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#FlashFictionFriday: Edna’s Garden, Part 2

I’m packing up to move. Selling the house was more work than I thought it would be. My agent assured me the large sum of money I spent replacing the old carpets with laminate, and getting new, natural-stone counter-tops would more than pay for itself when I found the right family to sell the place to. Frank Lanier, my real estate agent, has known me for years. He accepts that I believe more is at stake than mere money and was willing to write some unusual clauses into the contract.

My daughter doesn’t know this, but I told Frank that if the right people wanted the house, I would accept any offer they made, even if it was a little low.

The problem is, I’ve buried two husbands, and now I’ve outlived my handyman, Jasper. He seemed so healthy too. But he dropped dead of a heart attack at the young age of only eighty-two. Jasper did everything I couldn’t for the last thirty years, mowing the grass, cleaning the gutters, fixing the wonky electric system, or repairing the roof. I don’t want to have to train some young know-it-all in how things should be done, such as not running the lawnmower over the sprinkler heads. I’ve accepted that I can’t care for the place anymore.

But I do have a responsibility to see to it the right family moves in here. They must be able to see past the expected, must have an imagination, and absolutely must be committed to preserving…nature.

Marjorie, my daughter, is only in her seventies and, unfortunately for her husband, she’s as healthy as a racehorse. The way she carries on about every minor ailment, you’d think she was at death’s door. Arthur, Marjorie’s husband, is the least spirited man I’ve ever met. I suppose forty-eight years of being tied to her has long since beaten anything resembling a backbone out of him. Marjorie has the notion her life will be much easier if they sell everything and move to Florida.

I know what my extraordinarily lazy daughter is up to.  By purchasing a condominium in a resort for well-heeled seniors, Marjorie will have housekeepers to order around and will never have to cook again. They could eat every meal in the community dining room. I’m sure Arthur sees that as a point in her favor since Marjorie can’t even boil water without burning it.

It sounds like a cruise ship but without the Norovirus. However, she needs me to foot the bill, because she always spent her and her husband’s salaries faster than they could earn it, and then she insisted on retiring early. So, they’re out of money now, but she has a new retirement plan–me. She’s been pretending I’m senile and petitioned the court to be given custodial power over me and my assets “for my best interests.”

That will never happen. She now hates my lawyer, because he made it clear that I am in complete possession of my wits, and the judge rather bluntly asked her what she was hoping to gain. She became quite offended, saying it was her duty to care for me in my declining years.

Of course, she came apologizing afterward, trying to convince me to move in with them, but I told her I had plans that involved having a life. Marjorie got that pouty look, the one she wears anytime she’s balked. After we had left the court, I did tell Violet that booking myself into the lowest-rated nursing home in a Bombay slum would be preferable to putting myself and my money in Marjorie’s power. Violet knows Marjorie, and had to agree.

With Jasper’s untimely death, I had to do something about the house, but I have a responsibility to the “guests” in my garden. I didn’t tell Frank why I wanted only a certain kind of family, but the truth is, whoever purchased this place had to be people with an open mind. They had to be able to see my fairies and understand they are an endangered species and that they have a sacred duty to protect them. That’s why I had Frank put the clause in the contract that the new owners must never cut the hedge.

Frank finally found the right people. Kaitlyn and Martha fell in love with it. When they looked at the garden, Kaitlyn spotted the fairies and got all excited, pointing and whispering to Martha that this was the place for them to build their life together, and she had to have it, no matter what.

Martha agreed.

So now, that perfectly sweet couple will live here, and my fairies will be safe.

As the judge advised me to, I’m spending Marjorie’s inheritance. Frank found me the perfect little condo downtown near the senior center, and I can bring my cat, Rufus. It’s only a few blocks from the farmer’s market, and it’s on the bus line so I can sell my car, which will make my insurance agent happy.

Once I get settled there, Violet and I will take a two-week trip to Italy. We have a lot of plans, and making a pilgrimage to Fabio’s birthplace is just the beginning.

512px-August_Malmström_-_Dancing_Fairies_-_Google_Art_Project

 


Edna’s Garden, Part 2 © 2016 Connie J. Jasperson, All Rights Reserved

Click here to read part one of Edna’s Garden 

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#FlashFictionFriday: Edna’s Garden

Fairies Looking Through A Gothic Arch John Anster Fitzgerald

Fairies Looking Through A Gothic Arch, John Anster Fitzgerald

This morning I noticed there were fairies in the back garden.

I was a little surprised. At first, I thought they were a side effect of my medication. But hallucinations were not listed on any of the labels, which, by the way, I had to read with the magnifier. I decided they weren’t, and several hours later they were still there.

At first, I couldn’t see them well, and wasn’t sure if they were bugs or birds, but no…when I looked closer with my magnifier, I could see they were definitely fairies.

It seems odd to me, to think that after all these years of wishing for a fairytale ending in my life, I should finally have a garden full of fairies. But life is what it is, and sometimes the things you want elude you until you no longer need them.

When I had lunch, they had progressed to building a rather large bower in the yew hedge. I was glad to see that because it meant they were staying, and they’re a lot more interesting to watch than birds.

They ignored me as they went about their business, rather like the rest of the world, probably just seeing a really old lady, nothing to worry or fret about. I was concerned that Rufus would pester them, but they didn’t interest him. He is the laziest cat, but he does sometimes work up the energy to bother the birds.

I thought about sharing the information with Violet, as they’re something she would enjoy, but she worries about me too much. If I were to call her up and say, “Violet, guess what! Fairies are nesting in the back yard,” she would say, “That’s nice, Edna. Have you a unicorn now too? Perhaps you should stop driving.” She would immediately call my daughter.

That would be bad.

Violet should talk…she’s as bad off as me or worse. But I think we’re doing quite well, for a couple of old crackpots. Funny how ninety-two doesn’t feel as old when you’re wearing that birthday hat as it seemed when we were young and whining about turning sixty-two.

So now I have a garden full of fairies. I wonder if they eat the same sort of things the birds like? Maybe I should get some of that fancy wild-bird food with all the sunflower seeds. And I should probably fill the birdbath.

Then I’ll give Violet a call and invite her over for coffee on the back porch, just to see if she notices anything out of the ordinary. If she does, I’ll pretend like I don’t see them.

She’s always moaning about how nothing exciting ever happens in this town, so this should be good for a laugh.


“Edna’s Garden” © 2016 Connie J. Jasperson, All Rights Reserved

Click here to read part 2

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