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12 February 2015 @ 10:14 am
LJ Idol Season Nine: "Moon Garden" (Home Game)  
Moon Garden
idol season nine | week 37 | 475 words
Shibusa (Home Game)

x-x-x-x-x

Dark, orange streaks bleed through the sky as the sun goes down. The light fades, and blackness creeps in to take its place.

When the last whisper of color is finally gone, you open the door.

We go out into the night, feet following the stones that make up the path. It is always stranger and more mysterious here when it is dark, but you are young and unafraid. I trail after you, close enough to catch you—rescue you—if something should go wrong.

The moon begins to rise as you stroke leaf after leaf and examine each flower. I have planted new ones over the years, Chinese lanterns and fringy foliage to tempt the touch of your fingers, and white, blue, yellow and pink flowers to show a hint of true color despite the dampening effect of the gloom. You move from one plant to another, like a butterfly or fairy drawn to all the pretty things along the way.

Under the faint glow emanating from the full moon, the garden gleams with a rich, blue radiance. The shadows have eased away and the corners grown less dim. It is beautiful here, like a dream of reality. These nightly adventures are the only truth you've ever known.

We never planned this—never knew it was possible for a child to be so badly injured by the sun, or to be burned by the faintest bit of light. You live on a different schedule from other children, waking late in the afternoon and going outside to play only when it is dark—alone, always alone, unless I am with you. What if that remains the essence of your future?

What will we do when you are old enough to go to school, and how will you ever find love and friendship in the years ahead? The doctors have no real answers, only the analysis of your condition and a long list of all the things you must not do. If there is hope, it is too removed from the horizon for us to see.

I watch you run off through the grass, your pale skin and white-blonde hair gleaming in the muted light like some sort of ethereal vapor…

Like a ghost.

"Come on, Mama, let's go!" you call, eager to play in this half-seen world that is your kingdom. You are overflowing with delight for what you have, still too young to be heartbroken over what you do not.

You are wonderful and amazing, and I don't know how you bear the limitations that close you in.

Here in the perpetual darkness, you laugh and run like any other child. You see only beauty in all the strangeness that surrounds you.

With your joy in these simple moments, I am transported from my despair. Your unyielding happiness shines more brightly than the sun.


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kick_galvanic, zagzagael, skull_theatrebleodswean on February 12th, 2015 08:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, brava, brava!!! This is a nice tight little piece of writing! I really enjoyed it! XP or albinism....compelling subject matter!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 12th, 2015 09:02 pm (UTC)
Yes! I had thought about albinism, but it's XP and porphyria that are completely inflexible about light exposure.

The combination of the beauty of a moonlit garden, with the sadness of that being the only choice and the choices getting more difficult over time, was irresistible, and I think the prompt actually helped focus the story on simple things we take for granted and how the simple things that remain can still be truly wonderful.
kick_galvanic, zagzagael, skull_theatrebleodswean on February 12th, 2015 09:47 pm (UTC)
Have you read Elizabeth Graver's "Awake"? I can't rec it but it is about XP and children.

Albinism is something that has long fascinated me. I had an albino neighbor for a decade....

Nice job on this. Glad to see you writing!
cindy: misc fictsuki_no_bara on February 13th, 2015 02:12 am (UTC)
awww. melancholy, but such lovely images.

(what's xp?)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 13th, 2015 06:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you! XP is Xeroderma Pigmentosum, a genetic condition in which sunlight (even a small amount) burns the skin. You need special shades/filters on the windows and everything. It's just tragic. :(
adoptedwriteradoptedwriter on February 13th, 2015 01:33 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed this. It's a little spooky yet not. AW
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 13th, 2015 06:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'd hoped it would be spooky and beautiful and sad all at once, and yet the love would come through as well. :)
i_17bingoi_17bingo on February 15th, 2015 12:22 pm (UTC)
I have planted new ones over the years, Chinese lanterns and fringy foliage to tempt the touch of your fingers, and white, blue, yellow and pink flowers to show a hint of true color despite the dampening effect of the gloom.

I couldn't tell you at the point the importance of darkness to the second-person character here, but I didn't care. This was such a beautiful sentence I just let myself get swept up into the words.

As I did grow to learn more, I was sad, but still touched by the beauty.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 16th, 2015 06:45 pm (UTC)
I hope that sentence showed how far a parent will go to make things better when they cannot fix them. It's such a hard position to be in.

I'm glad you liked this piece, bittersweet as I know it was.

Thanks, as always, for reading and commenting.
similiesslipsimiliesslip on February 18th, 2015 12:48 am (UTC)
Hugs to you, I can't imagine.

I'm sure your dad was an amazing man.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 18th, 2015 06:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Yes, he was. We're sure going to miss him.