Work Header

In your garden

Work Text:

Many say that the most important thing for parents is their children, considered as their priceless precious jewels. It was also so for Jack, a talented writer of the 90s, or so it seemed from numerous newspaper articles all over the world. He lived a fairly quiet life; he lived with his daughter in a small house on the outskirts. His wife died a few years after Penny's birth, and the cause is still unknown. The curiosity of the writer's fans became more and more frequent, up to making him feel suffocated. The death of that woman became a nightmare day after day and for this reason his health has declined. He stopped being a writer and shut himself up at home, not even caring for his daughter.


“Dad, don't you even take me to school today?”


As usual she received no answer: before grabbing her grandmother's hand, the child looked at her father with shining eyes. He was sitting on the usual armchair, now so ruined that he could see the white cotton wool that it was made of; it also became so unstable that he could now be considered a "rocking chair". His eyes were set towards the photo of his wife, set inside a frame made by little Penny, decorated in turn by many little flowers composed of colored fabric. "The flowers ... The flowers ...", the man kept repeating, keeping his dry lips parted as if they were about to say more.

Jack did not flinch when the door closed behind him with arrogance, indeed he remained more impassive than before. His thoughts, even for a few moments, focused on his daughter, but who knows why he couldn't think of anything sensible except for his second birthday. Now that he thought seriously about it, he was never a proper father. After Cindy's death everything changed, he no longer felt himself. He had his own store a few blocks away and of course, after her death he was abandoned. To make her death even more painful, precisely, were the continuous letters from writers' fans. "Where is Cindy?", "I want my money back, she has never finished her saga!", Or even people who blamed her husband. The latter began to create controversies of all kinds, more and more convinced that Jack was only a selfish man in search of his wife's money, "stealing" the scene. His books no longer sold, and his presence was not appreciated even in the most common places.

Jack stood up with difficulty feeling his bones produce an annoying noise, and decided to walk slowly around the house. It had been perfectly intact since his wife died, he didn't change a comma. The walls covered with the child's drawings, but decorated with her mother's favorite paintings, obviously depicting flowers. As this passion for flowers began, Jack never knew ... Yet that woman seemed so happy when talking about plants, like a child at Christmas.

Jack's journey continued, heading towards the bedroom. The latter still smelled like the young woman, and so her clothes systematically placed inside a wide-open wardrobe at the corner of the room. The man approached and grabbed with indecision one of her favorite shirts - also decorated with flowers - and squeezed it, as if trying to ruin it. Suddenly he turned and changed room, arriving at the end of the corridor. Before entering he took off his glasses, placed them on the ground, and then did so with his clothes, remaining completely naked. Once inside, a nauseating smell penetrated his body, making him cough loudly. He moved deftly in that dark and gloomy place, perhaps because he went there every day when his child was not there with him. Perhaps he was at home in a room full of withered flowers and food expired for who knows how many months. The floor was no longer visible given the numerous flowers - if this could still be considered - and the various objects, clothes and foodstuffs scattered around. He then took a flower from the ground and walked towards the corner of the room where there was a large vase. He placed it on the latter, as well as the shirt caught between the woman's clothes.

“I hope you like it, I treated it exactly as you wanted.”

The man put his hands inside the vase and pulled out a skull still slightly glued to the neck bone. He then settled the earth - also smelly - and placed it on it, starting later to caress his forehead.

“Look, your dream has come true, we are creating a fantastic garden together ... I bet you will be proud of it! When you come home I absolutely want to show you, you will be enthusiastic ... Yet lately I have noticed that you do not eat properly, by chance you are not hungry?”

He glimpsed a dish containing some rotten eggs, then took other flowers from the edge of the large vase - even though some of them crumbled into his own hands - and placed them on either side of the skull. Finally the man lay down to the right of the vase, arranging his shirt over the earth, as if he wanted to dress the now non-existent skeleton. He then stroked the soft silk and smiled purely.

“I'm still a bit ashamed to be naked in front of you, but I'm getting my courage. Sooner or later I know that we will have another daughter, despite your health problems ... I will stand by you. I know you have experienced a difficult time, but you will see that together we will succeed. For now let's enjoy our humble life with our child, she has just turned two! She grows so fast, isn't it?”

He decided to close his eyes and continue to caress the woman's shirt, then he approached her skull and placed his dry lips on her cheekbone, thus remaining for several moments. The surrounding air looked far too polluted, dirty, and only entering that place could harm health. Perhaps that was why, when the child discovered the existence of that room, her head began to turn so quickly that it fell to the ground, slightly cutting her leg with a previously thrown vase. Beside his weak body there was only a piece of paper now ruined containing a sentence: "My beloved Jack, take me to the most beautiful garden you know where I can stay with you for life! This is my wish, please my dear!”