Amidst Dead Gardens

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Okolorion's avatar

Literature Text

I strode among the roses of my garden, absently inspecting one as I passed. It was a deep, dark red color, which slowly faded to grey as I passed. A burst of sadness struck me as I saw it wither, but I could do nothing and passed on. Around me, the cries of the living mixed with the deep thumps of fire exploding, yet I ignored them. While outside my walls may be chaos, inside my walls there was only silence, deep and dark.

The door to my private gardens shuddered as if struck by a heavy blow. I turned my gaze on it and regarded it passively, but evidently whatever was on the other side lost interest, for nothing else disturbed my peace. I dismissed them from my mind and continued about my garden. Something heavy took a step nearby, and the plants quivered. I eyed the direction from which the step had come from with a slight amount of annoyance, which grew as it continued to further walk. Annoyed, I started forward, opening the door to the outside world.

Outside was black, almost completely so, though large oceans of light split the darkness. I passed by these funeral pyres absently, searching for the thing that dared to disturb my gardens. Something skittered into my path, but quickly turned and fled. I didn't acknowledge it, for it wasn't worth the effort. I continued on my way, and soon came upon what I sought. The darkness around me was banished at irregular intervals, and up ahead I thought I saw someone holding a bright, white light in their hands. It was of no concern of mine, however, as I found what I sought.

Stretching above me was a large insectoid creature, which thrashed and hacked about it with razor tipped limbs, cutting lines of people down with impunity. Each time it whirled about, the ground shook. Anger filled me, and I strode through the ranks of thrashing figures, eventually reaching the insectoid monster. It turned to regard me, as if amazed that someone such as I would dare approach it.

Then I tore its arm off.

It shrieked in agony and pain as the ten foot limb fell to the ground. I strode forward, latched onto the other, upper, larger arm, and yanked that one off as well. The thing, only having four legs left, started to thrash and flail, trampling corpses underfoot as it turned and blundered away. It only got so far when another burst of light lit the air around me, and the insect toppled to the ground.

My interest had weaned, and I turned to leave. The soldiers around me split, leaving me with a passage back through to my gardens. As I left, I spied the person holding the light in their hand. It gave me a nod. I didn't return it. It was of no consequence to me anymore, now that my gardens weren't being shaken and trampled.

I returned to the door, which led me up a flight of stairs to my rooftop gardens. I sat down amidst the roses and watched the deep, red buds, which began to wither. Deep and red became a desiccated grey. Another sharp spike of sadness struck me, but slowly faded away. My garden, deep, dark, safe. It was like me, in a way. Dead, grey and gone. But, overall, it was mine.

I settled back, watching over the dark elvenpaths and the underwater moon, shining from the depths of the pond. The pond, where the Devil resided. My pond, now. My pool. I sat back to wait, amidst my dead garden.
You know how I said I'd probably not use anything from my last worldbuilding? Well, I lied. I was struck by the inspiration for this story as I listened to Nightwish today (I'll let you track down the song. It's obvious, though), and couldn't let it sit. I had to write this piece, and now I'm glad I did. I think I'm going to use this setting a bit more.

If you want the story to remain mysterious/ambiguous, then don't read what comes next:

The main character of this story is the Gardener, an undead woman who was struck with the Mark of the Devil, killing and simultaneously raising her from the dead. This changed her, to the point where she cares only for her gardens. It also gave her strength, if you couldn't tell.

The Devil (not the Christian one) is the main antagonist to the Theocracy, and as you can see in this, is a very real threat. The setting for this story is an unnamed town west of Danforth's Home. The person holding the light is none other than the Prophet of Danforth, who left his seat to defend his lands from the forces of the Devil. I will use him in later stories, as I rather enjoy the character I made for him.

The Gardener may also be seen again, though I doubt it. Not many are stupid enough to disturb her gardens. And yes, the Devil does indeed have a portal in her Garden. It will be interesting to see how the Prophet reacts when he discovers this.

Enjoy the piece!
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evanescentAnima's avatar
A little short, and somewhat morbid, but interesting, none-the-less.

I've really got nothing to say except that it was well-written. Something about it irked at me though, but probably that was only the fact it was written in first person. :P Something I'm not exactly a big fan of reading.