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The Lost Garden

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Darkness hums around him, vibrating like it is full of hungry vipers and snapping wolves, both gaping maws bordered by dripping, needle-like teeth. A being, created pure and kind, writhes in its agony, mind in a vice, bleeding out its horrors and letting them drip between floorboards. Pale hands, a metaphor for the vice, clutch its head as though it can hold in the memories that are ripped out one by one.

Happiness—people with their heads tilted back, throats bared, mouths stretched open in happiness. Flowers grow like weeds, breathtaking in their beauty, familiar in a way that comes from watching them grow, caring for them as they do.

Satisfaction—watching someone’s eyes light up as they talk of their love, words spilling from them like a sonnet, comfortable to share their life story. Food grows from a garden bed that had been deficient in nutrients, strong and bold, full of vitality and health.

Peace—knowing only what it is to be. Simplicity in caring for those who cannot care for themselves, being a shoulder lean on, an ear to spill heartaches to. Knowing what one’s purpose is, fulfilling it each and every day. The ocean, rolling in and out, caring not for anything.

Sorrow—staying the same while friends, lovers, people considered family grow old and die. Staying the same while those immortal in kind grow distant and war-weary, dying in a way worse than death. Watching plants wilt in reflection of this draining sadness.

Fear—green-and-black, the being dripping with menace explodes through the door, tears any semblance of innocence, of peace away, crushes it beneath one foot. Being forced to retaliate, to protect, to attack. Feeling shadows crawl all over, poisoning things once pure.

Despair—nothing to do but forget, no healing from this, impure, never meant for war, never meant for death and destruction. Peace but a distant hope, something meant for those who are good and kind.

Everything is torn out, everything is forgotten. A lock clicks shut. Nothing is left behind but the garden. In the darkness, the once-pure being hauls itself from the floor and heads outside to wait for sunrise, knowing only that it has some lettuces to plant. There is nothing else.

The shadows writhe, kept at bay for now.