NOTE: I posted an all-points bulletin asking people to send pictures of their favorite gardens — theirs or someone else’s. I periodically feature these garden or gardenish images (with descriptive narratives) as they are sent to me. Please feel free to submit.
A girl from another country arrives to stay with us. She’s very sweet and also obviously very lonely. I can hear her crying to herself at night. I get out of bed and stand, listening to her, but I don’t know what to do.
One day when everyone is out I sneak into her room. My heart is pounding. I go over to the closet and look with trembling hands through her clothes. I go over to her immaculate bed. At its foot sits the blue wooden trunk. painted with flowers, that all of us admired on the day she arrived. After a moment of second thoughts, I lift the lid. Inside are rows of pots: softly colored little flowers grow in them. Their hues are of a delicacy that I’ve never seen before, the scent is exquisite and unfamiliar. I close the lid, agitated strangely.
That night I lay awake, listening. I hear her. I get out of bed and go to my door and stand there. Then I go out into the dark hall, up to her door. I listen. Softly I try the handle.
She is kneeling in front of the blue box. It’s open. She is barefoot, in a white nightdress. She turns her head when I call her name. Tears run down her face in the moonlight. I think she looks extraordinarily beautiful. “Are you alright?” I whisper. She looks at me and she nods. “I’m just watering my flowers.” she tells me softly.
— from A Man Jumps Out of an Airplane a collection of very short stories by Barry Yourgrau