The Hound at the Heart of the Maze
914 words long
Enter freely and without fear. Nothing here will hurt you, but you will not leave unchanged.
Notes from the author:
The only prompt I remember using for this piece was the sentence, "Welcome to my garden," and the intention to make this an exercise in narrative description. I want to know more about this garden dweller now, and how she entices people to visit, and what ultimately happens to them.
Welcome to my garden. Thank you for coming. It is not often that I am privileged to receive visitors. Just a moment; the latch is tricky. No, thank you, very kind, but I can manage. Besides, it's all but impossible to open from outside--
Ah, there we go. Come in.
Sprawling immediately to your right, and approaching rapidly, is my guardian thorn vine. Watch your step; its bite is wicked. But its enthusiasm is endearing, isn't it? It's just starved for company, and, as I've said, visitors are rare. Quickly, now--
My apologies. But I have a balm to put on that scratch, if you come this way.
That's the hedge-maze you're admiring, there beyond the croquet meadow. Well, when you possess the largest collection of azaleas in the region, you want to do something interesting with them, don't you? From where we stand, you can distinguish at least fifteen species by the color, size and shape of their blossoms, which here in my garden know no season. Even more varieties can be found within the maze, many of which are considered endangered or even extinct in the outside world. In all seriousness, I must ask you not enter the maze unaccompanied. It is astonishing how disorienting the view from within can be, despite the azaleas rising merely to chest-height...
This has been an excerpt from the Friday Fictionette for October 3, 2014. This excerpt also appears at Wattpad. The fictionette appears in its entirety at Patreon and is available to all Patrons pledging at least $1/month.