In Our Garden

Gingerbread House Lit Mag

The day we returned home from our family vacation was the day before we found household items growing in our garden. We pulled into our driveway at 8:12 p.m. The lawn in front of our house was muddied from the unthawed frost, and our wind chime dripped rhythmically. The cold of the night hung over our heads, a thick fog that blocked the moon. We hustled out of the car, quickly unloading our luggage to get into the warmth of our house.

“Oh my,” Father said. “Our back gate is unlatched.”

Although it was dark, I could see that the gate was swung all the way open so it hit the backside of the fence. Mother, Abby, and I dismissed it for a curious animal, too tired to respond to Father.

“Oh, Margaret, honey,” Father exclaimed from the backyard. “Come look at this!”

“What, what? What’s the matter?” Mother asked.

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You can’t go home again

Amanda Fairchild, Author

The house wasn’t the same to her any more. The first thing the new owners did was root up the yew hedge. In its place reared a stark, brutal fence so that Amy could no longer see the roses growing up the path. But she’d been able to see enough, peering through the gaps in the slats, to make out that they’d flattened the rockery to put in a basket ball area. Amy’s father had constructed that rockery, and lovingly tended the little succulents. She used to wheel her bike past it every weekday, returning from school, before entering the cool gloom of her father’s study.  Those comfortable week nights relaxing on their cracked leather sofa, watching Danger Mouse and eating slices of her father’s macaroni cheese.

So, she avoided cycling past Primrose Cottage these days, but couldn’t seem to avoid it in her dreams. Nearly every night she found…

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