This week has been a little rough. I hope you all enjoy. I really did like writing this piece. It just came to me line after line. I haven’t written anything that simply without thinking every little word in a very long time.
The Fountain in The Garden
Legend has it that in the middle of the woods in the depths of an old forest there is a garden. This isn’t just any garden. This garden is one full of wonder and anything but imagination. Others have found it before, or so they’ve said. There are flowers of blue that glow, flowers of purple the size of a hand when fully bloomed, and flowers of red that release little spots of white light that look like glitter that float to the sky. In the center of all these beautiful enchanted flowers there is a path that has a circle in the middle and a straight path in on just the eastern side. In the center of that circular path is a fountain. It isn’t just a simple fountain. It is beautifully crafted with designs of flowers. Now, these flowers, they move when you walk around touching your hand to the beautiful stone. They follow wanderers around with wonder. The fountain is a wishing fountain, but the wishes don’t come as expected. If not careful that magic will twist words and make things so if they feel the wanderer’s intentions aren’t true and good.
A young woman was running from someone and stumbled upon this fountain. It spoke to her in the water. “What is it you wish?” The woman stopped in her tracks as she saw the words appear and disappear.
“I wish to be hidden and safe from those who would harm me.” The fountain let a low light out and ripples appeared.
“Touch the water.” The woman tapped a finger lightly and held her breath. She heard footsteps approaching and when she turned around all the flowers within the garden had gone dark, and the empty beautiful garden was filled with dark bushes and old tree stumps. The fountain looked empty and had moss inside. The woman held her breath as the dark creature stomped through just past her shoulder. The creature stopped, her eyes closed, and her heart was pounding. The woman wondered if the creature could sense her. She thought she was caught. A long minute went by before he left the garden and went on his way. She let out a breath she didn’t know she held. As she turned back to the fountain the garden came back to life.
“Thank you.” The fountain just rippled in response. The top spit out some water.
“Drink child.” She hesitated. Magic water could lead to more trouble than she wanted, but she was so thirsty. She cupped her hands and brought them to her mouth. She thanked the fountain one more time and took off for the woods and the way which she came.
Now this young woman made it safely to her quaint little town. The light was beginning to peak over the hills in the distance and she could hear the townspeople starting to stir. She made quickly for her house and opened the creaky wooden door. As she pulled the door open, she noticed that no one was there. The house had filled with moss and the wood looked broken where the beam had once held in the kitchen. She was only gone for one night, but she remembered the woods and how when she was in danger the magic helped her. Someone was looking for her. Someone might have been the same someone she was running from.
What the girl didn’t know at the time was she wasn’t just in danger out in the world she was in danger in her own home. She had overheard her uncle talking about trading her to the evil lord of the town to keep their home. He was ready to trade her for a house. A house she had taken care of every day for him. So, the young woman waited until the uncle came in to see the house in its current state. He couldn’t bring the house back to life no matter how hard he had tried for days.
The young woman made her way safely to the fountain the day after her uncle had given up. She decided she would take care of the place that took care of her. She brought a bucket to water the flowers in the garden to keep them safe as well. The woman did this every day for two weeks. The first day of the third week the fountain asked what her wish was as a thank you for taking care of the flowers.
“I have no wish today. I came to thank you. You have saved me time and again. I want nothing more than to live a happy life and to take care of this place.” The fountain bubbled happily and as the girl went to leave the same way she came she noticed a beautiful cottage. This cottage seemed made just for her. It was far from her uncle, it was near the flowers so she wouldn’t have to walk back out to the garden every day, and it seemed the perfect size for a young woman on her own. She felt she would have everything she would ever need here.
One day a few months later a young man made his way into the garden. The young woman watched from the window as he approached the fountain. The garden remained the same. So, she had felt it was safe. The young woman went out and made her way softly to the young man to hear his wish.
“I wish only to find a happy life.” The fountain didn’t do anything. He turned around to find her. He seemed mystified by the young woman in front of him and had noticed the cottage behind her as if for the first time.
“Hello.” He took her hand and leaned forward to kiss it gently.
“Who are you?” She smiled and decided he was worthy of her name.
“My name is Rosabelle.” He smiled at her with a cheeky grin. “You can call me Rose.” This was of course not her real name, but this was the name the garden seemed to bestow upon her as roses of all kind emerged wherever she walked or spent her time.
“My name is Phillip.” He smiled at her and she walked to the cottage away from her first guest. She stopped at the door and looked over her shoulder at him.
“Are you going to join me, Phillip?” He nodded and quickly moved to her side. She gestured for him to take the first step in. He made his way to the table and sat looking around in wonder. Everything seemed alive within the house.
“How did you come upon this place?” Rose smiled at him with bright blue eyes beaming.
“I didn’t find it. It found me.” He looked a little curious. It was almost too curious for her liking, but she decided to let it go. He noticed a fire going in the fireplace that wasn’t lit a moment before.
