GARDEN | By: Terry Collett | | Category: Short Story - Dark Bookmark and Share


"My garden," said Georgette, "my secret garden. Surrounded by a high brick wall covered in ivy and moss. There is only one wooden gate, that I keep locked and keep the old key in a secret place. It used to be a kitchen garden when I was young; we had two gardeners who kept all the gardens neat and tidy; now it is my secret garden, no one goes there except me or occasionally Jarvis who does some heavy digging for me, then only if I show him where to dig and when. My father loved that garden, which is just as well, as he is buried there; mother is, too. Together in death as they never were in life. They are buried beneath the roses; bright red ones with glorious scent which I love; I suppose they would, too, if they could smell. I expect the roots have found their way through their bones now; maybe wormed their way through father's skull to replace the odd thoughts he once held which he tried to pour into me as a child. That and his hard hitting hand and his cruel words, his spying ways, his loveless manner. Mother, who was equally as cruel and bad tempered, lies just north of him; their heads almost meet. I thought that kind of me to bring them close together like that. Head to head, numbskull to numbskull. Jarvis never digs near the roses; he never will. Nor near the buddleia bushes. Gerald is buried there, my brother, my elder brother. He rests in peace now beneath the butterfly bush, the purple colours, scent, and the beautiful butterflies that visit there. The police came a few years ago when my parents first went missing, but when I explained they had gone abroad to live they seemed to leave it at that. Gerald thought they had gone too, as they had said they would. Only they never left here. Nor did their luggage. That is in the attic along with all Gerald's belongings. They used to keep me locked in there as a child if I misbehaved, after father's beatings, with the spiders and mice and the dark and cold. Poor Gerald, if only he hadn't become so suspicious. I had to poison him too after that. Couldn't keep his nose out of things, always interfering. I had to drag his body out to the garden late at night; that was heavy work as he was a large young man. Jarvis had dug the trench for me a few days before not asking the reason; he never does. Just digs or cuts or mows and never a word. That was a few years ago now. The buddleias are doing well. They look so happy there. Some nights I think I see them walking ghostly in my secret garden looking lost, wandering round and round. Jenny, my maid, who has lived in for the last two years, says she sees people wandering the garden from my bedroom window as she draws the curtains some nights. She looks away now, in case they are there. Those ghosts are there, Miss Georgette, she mutters, not knowing who they are, not wanting to think who they might be. They are there in my secret garden and I am here in my house with my maid, my peace and my secrets."

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