Approaching the end of her life, Alice Mayes, notorious caretaker of the anomaly known as The Garden of Sunray, is eager to tie up one last loose end before moving on. The last loose end.
US South (Deep South, Dixie, Delta), US South West (Texas)
Note: Transcripts are generated using speech recognition software and may contain errors.
Alice May's couldn't remember the last time butterfly spawned in her stomach. She found sensations like that came less and less with age and experience, and with less intensity when they did. But as she approached Emily, who was waiting by the hurricane fence, staring out at the garden, a kaleidoscope kicked up a storm in her belly. She'd always dreamed of finding someone like Emily. Someone worthy. She rested the shovel she plucked from the barn against the fence and gave Emily a motherly hug. Did you sleep well, Alice? Asked Emily flashed a smile, nodded and turned her attention back to the garden, where the first light of dawn was awakening the foliage, keeping her eyes on Emily, Alice placed her hand on her fluttering abdomen. Emily had been helping tend the garden since she was six years old, nearly 15 years now, and she'd lived in the apartment above Alice's garage for the last two. She had cautious, grass green eyes, and a quietly beautiful face that suggested vulnerability, and she was as slender as a rake, her slight figure suggesting weakness or frailty, but she was far from either. She was the most resilient person Alice had ever known, abandoned outside an Amarillo fire station is an infant. Emily spent five years bouncing around the texas panhandle, Three different towns and four foster homes in all before landing a permanent home in Sunray with the Newell family on McGee Street, two houses down from Alice from the first time they had met the day, Alice had caught the skinny freckle faced little girl stealing tomatoes and pears from the garden and chased her down and wrenched them from her hands. Alice had felt an uncanny bond with Emily. The little girl with a pixie chin and eyes hardened beyond her years was a replica of her younger self, headstrong, determined, thick skinned, independent, someone who did what she wanted to do what she felt she had to do and people could either accept it or move on. Alice eventually followed Emily's gaze and looked toward the roughly 200 acres of abundance that locals called the Garden of Sunray. The butterflies in her stomach settled some as her eyes slid back and forth over the thick vegetation, pausing to momentarily admire a fuzzy leaf, A b on a rose petal, an orange breasted robin on an oak branch, sunshine winking on a drop of morning dew. She had experienced thousands of calming sunrises in the garden hundreds with Emily, but knew she had few to spare. She hadn't received any dire prognosis from a doctor and she hadn't been blessed with prophetic visions or messages like pastor fred luis's wife, hazel supposedly had been either. She simply knew from a lifetime of listening to her body. The message was clear. For weeks. Her heart had been telling her it had a limited number of beats left her lungs something similar, but that was okay. She wasn't scared or upset or worried and she didn't want pity or prayers. After 93 years of love and pain, joy and loss, she was ready to move on. She just needed to tie up this one last loose end first. The loose end. The butterflies were relentless. It was time now or never. She took a deep breath, straightened her bifocals. Remember when you first heard rumors about me and all that Nazi prisoner mess? And I told you the rumors were just that and I didn't know much more about it than anyone else. Yeah, Emily said, drawing out the word, seemingly dumbstruck by the out of the blue question. Alice held Emily's gaze for a long moment until she believed Emily had registered the sincerity in her eyes, the gravity of her coming words. Well, I lied. I know everything more than everything. In fact, more than anyone. She pressed her hand against her abdomen again. And you need to know it too.
Grandmother, Narrator, Old Lady, Aged, Articulate, Authentic, Mature, Grizzled, Emotional, US South (Deep South, Dixie, Delta), US South West (Texas)