The Walled Garden
Everyone is always wanting to read my writing. So, this piece is for my fiction class, and is finished for the time being. Our prompt was to write about a walled garden... Please, leave comments about things I could do better, or change!
The Walled Garden
The garden was always a mystery to Abigayle and her sisters. How could it be anything but a mystery with the crumbling, stone wall that kept curious eyes from seeing in, and allowed idle minds to wander? For nine years the girls had never stepped foot in the garden, because their father always got upset at the mere suggestion, but today, that was going to change.
“We can’t go in there, Gayle! Papa will get real mad!” Sophia cried, trying to get her sister to listen. “We can’t even get through the door, Gayle! Papa’s got the key.” She tried again, but her sister wore a very determined look on her face, one that said she was not going to give up.
“Please, Abigayle. Papa’ll be real mad,” the youngest, Meredith, begged. Of course, Meredith would want you to know that she was only a few minutes younger than Sophia, and that Abigayle was only the oldest by a few minutes, too!
Ignoring her sisters pleas, Abigayle moved towards a section of wall, where it was crumbling and had just enough missing stones that, with some help, she could climb onto it. “Help me up, Soph.” She demanded, as she raised her arms above her head to grasp the nearest misshapen stone that jutted out far enough from the rest of the stones that she could hold onto it. Her sister grumbled, but obligingly knelt to get her foot in one hand, and lift her upwards.
Abigayle laughed, as she stepped with her free foot onto the crumbling sector of the wall, her other foot claiming a place as Sophia lowered her arms. “What do you see?” Sophia called, waiting patiently for an answer. Meredith, meanwhile, was watching for their father.
“I don’t… It’s just a garden.” Abigayle mumbled, as she leaned out to try and catch the branch of an apple tree, that was growing just on the other side of the wall. Once she was certain she had a good grasp, she leapt from the wall to the tree with an audible ‘oomf’.
A scream erupted from Abigayle’s lips, and the sounds of limbs splintering met both of the younger sisters’ ears, before they heard the audible ‘thump’ of a body hitting the ground. Meredith began to cry, while Sophia tried to get Abigayle to respond. “Abi? Gayle! Are you okay? Hello?” She shouted, before she turned to Meredith, “Stop crying! Lift me up, so I can see if she’s okay!” She ordered.
Meredith, sniffling and coughing, helped her sister climb up onto the same portion of wall, and asked softly, “Do you see her? Is she okay?” She was not ready for Sophia’s answer–or rather, lack thereof. The youngest triplet watched her second sister leap onto the tree, and covered her ears to block out the scream and the sounds of limbs breaking. She couldn’t understand! Why would Sophia do the same thing, if she knew what had happened to Abigayle?
With a quiet whimper, Meredith turned to look back at the large, currently empty manor that they shared with their father, Doctor Steven Mooresvil, before she turned back to the wall in front of her. She had nobody to help her, and had to compromise by stacking milk crates precariously upon one another, until it was just the right height.
As she stared across the wall, feet planted solidly, she tried to find her sisters’, though she was convinced she should be looking for bodies. “Abi? Soph?” She called, hesitantly. When there was no answer, she glanced back down to the milk crates, only to find that they had disappeared. With no way down, but the tree before her, she followed in her elder sisters’ decision, and leapt onto the nearest limb of the tree.
It didn’t occur to her that the branch should not exist, as she had heard it break off from the tree twice before, and it most definitely did not occur to her that she should have looked harder for her sisters’, or thought more about where the crates had gone. No, instead, she just jumped.
That being said, while she hung precariously from the limb, she closed her eyes tightly, expecting the crash she had heard before, with Sophia and Abigayle. However, the limb was sturdy under her hands, and as she opened her eyes, she came face-to-face with both of her sisters’, grinning broadly. “I think it’s an allusion,” Abigayle chirped, clearly pleased with herself for learning the gardens secrets so fast.
“I think you mean illusion, with an ‘i’,” Sophia muttered, ignoring the irritated look that was shot her way. “Are you okay, Meredith?” The youngest sister was trembling, but when she nodded, Sophia and Abigayle each offered a hand to pull her onto the limb.
“Wonder why Papa never wanted us to see this place. It’s magical!” Abigayle exclaimed, releasing Meredith so that she could wander along the branch of the tree a bit more. “Hey! There’s a way down, guys!” She stood before a very small door, just big enough for Meredith, who was the smallest, to fit through easily. For the other two, it would take a bit of squeezing, but they could fit.
Once they were through the door, the triplets found themselves face-to-face with a long, spiralling staircase built into the tree, and for the time being, even Meredith couldn’t deny that she was having fun as she chased her sisters’ down the staircase. “Hey! Wait up,” she called after them, though all laughter was abruptly cut off as the siblings came into contact with a shimmering door. It looked like stars, and Meredith was the first one to reach out to touch it.
“Meredi–” Before Abigayle could pull her youngest sister from the portal, she was gone, a pile of dust at their feet.
“I thought I told you three to never come in here,” a low voice said, behind the two remaining girls. “Now, I can’t save you…” Their father stood behind them, his tall frame seemed almost too tall to Sophia, as she inched closer to Abigayle and the portal.
“Now, now, don’t be afraid. It was always your destiny to be sacrificed.” He spoke in such a calming tone, that Abigayle was frightened–their father did not usually maintain a soft-spoken tone, unless something was happening. He was a very loud man, normally. “The Hesperian Dragon will protect the Tree for centuries more if I give it all three of you. It’s for the best. You understand, don’t you, Sophia?” He stepped toward his children, and they stepped backwards from him.
Another step, and another, and then both girls had disappeared into the portal. “Oh great Ladon, please allow me to continue guarding the apples of Hesperides. I have given you the greatest sacrifice I can, surely my children are worth more than my wife…”