Jan 3, 2011

Q. Describe a garden before and after a war in terms of colours. Use as many associations as you like.

By Megan Wanda

The sun bathed the garden in a warm honey glow as she entered it. Her emerald eyes shone as she skipped down the cobble-stone path in her white-as-a-dove-in-the-winter dress. She watched a plump mother duck settle her snowy feathers while her parade of butter yellow ducklings zigzagged among the milky lotuses atop the crystal blue waters of the pond. She walked further down the path till she came to the mighty oak where crimson cardinals peeped in and out of the leafy branches, complimenting each other with a quick “purdy, purdy” as they did so.

She squealed when she saw at least a hundred Aster Flowers growing with their delicate lavender petals cupping a furry sunshine yellow centre, like a child holding a baby canary bird in the palm of his hands. Carefully, she broke a few and adjusted them in the pearly satin ribbon of her crocheted summer hat. Beneath this floppy white hat was her titian hair that flowed long and silky to her slender waist. To her left and out of the corner of her eye she spotted an abundance of baby’s breath growing on the hedge and she gasped, probably because it reminded her of what she came here for. She fumbled with the sash around her waist and then hurriedly began to pick some of the drooping sapphire bluebells with petals that looked like someone had curled them once around their little finger. She started to adjust them and tied them tight with the end of her sash. She picked some of the delicate ivory clusters of baby’s breath and neatly stuck them in.

She skipped further down the cobble-stone path where she saw the mauve hyacinth that grew in bunches shaped like cotton candy on a stick among the tall and erect leaves. Quickly she picked a few and tied them along with the bluebells and baby’s breath. To her right she saw tall and pointy mint green stalks encrusted with magenta gladiola petals. She picked these, adjusting them to support the other flowers. The church bells began to toll. She started to run back up the path, picking some more baby’s breath along the way. She spotted a multitude of pansies that looked like an artist had been using their as colour palettes. The yellow ones had splashes of maroon in them and the white ones were tinted with plum. She giggled as she picked as many as she could. She saw the iridescent bulbs of the crocus in shades of liquid gold and brilliant purple. She hesitated but realized she really couldn’t resist. The church bells tolled once again. Her time had run out. Hurriedly, she tied a neat bow with the ends of her sash as she skipped out of the garden. Suddenly, she heard the loud blaring noises of the siren and her wedding bouquet fell to the ground from her trembling hands.


The sun hadn’t been seen for years now and the garden was shrouded with ash. The gate had been ripped in two and lay flat on the sandy brown grass. She hobbled down the cobble-stone path, stopping after intervals to take short rasping breaths. The water of the pond was jade green with stagnation and warty chocolate brown toads stared at her with black beady eyes from the rocks near the pond. She hobbled forward to the naked oak tree. An ebony raven swooped down and perched itself on one of the scanty branches. It screeched at her and she limped quickly away.

The lavender aster flowers that grew near the pond were now nigrine ashes on the grey grass. There was one stalk with a dirtied yellow centre that turned to powder as soon as it touched her hand. A slight breeze blew her few clumps of silver hair that grew from her bowed head over her shoulder. From the corner of her eye she thought she saw the few surviving baby’s breath flowers, but when she saw it was only an abundance of dandelion that has replaced them, she sighed a deep sigh as a stiff, gnarled hand hovered over her thick waist. There was no sash.

The drooping bluebells had shriveled up and even their curled petals pointed to the ground as if they were finally subject to gravity. She left the cesious bluebells to find that the gladiola encrusted stalks had curled into the fetal position, as if protecting themselves from the seemingly unearthly shadows. Their magenta jewels were black and sooty. She listened for the church bells, or any other sound, but nothing happened. With a heavy heart and with great difficulty she trudged back up the path. The pansies had been blanched white and were hidden in between ropes and ropes of poison ivy. As she hobbled upwards she saw that instead of the colourful, bulbous crocuses, grew deep purple bulbous aubergines. She hated aubergines. She waited again for the church bells, some indication of peace. Silence. Her head drooped lower as she began to sob heavily. She walked slowly, tears falling onto her moth eaten dress. She reached the entrance and stopped. Turned around, still sniffing, to look at the abandoned garden that provided no comfort. Her emerald eyes glistened with tears.


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