This engaging little tale relies for its science fiction part on the unusual murder weapon.
Story summary (spoiler).A loner with low self esteem is living in isolation, feels bullied by his dog-trainer aunt, & decides to kill her.
This loner also has a well-respected-by-peers hobby - he is a very good orchid grower. On one of his visits to the dealer, he bargains a little unfamiliar orchid that looks dead. And plants it in his nursery.
After a while, he has more than he bargained for! This orchid is carnivorous - has grown large tendrils, has a well developed nervous system, can produce intriguing sounds, & eats meat.
Our villain decides to use this orchid as a murder weapon. So he trains the orchid - kind of preparing it for the big event.
On D-day, he brings his aunt within easy reach of the orchid. And something amazing happens!
Very good story.
- Tom Williams' "Florescence" from Antipodean SF, #111 (August/Sseptember 2007): Generally similar theme, but a far less interesting story compared to Clarke's.
Fact sheet."The Reluctant Orchid", short story, review
Author: Arthur C Clarke
First published: 1956