Briar and Phelan where like a mythical couple, the beauty and the beast, the fallen angel and the devil, the water nymph and the satyr… they were different and in being different they scared people around them. Four men took upon them to see their happiness had an end, but fate gave them another chance, but not a chance to happiness, a chance to vengeance.
I think that, like for The Happy Prince, this is a metaphor; sure the story is a fantasy tale, as I said with a gothic edge, but I think that in the end, what it wants to convey to the reader is that, the puritan society of the 1900 wanted to destroy Briar and Phelan with the lame excuse they were monsters, but in the end their actions were lead by envy and greediness. Briar and Phelan wanted nothing if not being left alone, but it was not possible for them to do that among the high society, let alone among simple men; they have not a place where they can be happy, and like Oscar Wilde they are condemned to live in exile.
Amazon Kindle: The Arsenic Flower
Publisher: Bristlecone Pine Press (April 19, 2011)
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bott