The Dangerous Garden a bedtime story

The yelling would stop sooner if I made stories in my head. I closed my eyes and wrote in the darkness, not as good as Daddy's stories but the yelling would stop sooner.

Then Daddy would open my door a crack to see if I was still asleep, so quick just then I'd say goodbye to my friends, the one's I wrote in my head, so Daddy could tell me his story. He only knew one, but it was my favorite and he said he wrote it for his little girl. Which is me.

It started in a forbidden garden beautiful and dangerous, so big that little girls could lose their dreams and make a life finding them. The garden was like a jungle with tigers and bears and snakes and birds. Daddy said no one was allowed in the garden, cause even the lions and bears and snakes and birds were not as scary as the gardeners.

Daddy said one gardener was a goddess, fiercely beautiful; I don't really get what that means but I like how "fiercely" sounds. The goddess was named Fire and she liked to walk in the garden at night, in the humid summer, like mommy and me. She would walk the trails and sing to the animals - her voice was beautiful Daddy said, so beautiful that one day the oldest, wisest trees listened to the goddess' lullaby and started to cry. Their tears burned becase of the goddess Fire and went up into the sky, and they stayed there and now they're stars. All the animals listened and all the hills and trees and rivers and stones listened and all of everything agreed that this was the most beautiful lullaby and Fire was the most beautiful goddess. But she wasn't the only gardener.

Daddy said there was another gardener, a god named Air. Air like to swim in the rivers and climb in the trees and everything loved his stories. He would lie on tree branches or look out over a deep valley from a tall hill and yell stories to all the animals and rocks and trees and streams and everything that liked to listen to stories at night. Everything thought that Air had the best stories. Daddy said that when Air told stories all of the garden felt infinite inside, which means they felt really big, and free, like they could explore the universe but inside themselves.

One day Air heard Fire singing and quickly fell in love - he knew they were meant to be together. That night he sat on his favorite hillside, the biggest one with the greenest grass and purplest lilacs, and he looked down on all the garden. He was so happy, for once he felt infinite inside. He told all the garden yelling as loud as he could, that he was in love. He told the story in the tree language so they could understand exactly, and then in the animal language so they would know too, and in the river language, and the stone, and all the languages of the garden. He told stories so long that soon Fire had heard him and she'd become enchanted with him. She found him on his hill and sang to him one night and his stories stopped, he was speechless. Daddy said Air even cried, just like the old trees, when Fire sang. He wanted to tell the whole garden, but instead Air and Fire fell in love and were together for the first time. Daddy said it was like they needed each other. That when Air and fire met, Fire's songs got better and more lovely and she was even more fiercely beautiful and Air's stories became legends, so many things in the garden wanted to remember Air's stories and hear them again and again.

But, Daddy said, Air and Fire sometimes fought, and that's when the garden was dangerous. When Air and Fire fought things in the garden close to them would feel bad and be hurt. Daddy says that Fire sang so beautifully that it seemed to use Air up, and then Air would tell stories and leave Fire and Fire wouldn't be able to sing. Daddy said it hurt everyone in the garden when they fought, even the cutest creatures that loved Air and Fire most. Daddy said Air and Fire were meant to be together but somehow couldn't last together. That Fire's songs and Air's stories were better when they were together, and the whole garden smiled and cried and felt infinite - but soon Air and Fire would fight and use each other up and the garden would be sad.

Finally one day Air and Fire talked quietly on the hill where they met and the whole garden waited to see what would happen. They agreed to only see each other to talk about love once a month but every other day sing and tell stories alone. Today the garden is safe and goddess Fire still sings beautiful songs to the garden and god Air still tells the best stories, but all the trees and rivers and stones and everything wishes they were together. Because even though their love is dangerous, Daddy says, the songs and stories are most beautiful when they love each other anyway. So once a month all the garden, even the trees' tears in the sky, be quiet to listen to the dangerous love stories and songs that Air and Fire create on the biggest hill with the greenest grass and purplest lilacs above all the giant garden. And the garden is dangerous, and it cries and smiles, and feels infinite.