Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Restoration

This is a continuation of "The Rose Garden" written for Magpie Tales.

Gerald sat on the old, cement bench at the corner of the rose garden, his face streaked with dirt where he’d wiped the away the sweat.  Robins poked around through the garden looking for grubs where the soil was freshly turned. 

Gerald had moved into his parents’ house the year after his mother passed away.  That wasn’t his plan, since he had made his home in New York, and Louisiana is a thousand miles and a world away.  After coming home for the funeral, though, he kept feeling drawn back, feeling the need to stay and restore the house and gardens.  He’d put weeks of labor into the rose garden, and finally it was beginning to show promise.  Gone were the weeds and brush threatening to choke the life from the roses.  The yellow rose bush bloomed proudly on the anniversary of his mother’s death.

Photo courtesy of Magpie Tales
The old house wasn’t the only thing calling to Gerald.  Every so often he would find the old watering can sitting on the wall, even though he was sure he had put it away the night before.  When he had first surveyed the garden, he caught a glimpse of someone passing through the garden.  That person so strongly resembled his mother, that he called out, knowing it was impossible.  But was it?

Now he watches for her, talks to her, even though his brain tells him it’s silly, his heart tells him otherwise.

Over the course of his restoration, he had planned to replace the brick walkway to the gardener’s shed with stone.  His father had put that walkway in over 30 years ago, so his mother could walk to the shed without soiling her shoes, as she loved to spend a rainy afternoon working with her plants.  Some of the bricks were broken now, with the dirt coming up between them.  He had already painted and reroofed the shed, and he thought stone would give the garden an elegant finish.  

However, one evening as he looked at the different stone samples he’d picked up, he heard a faint voice upon the light evening breeze.  “Please leave the bricks," it said.  Gerald turned to see who had spoken, but saw no one.  He thought he was hearing things - but there it was again, unmistakable in it’s meaning, “please leave the bricks.” 

Needless to say, the old brick walkway remains.


  1. Chilling and beautiful! You are really a lovely writer, Linda.

  2. Yes, I enjoyed that. I agree, you should leave the bricks... but then again, if the voice had said "remove the bricks!", you could have said: 'Remove them yourself!' :-)

  3. I'm glad the bricks remain, Linda. Awesome tale!

  4. Your writing is just beautiful. I went back and read the first post from August, too. Lovely, and haunting. I could see the garden and also see into Gerald's heart. I think you should expand this to a novella. Again, beautiful piece.

  5. Lovely writing, Linda.
    I also think this could easily be part of a much longer piece.

  6. I'm glad he listened to the voice.

  7. Linda- Thank you!

    Stafford Ray- Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. I think the bricks should stay, too. It's a sentimental thing.

    Talon- Thank you.

    injaynesworld- Thank you! I'm glad you read the first post since it helps this one to make sense. As for expanding it, maybe one day. My characters linger, waiting to be brought back.

    Friko- Thank you. I'll keep Gerald around and see what happens.

    Tess- Me too.

  8. What a great story. We should have a mystical experience in our lives. I'm glad you wrote this story about Gerald. I really liked these lines,

    "Now he watches for her, talks to her, even though his brain tells him it’s silly, his heart tells him otherwise."

    I love that his heart told him otherwise. This one was very well done. Thank you for sharing it:~)

  9. Hi Linda .. what a lovely tale - if only we could all experience these sorts of things .. the old homestead, the life that's gone by, the important aspects over the decades .. and hear their comforting voices again .. just gently watching over us ..

    Love the story .. thank you - have a good weekend .. Hilary

  10. Berowne- Thank you.

    Sara- Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed my story. I liked the chance to do a continuation. My characters hang out waiting to come back.

    Hilary- I wish I had this kind of experience, to have my parents show up for a visit. I expect they are watching.

  11. A lovely story indeed.

    I have a few items in the garden that I dare my husband to touch! He's been wanting to remove my cat's headstone to plant vegetables there - cheeky pig - but I simply can't!

  12. haunting, leave bricks,

    beautiful magpie tale with tricks.


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