The Gray Garden

By An Ode to Creativity Blog - January 07, 2021


Hidden at the village's edge, where pavement road met with overgrown grass and twisted tree branches overtook the air was a wooden cottage. A boy, Noah, no older than 20 lived there alone because he was cursed. Everything he touched lost its colour and turned grey. Nothing that he knew could bring back the colour.

Every day when the sun outlined trees in orange hue. He could put on boots ombré with grey and brown mud and would go outside to water the garden at the very edge of the property. He longed to feel grass blades tucked in-between toes and for the grass to stay the same emerald green once he was done. But that wouldn’t be possible as ash grey footprints would entwine in emerald and before long the yard would look like death had consumed it.

Liquid mercury dripped over petals until every flower was coated in moonlight shine and the garden looked like a graveyard with toppled headstones. But, it was his garden and even if no matter how many times he created a watery moat that circled around steams that stayed grey, he would never stop taking care of this garden, would never let death cartel the flowers in decaying hands.

Sometimes after the watering can was empty and drops of water hung off the spout. He would stand at the edge where tree branches hung low and bushes littered the ground. Sometimes after a rainfall, when little dooms of water pooled at the center of leaves, the forest would look like it was ripped out of a fantasy book. How sometimes the sun would clip the edge of the water and make the forest shimmer. And sometimes, if he stayed there long enough he could have sworn that the air crackled with untamed magic.   

Noah sat by a big window within a kitchen where colours were splattered on furniture. A cup of hot cocoa was nestled in his hands making them warm. Fog would creep up the glass, devouring the world in a haze and Noah would have to take his jacket sleeve and wipe the window. He took a small sip and watched how midnight shook hands with dawn.

Movement within the forest caught his eyes and seconds later a boy emerged from the bushes. Blond hair was mangled with leaves and twigs. His white t-shirt and badge baggy pants were masked with wet mud. The boy staggered towards the yard, halfway he had tripped over a rock and fell to the ground landing by the garden. 

Noah hastily put the mug on the kitchen table. The mug had knocked over and coca dripped down the sides. He rushed out of the house, grey footprints followed behind. While running Noah watched as the strange boy cupped one of the grey flowers. As soon as fingertips touched petals colour leaked and drowned the flower in a soft shade of pink. Noah stopped and watched in awe as the boy picked up another one, watching as bright organ traveled around the petals and pooled in the middle. The boy twilled the flower in his hands, eyes in an endless circle of grey, pink and orange.

“How did you do that?” Noah said and the boy looked up a bit startled.

“I – I don’t know?” The boy said and dropped both of the flowers.

In the moment Noah didn’t care how he was doing it. He ran towards the boy. Knees scraped dirt as Noah fell in front of him. The air took both of their voices as Noah's arms wrapped around the boy in an embrace. Tears formed in Noah's eyes as they stand there for a little bit, wind brushed bare skin. Once Noah could feel his voice start to return he whispered within the boy's ear.

 “Thank you.” 

“For what?” The boy asked and blush started to creep into the boy’s cheeks.

"For being the person who brought colour back."

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