Friday Fiction – The Secret Garden

Don’t you wish you had a wardrobe like in Narnia, a magic mirror like Alice or even Terisa (Mordant’s Need and A Man Rides Through)? Lilly had none of these things either, but she had her secret garden. She herself named after her Mother’s favorite flower. Lilly was the shy, inquisitive child of the Professor, an only child, she lost her Mother at birth. Her Father, it is said is not the same man, but the only one Lilly knows. Seldom brought to smile, he loves her dearly and makes sure she wants for nothing, but he says she looks just like her mother and that makes him sad. Lilly often sees her Father with tears in his eyes when he looks at her.

Now as a young woman herself, Lilly’s Father has taken to even longer trips away, teaching and researching at distant universities and frequently is out of the country. Lilly fears the very sight of her upsets him, the painting in the hallway above the stairs, may as well be a mirror, Father never even uses these stairs and keeps to the small room near the servants quarters, most of which stand empty these days. Apart from a few staff; the cook and housekeeper, Lilly is mostly left to her own devices. Spending countless hours in the enormous library on a cold or rainy day, lost in tales of adventure and heroism. But when the sun is shining she is outdoors, and most frequently found in the secret garden, well she calls it her secret garden, it once belonged to her Mother. She felt akin to the Children in the book “The Secret Garden”, this was once abandoned through lack of care too. Through the years Lilly cared and tendered to it, as she believes her Mother may have too.

The Key to the Secret Garden
The Key to The Secret Garden

Now blooming with flowers in all but the coldest winters, sheltered and surrounded by hedgerows grown to towering heights, keeping the wild winds at bay; letting in the sunshine and gentle rains. A haven for some many different plants and animals; rabbits and deer, birds and squirrels and insects; each with their own part to play. None fear her as she moves to various parts of the garden and the reflection pool, all under her quiet guidance and care.

Perhaps one day she will bring her Father, would he be pleased or upset, this was her Mother’s refuge and she has simply stepped in and taken it as her own. She alone holds the key to her Secret Garden.

~ Julz