say. You start off badly. I’m unresponsive, monosyllabic. I’m just waiting for that brush of the trigger subject, for you to overstep boundaries that aren’t clearly identifiable. ‘Don’t you think that that she has a really balanced voice, though?’ You say about a singer I don’t know. ‘Your sister is a good singer, isn’t she?’ Strike of the trigger. Timer activated. ‘I’m really sorry. It must have been hard.’ Timer stopped. Five seconds. The trap snaps shut, and we are on other sides of a wall, a wall I imagine to be green, and with angled barbs on the top. His garbled apologies can’t make it through the cracks, and he is lost to me. I move on, and the mind trap loosens. The two barbed halves are like two hands clasped together, only to be ripped apart by time. When the trap is laid open and bare, that is when my grief and pain will disappear for the time.


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