The lovely Theodora Goss, one of my biggest inspirations and favorite writers, is having a great contest right now to win a copy of her new novella The Thorn and the Blossom (which I am SO excited for!) In order to have a chance at winning you must describe your dream imaginary garden. Here’s what I submitted –
If you go down a certain lonely alleyway off the busy streets of a certain city, you’ll come to a gate of twisted iron set between the walls of two unremarkable gray buildings. If you look closely, the iron forms swirls of roses, crescent moons, and strange words from a language you don’t know but that seems somehow familiar. Behind these forms you can make out wild brambles, perhaps a flower or two, but the alley is dark and you wish you could see more but the gate is locked. You can’t resist teasing out the sounds of the words however, and as you do the gate swings open unexpectedly. You tentatively take a step inside and find a tangle of flowers, particularly wild roses and ivy, crawling all over the sides of the buildings. You recognize the smells of a few of the herbs you notice growing at your feet, each carefully labeled in a swirling hand. In the center of the small square of space there is a cracked fountain and a bench with a few battered books and a chipped tea cup, as if someone was just here but left in a hurry. You look around quickly, expecting someone to be watching you, but only catch the silent swish of a tail out of the corner of your eye.
Ah, I wish I could go there right now. Go and enter, I’d love to hear about your imaginary gardens!