The globe’s craftsman had been commissioned in secret, so the story went, by a scientist who would not abandon it. Sealed inside, the plant passed into the hands of the scientist’s children, and grandchildren, to family friends and finally Sherman’s aunt at a garage sale outside her Sunday meet & greet.
As a boy Sherman had watched the timeless plant and wondered at it. It was an ugly little stick, intriguing only by virtue of its exceptional prison. The interior was adiabatic, visible but static, and played with the light as it took the long way through the shimmering marvel. Knowing the artifact would be a comfort to him, his aunt had made it his before he left for college. He had watched over it diligently in his dormitory, then the apartment he shared with his roommates, and finally in his own home.
As a man, he sang to it. When no one else was around to hear him, of course. The plant was there when he made breakfast, it was there for most dinners. He polished the bowl and he muttered to the thing about his ordinary life.
It might have been the inspiration for his major in botany. He felt its paralysis and strove towards growth.
He named it Threnody, for though he doubted plants had dreams, if the plant did dream it was of golden sky and cool soil and Sherman would have gladly freed it if he knew how. Short of shattering the bowl there was no way.
It was his genie that granted no wishes and never left its lamp, its bottle, its coffin, nor their restless friendship. So he sang to it those threnodies as might enkindle a plant to dream.