“Do things like this always happen in your home?” Rose laughed.
“Like what?” Phillip gestured to the fireplace.
“That was going when we got here.” He shook his head no and stared into her eyes.
“No, it wasn’t.” He stood and walked over to investigate.
“Phillip it is best not to ask questions about how things happen here and just enjoy it.” He didn’t stop staring at her throughout this entire interaction. “Trust me. The magic works best if you let it guide you.”
“Are you a witch?” Rose let out a laugh that in his opinion resembled a cackle. That night the cottage seemed to grow as there was a room for him to stay. When she woke the next morning the house was dark and moss covered inside. The roof looked as if it had split in two. Rose stood to find Phillip. Instead of Phillip the house began to turn back to normal with a statue of a man who seemed two feet smaller than he was in the corner of the room with his hand on the hilt of a knife and a stone bag full of the garden’s flowers. Rose felt fury run through her and she stomped her way out to the fountain.
“What have you done?” The fountain bubbled but no response came to her the first time. “What. Have. You. Done?”
“Kept you safe from those who would wish to harm you.” Rose was angry that she had been so trusting. Someone had come into the garden and taken what did not belong to them. He wished to be happy. The garden had frozen him in time to a moment he was happy forever. The garden was just as betrayed as she was.
“Build a wall. Build it tall. Keep the betrayers out. I only need the garden to be happy.” The fountain bubbled happily and around her she was surrounded. There was only a door that she could enter and exit if she needed. She wouldn’t.
After a month’s time a man came to inspect the wall. He couldn’t get in. He tried crawling over, but when he got to the top all he could see was a woman in black surrounded by rose thorns looking at him with bright blue eyes. He fell backwards the first time. The second time he looked into the garden he stood his ground from the top of the fence.
“I am looking for my son, Phillip. Have you seen him?” Rose smiled at him and directed the man to the gate. When he got into the garden he didn’t see any rose thorns anywhere in sight.
“Why don’t we see if we can’t find him.” She closed the heavy gate and watched it disappear. The man was ahead of her already entranced by the fountain’s beauty.
“What is it you wish?” The man removed his cap and twisted it in his hands.
“I wish to find my son.” The fountain didn’t bubble for the man or tell him to touch the water.
“Turn around.” The door to the cottage was open so the man wandered over to the cottage. Rose sat on the edge of the fountain waiting for the father to come back outside. She drifted a finger across the fountain loving the way it rippled.
“What have you done?!” The loud yell echoed out into the garden. Nothing darkened around her, but she wasn’t scared any longer. The garden had been teaching her things.
“I did nothing. Your son made a wish.” The man’s eyes went wide before igniting in fury. “His wish came true. As did yours.” The man shook his head.
“I wished to find my son alive! Not as some statue.” Rose clicked her tongue at the man.
“Be careful what you wish for. You might not like what you find at the other end.” The man ran to the gate and left as quickly as he came.
“I’ll be back for you, witch!” Rose smiled at the fountain and a vine of roses built it’s way up into the fountain as if touching it tenderly.
“I am counting on it fool.” The garden had been growing darker as time moved on. The flowers still glowed, but the colors had changed. The flowers were now black with a blue glowing light lifting off of them, dark purple, and a dark orange. The colors seemed to change as Rose did. Even the fountain lit up a different way. The flowers that once danced around the base were now vines that changed with her mood. They bloomed or they wilted. As she changed the garden changed.
One day months later there was a bang on the gate. “Let us in, witch! You will turn my son back.” Rose waved a hand and the roses opened the door. She sat in a black dress on the edge of the fountain.
“I owe you nothing. You only asked where your son was, and I showed you. The fountain gave you what you wished for.” He ran at her and as he did he turned to stone just like his son. The others did the same. One by one they turned to stone and after the second to last one was turned the last man turned and ran to the gate. He was stopped by a vine. Rose walked up to him and put a hand on his cheek. “The fountain will grant you a wish. If you wish it and me no harm.” The young man walked with her to the fountain scared for his life. “Go on.”
“I wish to be safe and hidden from those who would harm me.” Rose watched the boy as the fountain asked him to touch the water. He had good intentions.
“Drink child.” The fountain did as it did for her. The garden seemed to come back to life with the young man’s wish. He turned to look at Rose who was now in a beautiful white dress and the garden seemed to come back to life. The statues, however, shrank and moved to different places around the garden.
“What is this place?” Rose smiled and touched a gentle arm to the man.
“Your home if you wish it. It will keep you safe and protect you.” He looked at her gave her a wary smile. “All you need to do is take care of it as it will take care of you.”
After that day no one ever found the garden again. The only way to keep it safe was to keep it hidden to the human eye. Anyone who wanders in never comes back out, and if they do they are never the same.