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field guide to earth flora

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They arrived in a pillar of sulfuric black smoke and flame. Vim waved away tendrils of stinking smoke so he could see their surroundings: they were in a large meadow, with a city in the distance. Vim sighed. No humans around for miles. Damn fieldwork.

“What’s all this?” Uka said. Vim looked over to see the younger demons clustered a little ways away from the steaming crater where they landed.

“Those,” Vim said, walking over and looking down at the pink mass Uka was crouched next to. They looked far different from the engravings in the textbooks; delicate petals fluttering tenderly in the light breeze, carrying a sweet scent that tried to block out the familiar sulfur.

Silly things, these earth flowers. Unless the pretty blossoms were there to lure humans into traps… Vim nudged the flowers with a boot, then felt silly when all that happened was a few petals falling into Uka’s hand.

“Beautiful…” Uka murmured, touching one of the tiny pink petals with a fingertip.

Vim snorted. They had proper plants in hell. Lovely tendrils of thorny vines, poison berries in all kinds of tempting colors, bushes with huge carnivorous jaws...of course they lost a few freshmen every year before the new students learned to look where they were stepping, but it all added up to a wonderful homey atmosphere.

Why would anyone care about such useless things, Vim wondered. Just like humans. Silly and useless, only there for demons to toy with.

“Enough wasting time!” Vim kicked the flowers over, ignoring Uka’s disappointed look. Served them right for being so defenseless. “Time to find some humans. And don’t forget your notes. This is going to be a great learning experience for all of you.”