Garden Peace

Willow stepped back and gazed around at the back garden. It was starting to come together. There were flowers and other ornamental plants around the edges, and climbing roses at the two corners of the fence. The arch over the path leading into the woods behind the house would soon hold morning glories. She forgot the specific variety, but the nice guy at the nursery had said it was a native to the area, so that’s what she’d gone with.

Movement at knee height made her look down. Rocky was sitting at her feet staring around.

“Well, you’ve made a good start,” he said, chewing on an apple.

“Hey, did you steal one of my apples?” Willow asked.

“No, I found it in a bowl on your counter,” Rocky replied in a haughty tone.

“Yeah. In a bowl, on my counter, in my house. You stole my apple,” Will said with a grin.

“Details, details. I’m your familiar. That means what’s mine is yours and what’s yours is mine.” Rocky waved one paw in dismissal and took another bite of apple.

“I’m pretty sure that whole ‘yours is mine’ stuff is for marriage, not familiars,” Will told him. “But whatever. What do you think about the garden? I’m going make some space for herbs and veggies over there. I’ve never had this much space. I really need to plan things out.”

“Yeah, planning is always good. But I like just winging it too,” Rocky said around a mouthful of apple.

“Dude. You gotta quit talking when you’re eating. There’re specks of apple all over the place. It’s gross.” Willow pointed to the ground.

“Well, they’ll compost won’t they? Back to your garden. Yeah, like I said, it’s coming along. I think I’ll like it when you’re done,” Rocky said. This time he took a bite after he spoke.

“Thanks, I think. I feel as if I’ve been working on this thing forever. I reeeallly want a garden refuge or calm spot. Some place where I can sit and maybe have a cup of coffee or glass of wine or whatever and just let my mind wander for a while,” Willow said.

Rocky looked up at her from the corner of his eye. “Give yourself some slack. You only found out about your power a couple of months ago. You’ve made huge progress in using and controlling it. You don’t have to have a garden right away.”

“I know.” Will sighed. “It’s just that with everything going on – power, you, everything – I just feel like I haven’t been able to get any peace recently. And I really want to, need to, recharge my batteries. A garden hideaway would really help with that.”

“Oh, I get it.” Rocky nodded vigorously. “A good night of dumpster diving makes all the difference the next day.”

Willow grimaced. “Well, I’m not a raccoon so I don’t think dumpster diving would do it for me, but yeah, kinda like that. I guess.”

She looked around the garden again. “Well, I think I’m going to call it a day on the garden. I need to head into town and get some groceries and maybe some paint for that one bedroom upstairs.”

“What about my room?” Rocky asked.

“Um, your room?” Willow replied.

“Yeah. I thought that since I’m your familiar, I could… well, you know… have my own room?” Rocky managed to shrink himself down a ways and widened his eyes so he looked almost – the key word was ‘almost’ – small and vulnerable.

Willow laughed. “Okay.” Rocky jumped up and down. Willow held up one hand. “On one condition. You cannot, and I mean Can. Not. bring anything into the house you find in any garbage can, garbage heap, garbage dump, side of the road, back corner of a parking lot, whatever. Nothing like that, are we clear? And if we’re ever in disagreement about what is and isn’t allowed in the house, I have final say. Are we clear?”

Rocky nodded vigorously. “You drive a hard bargain, but I agree. Yay! My own room!” The big raccoon started bounding across the garden to the lawn and up the back steps. He stopped and looked back at her. “So, how about something dark brown. You know like the woods? Oh! Or the green like the trucks the garbage company has! That would be so cool! A garbage truck green room! Yes! That one!”

The big raccoon bounced across the porch and through the back door. Shaking her head at his antics, Willow followed more sedately. Life sure had taken an interesting turn in the last few months. But it was fun.


This week’s MOTE challenge was issued by Leigh Kimmel: I feel as if I’ve been working on this thing forever. I’ve been working on my own back yard garden and have come to view it as a potential refuge. Of course, now that Texas is heating up, I won’t be sitting out often, beyond the early-morning-first-cup-of-coffee time. If you need something to distract you from the heat, mosey on over to More Odds Than Ends and check out the other responses.

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