Her Father’s Garden

her fathers garden

She will set fire to the garden, to bring her father back.

It is day sixteen of the heatwave. The lawn is a tinderbox ready to spark. Shrivelled flowerbeds are perfect kindling.

She will tempt him with the smell of scorched grass and dying flowers. He will come to repair the garden, so neglected after his leaving.

When it goes up in flame, it explodes outwards, catching specks on her skin.

Her father does come back, to visit her in hospital, soothing her burns with the promise of never leaving her again.

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Birdsong

The music almost kills me today.

It is a childhood memory. The song that would play as my father hunted and brought local wildlife to the garage. It would play as I cried for my mother, begging her not to go to work. Terrified of spending time with this hulk of a man.

Today the song comes on the radio again. I can smell that garage. Hear those birds.

My subsequent tears almost cause an accident on the motorway. When I pull over onto the hard shoulder I sit for twenty minutes, thinking about my mother.