A Certain Type of Decisive

United States

Just your unfriendly neighborhood disaster, bringing you bi-weekly updates from the bottom of my own shoe!

Message to Readers

Sometimes I think too small. If I can't see the wood for the trees, how am I supposed to know when I'm barking up the wrong one? I'll go out on a limb, but I won't find any money, that's for sure. Honestly? I'll probably just fall.

Time Passed Differently There

May 14, 2020


    A breath in. The air was colder than it had been in days. I knew summer was ending, but the gardens here never wilted. It was a constant state of spring, summer, and autumn, all at once. Impossible- yet here it was. The trees were adorned with flowers as well as fruit; all of it scented the air, an endless concoction of indistinguishable aromas. Most of it just felt cold. It stung my lungs, but it was good. 
    A breath out. I heard the birds chirping from hidden perches. They didn’t like the bird houses- too unnatural for them. The greens of the leaves around me were too dark for spring, the flowers contrasted them, pure white petals pressed against leaves so deep they might've been black. Bees danced through the air to music I knew but couldn't hear. Their buzzing was quiet compared to the people somewhere in the garden, talking. 
    A breath in. I didn’t see any of the other people, but I could hear them. Laughing, singing, playing, young and old, close enough to hear, but too far away to understand. Their words sounded like a foreign language. One I didn't know and didn't care to decipher. It was just noise. I heard water dripping from a fountain somewhere close, but it felt far away.
    A breath out. The bench beneath me was made of wood. It was smooth- an glass stained with rippling growth- the death of a tree, semi-immortalized. It had been worn down from thousands of years of sitting on it. Though the air was cold, the bench was warm from sitting in the sun. My hands rested on it, drinking in its warmth. I watched as a bright yellow butterfly floated past.
    A breath in. The butterfly had landed on an orange blossom and I could see it was missing most of a wing. I could see a bird now. It was so blue, like a child’s drawing of a bird, but unlike any I had ever seen before. I spent enough time here, studying, that I had learned most types of birds, this one was none of them. Somewhere between a wren and an auk, but blue, and too large. It really did look like a child’s drawing.
    A breath out. The tree to my left was twisted. A trunk made of eight separate trunks swirled together like an ice cream cone. It branched out symmetrically over my head, a perfect umbrella of dark wood and leaves so opaque that they let the sunlight though like lace. I could see the dust fall slowly towards the ground in spirals through the sunbeams. 
    A breath in. At the base of the orange tree stood an impossible stack of rocks. It could've been the product of patience or magic. In this garden, there was no way to tell. It might've been there for hours or for centuries. It could be both. Time passed differently there.
    A breath out. The stack of rocks could've been from a monk. Many of them practiced in this garden. The garden wasn’t for everyone, of course. Everything has its limits. Not all who were in the garden were monks, but all monks could enter the garden. 
    A breath in. I wasn’t a monk. But all children could enter the garden. Innocence, I guess. The old could enter the garden, too, but only after death. Others, well, those who needed the garden could always find a way in. Somehow. They walked the paths, trying to find something to help them. Help them find peace. Find wisdom. Find innocence. Find help. Some don’t know what they're searching for, but they all end up here someday. Walking.
    A breath out. The bird in the orange tree was singing. Not just chirping, but harmonizing with the sound of the wind, with the sound of my breathing. Birds in the garden were different from other birds. They didn’t eat the butterflies. I could see now that there was another bird in the orange tree. They were singing to each other. An echoing duet, joined by others in trees farther past. I wondered if a child had drawn them and a monk had made them real.
    A breath in. I was starting to feel the warmth from the sun on my own skin, though the air around me was still cold. I could feel every muscle in my body start to release. The hair all over my body settled, my skin softened, my mind quieted. Every tear and cut was starting to heal, with only the air from the garden. 
    A breath out. The others in the garden sounded happy, but not obnoxiously so. Like teenagers, mostly. I could also hear younger children playing some kind of game. I knew from experience, there would be old people, reclining in chairs, not far down the path. Some would be talking, some playing games, others just resting. I knew monks would watch from bridges over the youngest children playing in the river, but they didn’t need to. The garden was safe. 
    A breath in. The leaves mimic that of summer. The flowers are ones of spring. The fruits are things of autumn. But I could feel the winter in my lungs. A little sting that felt fresh, tinged with the scent of the flowers. The air was colder than it had been in days.

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  • AbigailSauble

    Fantastic work! Your vivid/unique descriptions are stirring and so incredibly easy to see!
    I'm picturing this as heaven, and I really love this! It's like earth, but with something so much "better", different, and new!
    I cannot say enough good things about this. You transported me to this beautiful, out-of-this-world garden, and I am so very thankful.
    Keep on! God bless!

    6 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Replying: Thank you so much for understanding!! (I'd love a clean version btw) My new pfp actually isn't intended to be Ravenclaw (I'm a Huffleclaw) (their crest is actually a bronze eagle). My brother was just like "If you had a personal crest, what would it be?" I got obsessed. I adore ravens (they're my spirit animal) and music, and I feel that the colors gold and deep blue sort of represent me.

    6 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    I am really glad you enjoyed this competition so much, by the way.

    6 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Hey, I'm SO sorry, but I can't review your piece "Chillax". It has a ton of swearing, and I don't feel comfortable reading it, much less analyzing it. Again, I'm incredibly sorry. I should have specified that in the post. To make up for it, I'd be willing to review 3 pieces for you instead of just 2. <3

    6 months ago
  • van gogh's girl

    Wow. For being a piece of prose, this has such good, heavy beats to it. Love it.

    6 months ago
  • Emi

    This is so beautiful! I love the extensive descriptions of nature and the people in this garden. The hint of danger at the end is also a great touch.

    7 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    "Bees danced through the air to music I knew but couldn't hear." and "The air was colder than it had been in days."
    Lines like these... I don't know, there's just something about them. About your writing. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it's wonderful.

    7 months ago
  • A Certain Type of Decisive

    (Previously "Brother Was a Monk and He Lived in the Garden of Eden")

    7 months ago