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Once upon a time, there was a garden. It sat at the center of a vast field, distinguished from the wild growth by a picket fence flecked with remnants of white paint. This garden was an ugly little patch of landscape; weeds clamored over one another within its soil, eating away at its heath. Sometimes, the garden wished for death; such a hideous thing it was, years of neglect reflecting in its increasing dilapidation. Each day brought more invaders, more greedy little plants digging their roots into the garden’s delicate system. Yet, sometimes the garden still managed to dream: of loving gestures, of beautiful flowers, of visits from the bumblebee princesses that bothered with only the finest of nectars. But as it stood, the garden was alone; it could do nothing but waste away.
It was one morning in eternity –the garden had long ago lost its sense of time, as the thought of decades passing only caused it more depression- that a Light stumbled upon the garden. He was a sleek figure: tall, thin, and luminous, his tungsten filament flawless. The garden nearly blushed at the sight of him, but did not expect his approach-
“Who are you, then?” His voice was filled with incandescence; he simply radiated warmth.
“Garden,” it answered, though sounded terribly unsure.
The Light didn’t seem to notice, “And what would a lady-”
“I’m not a lady,” the garden interrupted, flushed with embarrassment for the gentleman’s mistake.
The Light was dismissive, “Surely, there is something womanly beneath that clutter.” His rays caressed the very top of the garden’s soil.
All the more flustered, it stammered, “I don’t understand…”
“Let me take care of you,” the Light murmured, “I could rid you of the weeds that plague you, nourish your earth, and give you a single flower. But this flower is so perfect, so wonderful, it will be all you need.”
“Really?” A hoarse whisper, coated thickly with infatuation. “Would I need to do anything?”
“Let me clothe you in black silk,” the Light continued, “Let me cover you, protect you from the world for my flower is delicate. It angered the sun, perhaps, but is nonetheless beautiful and nonetheless my very soul. It could be our soul, cherished mutually.”
There was hardly a need to agree; the garden nodded shyly, and its consent brought about an instant night. It gasped at the suddenness, but the Light was soon appeared, almost blinding.
“It is alright,” he soothed and watched as his intensity burned away the garden’s weeds.
The garden was left in awe, faith in its new deity only strengthening as days turned to weeks; as promised, its soil grew black and rich, filled with what the garden could only assume was love. And this love filled every corner of itself, yet something was still wrong: the picket fence remained in its almost bare state, flecks of pristine white continuously flaking away. Then again, the garden could pay no mind to such a small detail.
The Light’s voice opened the Heavens, even if the garden was no longer privy to the sky, “My garden, my pretty garden. I have given you a piece of myself and as promised, it will bloom.”
And bloom it did; first a sprout, then inches spanned in minutes. The flower, as described, was simply gorgeous; yellow petals seemed to shine, a thick green stem portraying prosperity. Its root dug deep into the garden and more paint fell away from the fence.
The garden smiled, for what felt like the first time, “I love you.”
“I love us,” the Light uttered, breathless.
The garden silently tended to its newest ward, tightening its grip around its roots and whispering little promises of affection. Yet, the flower never responded and the Light’s conversation grew more and more scarce. Perhaps it was selfishness, but the garden grew to feel unappreciated.
One day, it could no longer hold silence, “Light? My Light?”
“I am nobody’s, garden,” the Light sighed, barely feigning interest. He was bright as ever, yet the garden cringed when their eyes met. There was no warmth, “What do you want?”
“The sunflower does not speak.”
“Lightflower; the sun has nothing to do with its existence.”
“Lightflower, then. It will not speak with me, and I wish for someone to talk to. You…”
“I hardly see you. I do, but there is this distance…”
“I have provided for you, have I not?” The Light grew hotter and the garden winced.
“Then there is not but!”
The garden pleaded, but it was futile, and soon it dissolved to tears. It cried and cried, exhaustion wracking its very core. This lightflower, as it had been named, tore deep into the garden. It was pretty, yes, but no better than the weeds and the garden realized it was just as miserable, but this weakness gave way to indignation. The garden was not to be abused, made into someone else’s purpose. It struggled to find its voice, but realized there were no words for its growing infuriation, its sadness, its blaring and seemingly permanent loneliness. No, these emotions were nameless and to remain such; the garden sat reticence
There was no way to fend off the Light with chatter, no way to argue against it. That was just further inaction, and so the Garden did the only thing it could thing of-
She ripped away the silk without a single sound.
The lightflower screamed in agony and its father opened his eyes, “What have you done!”
“Sought freedom,” the Garden replied, mimicking arrogance.
The light could offer no reply, as it died along with its posterity.
But this was no happy ending; the Garden stared at her soil, at her fence, at the world around her, and then at the sun. Oh, how glorious it was, and she could hardly help shrinking back in woe. The weeds would surely return, given the proper span of time, and so for many passing moons she wept.
Soon enough green sprouts appeared in her dirt, and she desperately wished to rip them away. Yet, something occurred; they grew, these plants, but soon they flourished and blanketed every inch of the Garden. Not with ugliness or avarice, but with blossoms in each and every color.
Amazement filled the Garden’s eyes, and the fence was again painted with purity; this was her happiness and her happiness only.