Prompted Prose: Write this Picture

Her heart was a secret garden and the walls were very high. She was every shard of summer blooming, locked inside herself. She was the rose, she was the thorn, but why do thorns have need for roses?

And the garden seemed to grow and when it grew it seemed to glow. And the light attracted things, brought in moths and cats and pigeons, and the things attracted things, brought in other, bigger, things. But the people saw the walls and craned their necks to see the top, yet the top was really not that different from the bottom, and they left the secret garden before discovering its secrets.

And so it went for years, and the garden kept on blooming, and the walls continued rising, each brick blocking out the sun, until the day that they touched the sky. And the garden fell into shadow, and without light, the flowers withered, drying into brown, wispy, dead things. Papery, rotting, crumbling, dead things. So the garden sat, and realizing its own misfortune, wept—for it had done such to itself.

Hearing her weep, a stranger came to the garden, and like all the others, craned his neck to see the top. But the top could not be seen, for it disappeared into the clouds. And he thought to himself, what a lonely, lonely garden. For the most resplendent of flowers will die a tragedy, if their glow is never looked upon by another. So he traced the garden wall, following along, intending to catch a glimpse of the top, for like we all dwell too deep upon the surface, he dwelt upon the external shell of the garden. But it so happened that a great climbing rose had crept over the wall long ago, before the walls grew so high, and the while the blossoms had faded and since crumbled to dust, the thorns waited still, pooled along the ground. And the stranger’s foot caught among the vines, and the thorns clawed at him, so that he stumbled and found himself fallen on the ground.

Looking about him, his eyes finally removed, if only for one moment, from the highest point of the great wall, he saw something that startled him. And getting up, he smiled, and brushed off his pants, and touched the wall again. Finding a handle, he opened it, and the hinges creaked heavily, and the latch seemed stuck with rust, but he gave a tremendous yank, and it fell open.

And for the first time, her garden was shared, and finding in it a visitor, ended its weeping, and became suddenly very occupied with cleaning itself up. And the bricks slowly crumbled, and the light slowly drenched the flower beds until the garden was filled with all its former splendor.

For even the most secret of gardens have doors.

If you only care to see them.


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