All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
The Sherpard Gardener
Under a gray sheet of sky, leaden with black plumes of clouds, a town lay. Under the tempest of drumming thunder, traffic bustled in a flurry below. Boisterous. Tall buildings, erected from the industrial metropolis. Sign’s of intelligence, given to man by the gods. Sign’s of civilization.
It was under this gray dome of earth, that the hospital had been built. It was under its roofs where a woman, fondly flickering a smile, looked at the bundle, wrapped in blankets, cradled in her arms. It was under the roof of this infirmary, where she looked at her baby boy, fondness tugging at her heart. He waved tiny little hands in the air, and although the language barrier between them had cast a mute bliss, clearly she had seen it in his face. Clearly she had seen the boy, and had almost heard him say, I love you.
The husband entered then, lean, and squeezed in a neat suit. He balanced a tray of coffee in his hands. Placed it down next to the mother, and gleamed his eyes at the baby. “How’s he doing?” The mom smiled. The joy in her heart was pulsating. The joy she had been washed with, when she looked at the baby was mirthful. This was indeed a gift given to her by God. She held the baby tighter, pressing him against her soft chest.
I was floating. Clearly the dog had spoke, flapping its menacing molars, and saying in a generic voice, “I came for you” I saw my hand glitter then. It’s light intensified, until finally, I surged up. The sky was cold. Vast. But magical. I was floating, but then my consciousness came. I heard it echo audibly, what a strange dream
I wrenched up from my pillow, reality hauling me roughly out of the dream. It shattered, and my tattered consciousness absorbed it all in. My room, magazines sprawled over its floor. The morning sun, filtering with a warm glow through the window. The light was tepid on my skin. The birds tittered vivaciously outside, and I yawned out the fatigue. Finger’s knotting, as my arms spanned out to a stretch. I rolled over, and with a soft thud, bumped my head to the post of my bead. I whispered a helpless “Ow”, and was snapped back to my task. I groped through the fumbled bed sheets, for my phone. Satisfaction massaged me, when I felt it’s cool, synthetic silhouette lodge comfortably in my palm. I pulled it out to the cold, morning draught of my room. Pecked a few digits on it’s keypad.
Today was Saturday. I scrolled through my messages. I would have listened for the audio ones, but my ravenous hunger had clawed at my stomach. I remembered with distaste that I hadn’t eaten yesterday. Yesterday my gardener had tottered down the hill that sloped to my house. My father had glowered disapprovingly at him. He had clutched him by the collar, and rebuked him saying that he was a scumbag. He had confirmed that he had been taking in drugs. My gardener had smirked, oblivious to the stern faces of the people gawking at him. He had rambled a few songs through slurred speech. My father had forgiven him. Reluctantly, but in favor of the nostalgia that had smothered his rough face. Reminding him of how he’d helped my family. Of how he had protected my brother and I.
I slid my bed sheets away from me. Opened the door to my bedroom. Outside, the sun had blared. I had seen the blueness of the morning, gilding the mountain peaks with mauve. I had seen a flock of birds, cawing over me, and heard my dog yap at them. I had heard my father’s cows, moo drowsily, one called Grace, diving through a mountain of golden hay, with her head. My bare feet had sifted through the soft sand on the ground, passing my cat lazily sauntering by. I kicked a round soccer ball, played it between my feet, to a long fortification of chicken houses. The sound of gossiping chickens greeted me, and I opened the door to their murky pen. I saw him standing inside. Brown blanket, wrapping his mouth, and cascading into a cape behind him. The images flashed. Him. Being intoxicated with drugs. My father shouting at him. I saw the sinews on his face deepen. I had guessed he was either grimacing or giving a wide smile.
“Good morning he said…did you watch the game last night?”
It had been the latter. I stood next to my gardener, first inhaling the earthy tobacco smell from him. “Yeah” I said, sourly swallowing a blob of spit. I feared that I had grimaced. I feared that the images had flashed in my head too rapidly. Him. Being intoxicated. My father shouting. I shuddered as a cold chill raced down my spine. The logic jabbed me then, and made the cold goose bumps dot my skin. My gardener only came at about three o clock. When the sun splashed the world with orange. But now he stood, in the frosty morning, with icicles glittering on mother’s blue hydrangeas. Now he stood, forcing an awkward smile to me, and I, shivering to his new, morbid habits. Palms sweaty. I looked at his man, who’d once protected my brother and me. I had shivered with disbelief, the image of him, smoking a powerful substance, that had made him inhumane. A hollow shell. A wraith, lurking under the darkness of evil.
I saw crease lines, forge on his forehead. I saw him clench a fist. The silence shrieked at me. My breaths, anchored with a painful weight. I knew that my gardener had been here for a reason. And it had been dark. Brooding.
“Where’s your father” The sentence came in a piercing whisper. It seemed to echo in my head. I heard the determination in it. Intent. I saw his ferreting eyes. Hesitantly shook my head, “He hasn’t woken up…but he’ll be, in a few minutes”
He nodded. Pulled up his blanket, further up his face. And turned his back to me. I saw his hands come out from the cave of his blanket, and after straining to guess why they fiddled in front of him, saw that he had been weaving a tuft of grass. The sight was nefarious, like watching a demon from hell, regurgitate to feed an unholy infant. I saw him flick something, and a single flame popped. Stroked into the murky air, into a flickering teardrop of fire. He seemed to marvel at his creation, a rope of grass, searing in tiny claws of flames. I gulped down the bitterness in my tight throat. My hands, trembled. Sweaty. Breaths, fast. I saw him lift up the drug to his mouth, and after seeing his spine bulge in and out, guessed that he had been inhaling the substance.
I would grimace, but the door flew open then. My father’s shadow unfurled on the ground first. I turned back and saw, that he was icy. The crease lines on his head were hard. His mouth, twitching. He shot it out, “What are you doing?”
My gardener swerved back, and his drug was dropped clumsily to the floor. He smirked, pearly teeth glinting to the light that poured with blueness, through the window. I was in the space between them, feeling their emotions crush me from either side. Feeling the tenacity of their ‘mood-power’ clamp me into place. My father lunged forward, and as before, clutched his collar. He shot a torrent of profanities to him, but unlike before, my gardener sized him up. A sly smirk played on his mouth. The profanities ran, being fired with seething might, at my gardener. His eyes were red, when my father let him go. He patted his blankets back into place, and said through clenched teeth, “You have chosen the wrong person to mess with…I will show you”. I watched in awe as he straightened his blanket. I watched with awe as he prowled to the door. I watched with awe as his ghastly remnants dispersed outside. I watched with awe as I saw my father, allowing his anger to ebb away from him.
Numbing. Hypnotic. Unrealistic bliss. I was deep within the confines of sleep when I heard my mom’s frantic voice pierce in. I snapped up from my bed, seeing her across me, eyelids swollen through streams of tears. Her lip quavered when she saw me, and I asked innocently, “What’s going on?” The words that followed stabbed my heart. My head reeled. The sentence blasted through me. I heard it finish me further,”…did you hear what I said?” my mother’s voice broke, “Your brother’s been kidnapped!”