Music filled the gardens as figures in ballroom dresses and tuxedoes danced under the starlight. Aiko wasn’t one of them. She sat by herself, looking out over the city spread out below.

The grounds stretched over the hillside, full of enclaves, fountains, and winding paths. It was supposed to be natural, but Aiko knew better. Each blade of grass was trimmed perfectly to size; each plant had been specifically selected for its colour, its rarity, its scent, crammed into an unnatural ecosystem. There were no ugly plants, no weeds, no animals.

Aiko’s parents called this place their Eden, their retreat from civilization, but nothing about it was real. As she looked around at the designer chairs and designer gowns, the artificial grass and artificial conversations, she found herself wishing to be down in the streets of the city.

They were dirty, but at least they were real.

Word Count: 147

This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and Yarnspinner for providing the prompt photo!

  1. I love this story, J.A.! I can feel that she has no connection to her parent’s garden because it is so “fake.” Great story!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reena Saxena says:

    Reality is only one of the perspectives!


  3. Iain Kelly says:

    Great take on the prompt. Like the idea of the garden being more unnatural than the dirty city. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. They were dirty, but at least they were real. What realistic lines are these. Very beautifully crafted story.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. michael1148humphris says:

    I agree artificial is bad; so bring the wilderness in or move “Down Town”. Aka Cilla Black

    Liked by 1 person

  6. James says:

    Actually, for some people, the illusion is better than reality. Depends on what you value more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very true. I was simply relaying one character’s thoughts (which I think were really more about her parents than their garden), not presenting absolute truth.
      Thanks for commenting!


  7. Moon says:

    Wow! Loved your story . I appreciate Alko’s perception of life .
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love this story. Very real and insightful.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This was a great look into the MC’s mindset – intrigues the reader to want to know more.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. mandibelle16 says:

    Thanks a is an interesting story. It makes me think of two things. First the movie the Stepford Wives, this works like these wives and this society, gleaming, too perfect, and fake. My other thought is of Alice in Wonderland, the newest Disney version. Like the party and society Alice was at was so fake and full of “airs” and all these practices that were so fake, that even Wonderland in all it’s weird creatures, vivid colours, etc. Was more genuine than the world Alice came from. I feel bad for your little girl, she needs a rabbit hole to escape down.

    Liked by 1 person

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