The Garden of Innocence

January 12, 2008
Inhaling the scent of lavender and rosemary herbs
I stroll into a bewitching, dazzling garden, full of extraordinary, almost magical flowers.
Each flower gives off a redolent fragarance, balm to my presence.
Each tiny, silky, delicate petal seems to be smiling in happiness up at the sun.
The breeze whips through my hair and the flowers.
And for a moment, it seems that all the flowers are singing in great ecstasy
Swaying to the beat of an invisible rhythm.
Pure and perfect happiness.

I don’t particularly know why I chose to enter this garden.
And I distinctly remember that yesterday, this garden did not exist
In fact, at this location was a small cottage house.
Ignoring the impossibility of my situation
I decide to bask in my childhood and continue on my merry way.
But then I see a rose--a black rose off all things.
What could such an ugly weed be doing in a garden?
In this garden of all places?

And then suddenly, black roses start blooming all around me.
Strangling the almost unnaturally pure pink and purple flowers and draining them of life.
What could this horrible dark plant be doing to this garden?
My garden?
It certainly didn’t deserve this cruel fate.

The garden is now completely destroyed with not a trace of beauty left.
Mesmerized, I stare curiously at the black rose, wondering what type of plant it is.
And then, fear jolts through me, giving me an electric shock.
Staring down at my feet in horror, I see long, prickly, rough vines twisting around me.
I try to break free, but the more I struggle, the more entangled I become.
The last thing I see before I wilt is a stranger...laughing.

I wake up, shaking, only to hear the sound of my reliable clock.
As my breathing returns to normal pace, I realize that my nightmare was just that.
I go back to sleep, blissfully unaware of the horror in store.
Forgetting that the garden I saw was my own: my garden of innocence.

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