Jan 3, 2011

Q. Describe a garden before and after a war.
By Fatin Nawaz


The garden was called Hecate. A Roman goddess associated with magic and witchery. And the color red.

It was decorated in the color. That and shades of purple. It gave the impression of royalty and passion. Everything was enhanced. The birds: otherworldly. The butterflies and bees: mythical.

If one stared too long, at the intricacy of flowers, they could be spellbound. The colors played with the mind. Optical illusions. Objects meters away, jumped in front of you.

A coral based fountain bubbled and plashed. It was like a child gurgling. Sunlight reflected off the crystal clear water and water lilies giving a tangerine glow.

Around the fountain grew white daisies with flecks of topaz. They made an octagonal shape, leaving the occasional opening to the fountain.

A bush of crimson Azalea sat proud near the entrance of the Hecate. Its petals longingly reached out, like a lover asking to be held.

A labyrinth was the pathway of the garden, covered in delightful jade grass. Beside it in a round circle grew amaranthine Ivy. It gleamed in the morning dew, promising to stay an eternity.

Ahead in a large meadow grew the ever famous roses. They were arranged in a spiral shape. Cardinal and lilac. A board nearby read "True love is stronger than thorns."

As the labyrinth went uphill, there was an orchard of the magnificent Bird of Paradise, indigo in all its glory. It seemed majestic, outshining even the roses.

In fact the orange pansies down below sent their kisses.

In a secluded corner of the Hecate blossomed Nasturtium. It was said it had been planted after a long bloody battle, and its black velvet color said "no more."

As the garden's end approached Monkshood and Acacia, in a congealed purple, grew in elliptical shapes, overlapping one another, making a large flower.

The exit consisted of a statue of Hecate, staring with eyes wide at the watcher. In her hand was a beacon, the blaze actually, flame flowers.


The air was thick with smoke and a sharp putrid smell. It's metallic taste and rotting flesh overwhelmed the senses.

The board which had once read "HECATE" now read "ATE", insects hovered over decapitated heads and decaying flesh. Cockroaches and likes claimed the area is their's.

A dark spell had fallen over. The sky was darker, oak trees shadowed the little moonlight that came in. The fountain spluttered and creaked. It transmitted a ghoulish glow. On top of one of the sprinklers sat a head. The eyes tortured and gruesome. Green liquid oozed from a crack in the skull.

The grass around the fountain had grown thick and wild. The liquid in the fountain glimmered claret. 

The Azalea bushes were gone. Wiped out. The weeds which had taken their place, swayed in the night wind. As they brushed against one another, laughter echoed in the garden. The laughter of a wicked mean witch cooking toads and eyes in a black cauldron.

The Ivy was now onyx, soaked in blood, growing out of its neatly trimmed hedge. It reached out to grab you, like that bully in school who tortured you until you sat crying like a child below the staircase.

The grass had stopped growing. Patches showed and the occasional bullet mark was there. The Rose meadow was strewn with bodies. The last left alive, who had thought it more honorable to die in a field of beauty.

The orchard of the Bird of Paradise had shriveled and wasted. The image was like an actual bird that was near death. Groans and sobbing suffocated the air from those who had not been lucky enough to die.

The orange Pansies had lost their color and were now pale. Their wilted state was like a girl in a fetal position lamenting an appalling loss.

The Nasturtium had been wiped out by a grenade. A single flower remained, in the hands of a dying soldier. Its black velvet drowning in his blood.

The Monkshood and Acacia flower lay crushed under a monstrous tank. It's camouflaged body did not guise it here.

The statue of Hecate was now a rubble. The only part still in one piece, her beacon. With no flame.


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