Katie B.

United States

Hi! My name is Katie. I am a sixteen years old, and I really enjoy reading and writing. When I'm not daydreaming or playing my violin, you can find me sketching, baking, wake boarding, swimming or skiing.

Message to Readers

This is a fictional piece based off of my own grandmother, who is still alive and well today. Any feedback would be great!

Vegtable Garden

December 14, 2015

    The garden is dead. Ever since Grandma went, the garden has been wilted and brown, like the crooked bodies of weary laborers under fading sunlight. We were all so happy when it was alive. When she was alive. But now that she is gone, the garden is, too.

    We used to sit in the kitchen of our little cottage, all four of us, Grandma, mom, David, and I. We would sit around Grandma's little table, trying our hardest to ignore the bills glaring at us like a neon sign from the counter. Grandma had taken us in a few years ago, after the divorce. My life turned from a nightmare to a dream in just a few days, all of my struggles left behind in Nebraska. Everything was amazing about my new life, until that day. The day that changed us all.

     Grandma, her grey hair swept neatly behind her left ear, seared a juicy pink steak in her cast iron skillet. She snatched a pinch of thyme from the spice jar and sprinkled it over her masterpiece, humming as she went. Butter sizzled and wafted up my nose, filling my body with a bubbling warmth. It was a usual evening at home. Board games, a delicious dinner, mild conversation. 

    "Come and get it while it's hot!" Grandma plopped a hunk of steaming meat onto my plate, then added some of her famous stuffed peppers. My favorite. I could already hear the garlic calling to me. Meat had always been my favorite, but David, like Grandma, had always preferred the fresh stuff. I hurriedly sat down and cut my pepper, a steam of buttery goodness enveloping me. School always made me hungry.

    "So, how was school today, Emily?" Mom looked at me hopefully, probably praying for me to actually tell her.

    "Mmmpphhh... Ift wahs ohhcchhhayyy." I clearly had taken in a bit too much food at once. I cleared my throat. "It was okay. The usual."

    "Did you make us dessert, Grandma? Icebox cookies?" David’s plea for sweets grabbed my attention through the thoughts of the mountains of homework that I had that night. I looked up at Grandma, suddnely feeling hungrier than ever. Her pinwheel cookies were the best. Light and fluffy, with just the right bit of chewiness at the end. Vanilla and chocolate, just like the difference between then and now.

    "I'll... I'll be right back, children. I just need to use the bathroom." Grandma, hands shaking, slowky rose from her chair and stumbled down the hall, clutching her stomach. I knew better than to ask questions.

    After five minutes, we were confused. What was taking her so long? After ten minutes, we were concerned. After fifteen, worried. Twenty minutes after she had excused herself, Mom went in to check on her. We barely had to wait for a minute before Mom came rushing down the hall.

    "Emily! Call the ambulance! Something's wrong! Hurry!" Mom frantically yelled, face as pale as a ghost's, eyes wide with fear. I reached out to grandma's old, red, rotary phone and dialed as quickly as I ever had. 9... 1... 1...

    Not fifteen minutes later, wailing sirens penetrated the still air surrounding us. Grandma's face was hollowed and grey, her body frail and limp as the paramedics lifted her onto a stretcher. That was the last time I saw her.

    It was the steak that did it, the doctors said. We were all sick that night, but not as bad as Grandma. Her fragile old body couldn't take the undercooked meat that she ate. She was gone before morning.

        We never ate from the garden again. Slowly, little by little, spiny green weeds crawled over Grandma's precious vegetables as they rotted away to nothing. The plants shrivled and browned, dying before our eyes. Now, we buy canned noodles in bulk and microwave them, the plastic smell of deliciously fake food enveloping us. Often, we don't even join together. We eat in our rooms, weary and alone. Canned corn is also a popular late night snack. I don't mind it, but Daniel complains whenever he gets even a waft of it. He always says that it isn't as good as grandma's corn. I don't miss the corn. I long for different things.

    I miss the steak, and the lemon chicken, and the juicy, roasted peppers. I miss the smell of the fresh herbs sizzling in a buttery pan, and I miss the warm smell of chocolate waking me every Saturday morning. I miss Grandma's pale, thin, hands digging in the dirt to find some carrots for her famous soup. I miss her warm hugs, her kind eyes, her loving words. 

    None of those things will ever exist again. Stuffed peppers will never be the same. I will never taste an icebox cookie as good as hers. Her kind words, gone. Eyes, lifeless. Hugs, frozen. She is dead. The garden is dead.



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1 Comment
  • Robinb20

    This is amazing!!!!! *heart eyes*

    about 3 years ago