• J.J. Cunis

The Garden

(The Indie United Flash Fiction Challenge requires doing a story with a picture as a prompt. The story can be no longer than 250 words. Photo copyright K. S. Brooks.)

She loved being up at this time of day to gaze at her gardens before those on their rounds spoiled her view. Of course, they weren’t really her gardens were they? Maybe they were old man Cortez’s, the gardener who tended and insured their beauty year after year. No, Cortez couldn’t claim ownership. He was hired help and did not even own the abode he rented in town.

Wasn’t she the queen of the villa by virtue of marriage? Her striking beauty seduced and captured the attention of the wealthy and powerful Ramon Gutierrez. He had to possess her as he had all the finery locked away in his numerous warehouses throughout Guerrero. Gaining his attention had been her goal as she considered her station and attributes above those of her peers. And here she was. Ramon was away as he most always was, “tending to business” as he called it.

No, these were not really her gardens at all. Not until she gave Ramon a family. Until then, the reality was that she was a tenant like Cortez, subject to eviction based on a whim. With Ramon, eviction was synonymous with death.

Soon the guards would be due on their rounds through the garden. She deeply inhaled the fragrance before retiring back to her life which was in essence a sentence, though the cell was certainly grandiose. No, her husband Ramon, the narcotics overlord of Guerrero owned these gardens. She would become fertilizer unless she flowered.

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