Five Card Story: Jack's Garden

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a Five Card Flickr story by Gardeners created Oct 07 2016, 03:46:10 am. Create a new one!

flickr photo credits: (1) bionicteaching (2) bionicteaching (3) bionicteaching (4) bionicteaching (5) bionicteaching

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Jack had been walking for days, it felt like he was walking in never-ending circles. Tired, hungry, and lost, his clothes were tattered and ripped. The police in this part of town didn’t care about boys like Jack. Runaways were not their problem, as far as they were concerned. The bruises on his body were starting to fade, and if he returned home the marks would appear again, but Jack wanted to forget.

“Just a little further, Jack, till you can rest” He said to himself. He was looking for a safe place for the night, and was walking through the wrong part of town. All he could see were identical red-brick houses with graffiti splattered on the walls. At the very corner of the street, a quiet house stood with the door wide open.

Approaching the house, he peered through the dark doorway curiously.
“Hello?” he called into the still air. No one in the ghetto ever answered his calls. He cautiously crawled into the house. The floorboards creaked below him and his knees buckled to the sound. He felt an abrupt drop underneath his feet, and fell tumbling into more darkness. The hit knocked Jack out unconscious.

“Sophie… don’t touch him, I think he’s asleep”
“He could be dead, Noah!”
Jack’s bones ached. He moved over to the other side of the floor, and knocked into something warm.

“He’s not dead I think..”

“Who the freaking hell are you?” Jack questioned back.
“Who are YOU??” Sophie was in awe of Jack’s state.
“For heaven sakes, Sophie, help me get him up” Noah grabbed his arm and yanked him up.
“Hi my name’s Noah, this is Sophie my sister”
“ name’s Jack”
Jack pulled his limp body up with the help of Sophie and Noah.
“I’m sorry if my idiot sister gave you a fright, I hope you don’t mind me asking, but, why are you in our garden?”
“Garden?! A minute ago I was walking through a Ghetto and the next minute I fell into your stupid hole and landed here!”
Jack shook Noah’s arm off of him and he tried to maintain his poise.
“This is not my garden, it’s my dad’s garden.. And don’t yell at me! It’s your own fault for falling.”
“My fault?! If your…..”
“Shut-up the two of you, dad is going to hear us!” Sophie didn’t want her drunk father finding out they were playing in his garden again.
“Where are your parents?” Noah whispered in respect to his sister’s request.
“They hurt me a lot, so, I ran away.” Jack’s voice dulled down.
“That sounds awful..” Sophie pulled Noah to the side and whispered, “What do we do with him?”
“I guess he could stay here, it’s not like we haven’t slept here before” Noah looked at him with a sense of pity.
“Would you like to stay here Jack, and be our friends?” Jack walked over to Noah and collapsed at his feet.
“I would be ever so grateful” Jack began collect tears in his eyes.

Over the course of a few weeks, Jack, Noah and Sophie became friends. Jack stayed in the garden all day, and Noah brought him food from home every single day, never forgetting. The boys learned to trust each other, and play in the garden. Every night, Jack would sleep in the house on one side of the wall, and emerge from the ghetto each morning to meet the sunlight. This happiness did not last for long. Noah returned to the little garden one day, telling Jack that he could no longer live there because his wretched dad planned to tear it down and build on top of the land.

“I’ve nowhere else to go”, Jack whispered, barely moving.
“I know, I know, so I’ve got a plan” Noah told him, reassuringly.

The plan was to head to Noah’s house together, and to talk to him and tell him not to ruin their garden. Sophie and Noah brought Jack outside of the garden, and walked swiftly in the early morning back to Noah’s house. Creeping in through the backdoor of their house and into their father’s room, they waited for a few hours until Noah’s dad arrived back from his office. The entire time, Jack was completely in awe but was silent and shaking of fear. Noah took Jack’s hand, and squeezed every few minutes. After waiting the whole day, Noah’s dad walked through the doors and stopped short-

“Noah. Sophie. What is the meaning of this? Who have you brought with you and why are his… clothes… so dirty!” He rudely exclaimed, staring right at Jack.

“Dad, this is Jack. Jack lives in the garden, and I heard you giving a speech to the everyone at work that you’re going to make your new building right there, RIGHT where the garden stands, and, and you can’t do that, because see, Jack LIVES there”, Noah said all in a rush.

Noah’s dad, Mr. Whitelaw, starred in awe at both Jack and Noah. He approached the boy, and took a look at his clothing and dirty face.

“Is this true, Jack? Do you live in our garden? Where are your mum and dad, Jack, we can give them a call and you’ll be on your wa-”. Mr. Whitelaw was stopped shortly, and was interrupted by Jack’s small voice.

“I ran away from home. I had been hit, abused, for days. I had nowhere else to go, and YOUR son, Noah, and Sophie as well, they helped me and played with me and made me happy every single day. If you take away this garden, I will have nowhere to go, nowhere, you cannot let me go home, Mr. Whitelaw, please, please don’t send me home.”

“Weren’t you ever a kid, dad? Don’t you know what it’s like? I can’t lose my best friend, dad, please don’t let me down again dad, mum wouldn’t like it”, Noah said.

Noah’s dad was suddenly sent back in time. He remembered riding his tricycle with his friends back when he was a little boy, just like his son. His eyes welled with tears, and he simply said,

“Jack… you don’t have to go home.. I promise. We will help you be okay again. You can stay here, and… I’ll figure something out..” said Mr. Whitelaw, rubbing his head. That night, he dreamed of being on the tricycle again, young, free, and happy.

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