Shadows In The Garden

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

What do you when you question a major decision that chooses your life direction?

Shadows In The Garden

In her youthful haste to experience new adventures and impatient with small town life, Marie moved to New Orleans two months before.   meager studio apartment was the best she could afford, while skirting the French Quarter.

Midnight arrived to find her without sleep. Her mind raced as she fought the demons of the dark.

"What have I done?" Marie whispered to herself as she approached the open window. The gray shadows of the night emanated from the burning scented candle that danced around her sparsely decorated studio apartment on Rue Dauphine.

cool chill swirled around her body, lending shivers to her pixie-like frame. She stared out the timeworn window into ugly nothingness. The only view of the outside world extended to a deserted warehouse a block away.

She decided to venture down to the courtyard for some air and contemplate her future. The unlit stairwell demanded she feel her way as she descended the tattered carpeted stairs. The glowing sliver of the moon shown brightly overhead, lighting her way to her destination. The wrought iron gate groaned when disturbed. The sound of a human clearly their throat came from the shadows. Standing absolutely still, she attempted to decipher the direction of the sound.

, my child, so I think I shouldmake my presence known." A fichus bush st next to a garden bench shad the man behind the voice.

Marie sighed. "Thank you. I appreciate your courtesy."

He rose and walked towards her, keeping a conservative distance.

"The name is Martin Richter from 3A."

"Marie Kohler from 2C. May I be forward and ask if you would like some company? I won't mind if you say no."

"Please, join me. I could use some conversation. I believe you moved in last month, correct."

"I did, but I'm not dealing well with some of the choices I've made."

 said with a pleasing tone in his voice.

"Yes, I guess I do. Do you mind?"

"Not at all. I'm a technical writer and my life gets boring.  Especially for someone like me who has a history of being a good listener"

"How long have you lived here?"

"Do you mean New Orleans, or here at this apartment?"


"I've lived in New Orleans for six years and at this address for two. The rents reasonable and it's close to everything. I can walk anywhere or take public transportation."

"Yes, that is a plus. This old renovated warehouse makes a miserable excuse for an apartment. Needs a lot of work, but I guess I can adjust"

"So, tell me, what's brought you down to the garden at this hour, talking to a lonely old stranger."

"Okay, here goes, stop me if I bore you." She sat next to him on the bench. She studied Martin's face briefly through the shadows. Her first impression was that he was in his fifty's and grandfatherly in appearance.

"I am 21 as of last month. I moved here from Toledo because I wanted to see more of life and I've always felt I was born too soon. I have to admit I've been second-guessing my decision. I first thought I was homesick, but I'm not sure if that's it or not."

"Do you think about going back to Toledo?"

"I've thought about it but when I left home, my friends threw a huge going away party. I am the one who got away and made the break. You have no idea how dull Toledo can be for a young single person. Everyone back home thinks I have an important job with the government. Truth is I'm a mailroom clerk for the city. I'm too embarrassed to admit the truth."

They sat in silence and listened to an owl hooting in a near-by tree.

"I'm not one for giving advice. My life hasn't been exemplary. I've been through three marriages, made and lost two fortunes and am a convicted felon. However, that's a story for another day. Let me ask you something child, do you know what you want? Not so much out of life in its entirety, but just for tomorrow, life is to be experienced in chunks. If you look at the big picture, you'll lose your mind."

"No. I've never given it much thought."

"Then, I have a challenge for you. Find something that you've always wanted to do and just haven't got around to, yet. It can be something as small as to read a book. Set yourself on a path to accomplishing it. Then meet me back here tomorrow night and let me know how it is going. Can you do that?"

"I can, but I'm not sure one day is enough."

"It can be if you work on it. Don't take too long, just start on the journey and the rest will take care of itself."

He disappeared into the shadows and she was alone. The next day she asked the caretaker about the man in 3A. He said he did not know the man and that unit was being renovated and had not been occupied for over two months. She had hoped to tell Martin that she took his advise to heart and would be returning to Toledo within the week, but she never saw him again.


Submitted: April 21, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Y M Remington. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Black Dog

I liked it. Especially Martin. Grammar's the only issue.

Wed, April 21st, 2021 7:18am


Thank you for taking the time to comment
. As a novice I need all the help I can get.

Wed, April 21st, 2021 6:38am

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