A Secret Garden

Photo copyright: Yarnspinnerr

Photo copyright: Yarnspinnerr

Tommy saw the garden and house as a place to explore. Nearly all of the seven acres of garden were totally overgrown, for no one had tended the main garden for many years. When spring arrived Tommy started to explore, he likened himself to a hunter. Day by day he gained in confidence, gleaning knowledge he began to gain an understanding of the gardens original layout. Former paths and terrace allowed themself to be opened. Then he started understanding the way in which the garden had been planted, as flashes of colour entered his mind. He had discovered that the secret was to find a quiet corner, then lay back and dream. Sounds and scents would impress themselves upon him, gnarled bushes would shrink and become beautiful again. A round sunken area returned to being a glorious arts and crafts fountain. Broken walls reformed, shards of glass and cast iron became a greenhouse. Strange plants returned to orderly borders. Then Tommy heard a dog barking followed by laughter, so he retreated to a hollow in the ground. As an icehouse formed around him, he saw a pair of children chasing a corgi. When the ice was piled around him, Tommy returned to his world.


Earlier today I saw a photo of a book called The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, with a brief flash fiction update. So when I saw this prompt picture, I attempted to write something similar. I think I have ended up with a ghost story!  The 1911 book by Frances Hodgson Burnett is well worth reading.

In case you are wondering the main house is quite amazing, but I would need two hundred – more words – to illuminate it. I may yet attempt to do that.

As for a Icehouse, in England it was a building usually under ground used for storing ice.

At work writing

Mike at work writing

This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. rochellewisoff

    Dear Micheal,

    I thought perhaps Tommy was from another world and sent to study gardening. A bit like E.T. who was an extraterrestrial botanist.;) From Mary’s garden to yours…nicely done.



    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Rochelle, this story changed directions as it developed.

  2. Priceless Joy

    Oh, so it was a ghost that was doing all the dreaming about the garden? Love it! Great story Mike!

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you PJ. This story changed as it developed. Originally Tommy was not going to be a ghost

      1. Priceless Joy

        I like the way he came out!!

        1. Michael Humphris

          Thank you PJ. Your comment has made me think.

  3. alphabetstory

    I like his secret power to restore the gardens. Kind of a super boy. I had hoped he could remain there in his newly developed home. By the way, I am a great fan of the original novel. I loved reading it aloud to my children.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Arvilla, if I had given myself more time to write the story, I believe it would have had a happier ending.

  4. yarnspinnerr

    Ingenious take on this one. Loved the idea behind it.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you so much Yarnspinnerr, in part the photo should some credit, as it steered my thoughts

  5. Iain Kelly

    I like where the prompt took you. A great sense of ghostly atmosphere.

  6. neelwritesblog

    Yes, i could see from the way it was meandering this story was trying to find its way around. I am glad it did so finally. Very nicely evolved, Michael. Good story.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Evolved is the right word. Thank you Neel

  7. James

    Nice, Michael. I’ve written similar ghost stories but in differing venues.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you, Ps I very much liked what you did with the Kangaroo

  8. Chris C.

    There’s something beautiful about the ghost being able to restore gardens to their former glory, even though it ended on a sad note. Wonderful little story!

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Chris, I have posted an initial follow up piece about the house on www Friday Fictioneers

      1. Chris C.

        Oh, I’ll go back and look for it then! Thanks for the pointer ^_^

  9. Rosemary Carlson

    Michael: I’ve read the Secret Garden, not once, but many times! Loved this!

    1. Michael Humphris

      I am so pleased to hear that. Today I have attempted to write a follow up story about the house in the centre of A Secret Garden for the Friday Fictioneers prompt. The story is called A Invite to Hollingdrake Hall. However the story metamorphosed into a mild horror story

  10. athling2001

    Very much in the same vein as the book.

    1. Michael Humphris

      That was my intention at first, but I did wander. It felt like I was writing three distinctly differing story’s. Which one won out I am not sure.

  11. Moon

    Wonderful creation. Haven’t read Frances Hodgson Burnett’s “The secret garden”. Thanks for the inspiration.
    Best wishes,

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you for reading and commenting.

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