Saturday, 14 July 2018

The Secret Garden

Flash Fictions aren't happening right now, so I thought to keep mine going - besides, I've had a few good ideas. I've been doing up my backyard and thought to add in this one about mental illness and how it can affect a person too.

I pulled out my bunch of keys from my pocket and sorted through them as I kept a careful eye over my shoulder. It’s unsafe to be alone here. It’s unsafe to be looking down right now. I had leaned the two bags of potting mix against the wall and the two plants were waiting next to them.
I found the key, slotted it into the padlock, turned it and it unlocked easily. But the slid-lock was stuck, so using all my weight I yanked on it and gave the gate a good hard kick and... it swung open easily.
Yes, it had caught against the building.
But getting into this place was well worth it.
My garden – my secret garden to be exact – was worth it.
I walked into it, leaving the potting mix and plants in their spots to hide my padlock and keys in a good place so I wasn’t locked in, then I went back and picked up the bags of potting mix and the plants and brought them through.
As I dropped the bags onto the old red picnic chairs, and the plants onto the ground next to well-established plants, I turned around and looked at what I had already done here.
It was beautiful!
I had blocked out the neighbours, grown a lovely hedge along the side fence, and introduced a large greenhouse to grow my own food and herbs.
Yes the garden was going very well.
Picking up the keys and padlock in one handful, I walked out the gate, pulled it hard shut and locked it again – which is just as difficult to lock as it is to unlock – before walking away to the house and letting myself in there.

The weekend came and I had bought more potting mix and a few more plants before that arrived. I walked out the back door of my house and out into the garden where I felt so much more at home and more secreted away from the world than ever.
Scanning the yard, I spotted empty pots I had picked up from garage sales and off the side of the road, at charity stores and at cheap stores as well – all waiting for me to organise them around the garden and put the plants waiting around the edges in them. Yes, the garden looked like an unmade bed, a disorganised bedroom waiting to be fixed up by me.
I sighed, looking around at the plants and pulled out the phone and took a ‘before’ shot of the mess, then put it away, then went to work.
Pots were set around the garden first to see what they’d look like. That was fun, and I took my time. Then the plants were looked into and read. I picked and chose which ones were going where... and then changed my mind three times! I filled all the pots with mix after putting in a square of shade mesh in the bottom to cover the hole (so the mix wouldn’t disappear through there and into the soil). I placed the pots of plants on the top of the soil and looked at them... they looked really great!
One by one, with the plants in their places, I bumped them out, and opened a hole in the middle of the potting mix-filled large pots and inserted them into their new homes.
My hands turned black. The rich aroma of the potting mix filled the morning air as the sun filtered through the clouds overhead and the coolness of Winter here in Brisbane kept me from sweating it out. I love this time of year. It’s a time of year to clean up, fix up and organise my garden without damaging it.
With blackened hands, I picked up my phone again and took an ‘after’ shot, where it looked great. I had cleaned away all the empty bags of potting mix and stacked the little pots from the plants. I had watered them into their new homes with Seasol (a liquid fertiliser) and collected together their labels and poked them into the sides of their pots, photographing them with them in – so I knew which one was which.

I looked around my garden as I walked out of the gate, past the car and stopped at the entrance of my townhouse, where Paradise ceased to exist and the horrors of the world started. My feet were just inside the boundary of the last place around where nothing could harm me or my world – well according to me – and that’s all that matters.
Looking to my right, I saw them walking towards me – the police – and they stopped just shy of the boundary looking at me; pitying me. I looked at them.
“Have you finished your garden?” one asked.
“Yes.” I said.
“We beg of you, please, you must leave.”
“But this is my home.” Tears welled in my eyes.
“The trucks are here to pack it all up and move you to your new location.” He said.
Looking down, I sniffed, “It just wouldn’t be the same.”
“I know. But they’re going to destroy your place whether you’re here or not.”
I looked over my shoulder, then back at them. I had my house all packed up anyway, knowing they were going to do this on the day I finished the garden, “Bring in the trucks. I knew my garden wasn’t really a secret to you guys anyway.”
He turned and walked towards some people and they talked to him, “She really does think her garden is a secret; and she thinks it’s the end of the world.”
“Do you think she knows we’re her family?” a voice asked the policeman.
“No. She thinks this place is at the end of the universe. And that I’m a cop and not her Dad.”