Lissy’s Garden

There once was a precocious young girl named Lissy who was determined to plant a garden as a gift for her father after seeing him admire a lush patch of blossoms that grew nearby. Indulgently, he permitted her the best of seeds as well as the space and the tools she begged of him, taking delight in his daughter’s interest and enthusiasm.

She sang merrily as she cleared the small plot of land, turned the soil then planted and watered with her own little hands the seeds that her father had given her. All the while, Lissy imagined the smile on his face when he saw the beautiful flowers that she had nurtured and grown just for his pleasure.

As the weeks went by, the seedlings sprouted and began to grow under her careful eye, thriving as much on the warmth of her affection and intent as the water and constant attention she gave. Her father’s heart swelled with pride and he smiled to himself enjoying his daughter’s happiness as she worked on her present for him. Her joy was quite contagious to all around her.

It wasn’t long before the first tender buds appeared on Lissy’s flowers and she giggled with glee as she knelt in the soil staring in awe at her handiwork. Sadly, even the most lovingly tended gardens must deal with problems every now and then; one of those problems is the occasional encroachment of wild plants.

Lissy was initially confused when something dark and low caught her eye, almost hidden by the sprouting leaves of her plants. She edged near and gasped with horror and revulsion when she saw that a weed had dared enter her pretty little garden.

Lissy lurched forward clawing at the weed, unintentionally crushing some of the delicate flower stems beneath her knees. Sitting back on her haunches with a spindly mass of dirt and weed in her fist, angry tears welled in her eyes and spilled down her cheeks onto the soil as she looked at the broken flowers before her. Once she had cried herself out, she carried herself back to the house, forgetting to water her garden. She stomped past her father without a word and headed straight to her room where she stayed all night, much to his disappointment.

The next day Lissy returned to her garden, still sullen about the weed and broken flowers, only to find that some of her lovely stems had withered in the very spot where her salty tears had dampened the earth. She flung herself to the ground, more angry than the day before, crushing yet more flowers beneath her. As she lay there weeping at her losses, she saw that there were more weeds among the base of her plantings.

Lissy crawled through and over her plants, yanking out the weeds that sprouted insistently;she paid no heed to the tiny patch of buds that had begun to open and blossom. All Lissy could see were the weeds and the flattened flower bed that lay drying beneath the hot sun without benefit of the water that Lissy forgot to bring in her distraction.

And so it went for days and weeks: Lissy would storm out to the garden ripping and yanking at the weeds, crying out at the injustice of it all, seething with anger and resentment. It seemed to her that the harder she tried to rid the garden of the encroaching weeds, the more they grew – as if the weeds thrived on her anger and tears and grew just to spite her.

Most of the plants lay as broken, dried husks, barely discernible from the gray and thirsty soil. She’d all but forgotten the flowers that she had originally envisioned and her reasons for growing the garden in the first place. In a final fit of anger, she threw down her tools and abandoned her garden, leaving it to the elements.

Lissy came to resent anything that bloomed – as if the flowers burst open in glorious colors just to mock her. Worst of all, she became bitter towards her father, blaming him for her failure; surely, if he didn’t like beautiful flowers, then she wouldn’t have tried so hard and failed. Surely, he must think less of her because of it.

She would look away when she had to walk near her garden; she felt it stood as a monument to her failure. Lissy even closed her curtains, refusing to look outside, lest she feel the sharp painful reminder of the garden she once cared for and nurtured – a loving gift for her father.

It was a dark and heavy time for Lissy and her father. It hurt him to see her so disheartened; her pain was his pain, too. It seemed her sadness and anger were as contagious as her joy had been.

That’s it. There is nothing more to the story, today.

Perhaps tomorrow Lissy will look out her window or peek as she walks by the garden; perhaps she’ll see the patch of pretty flowers growing there directly beneath her window sill.

Maybe tomorrow Lissy will come to know what her father knew all along: the soil is fertile and the seed is strong and Lissy will eventually grow an incomparable garden if she picks up the tools he gave her and tends her garden with the joy she once did. And the weeds? Well, the weeds will come uninvited. Get over it.

(Special thanks to Betsy for her eagle eye editing. It is a better story because of you.)

The Trip

“Hello you. How was your trip?” he asked her as she entered.

“Fun. Marvelous. Interesting. It was everything you said it would be,” she beamed as she dashed in. “Still, it’s good to be back,” she added and wrapped herself around him.

He chuckled as he drew her close, “It’s good to have you back.”

“Ummmhmm,” she purred as she wallowed in his loving embrace. “Next time we should go together.”

“We’ll have to plan that. So, tell me all about it. Did you get to do everything we talked about?”

“Yup. I sure did,” she told him excitedly. “Some things more than once!”

“Food?” he asked.

“Yum!” she exclaimed.

“Dancing?” he queried.

“Oh, I danced until I dropped from exhaustion,” she told him, giggling.


She flushed. “Well, sure. There was plenty of opportunity for that,” she laughed. “It would have been better with you there, though.”

He flexed and squeezed her.

She sighed a bit, “It’s…it’s…just so hard to get close to anyone, you know?”

“I know. It’s such a short time. It seems like you just get there and get the hang of things and it’s time to come home.”

“There is that, but…,” she paused as she pressed into him, simply luxuriating in the feel of him.

“But? He asked as he held and stroked her.

She drew back a moment as she collected her thoughts, “I just don’t see how anyone can ever get close to anyone else, there. Things get in the way.”

“Things,” he repeated as he considered what she was saying. “Ah,” he said as he pulled her back to him, “You mean the bodies.”

She felt herself happily, blissfully melting into him, “Exactly. You can’t do this with bodies. They just get in the way.”

Pickpockets and Loose Women

I saw the sign posted on the wall. Right there, in big black letters, courtesy of the New Orleans Police Department, “Beware Pickpockets and Loose Women.” I’d seen them before – those vintage, tin replicas that fill the novelty stores. They hang on the wall right along side T-shirts, alligators heads and feather boas. They used to actually post those signs for the tourists, way back in the day. Our boys-in-blue must have thought the visitors would mistake Bourbon Street for Saint Louis Cathedral.

Not me, though. I prefer the narrow streets in the French Quarter filled with warm, living bodies and the muggy air that vibrates with the carefree laughter, music and song that spills out of the clubs. Certainly, I find it more appealing than the cold, sterile echo of a church. Besides, even on the sidewalks you’ll hear “amens” and “hallelujahs” shouted when women suddenly rip off their tops to flash their tits for the cheap plastic beads that are tossed from the balconies. I’ve heard more than one, “Thank you, God,” after some sweet young thing set her puppies free; It might have been me who said it.

Sometimes, the crowd makes bets on which will hit the ground first – the beads, the drunk tossing the beads from the balcony or the happily buzzed woman showing off her goods for an always-appreciative audience. Other times, the money is on which is cheaper and has more plastic – the beads or the babes.

That’s what I was doing when the strawberry-blonde tart sidled up next to me. I had five dollars on the thirty-something brunette; there’s no way that real boobs are that big and that perky.

I thought Blondie was just getting friendly when she slid her hand into my front pants pocket. She was. She got real friendly right before she took off down the street with my credit card. I forgot that I put it there instead of in my wallet after I paid to park in the garage that advertised, “Discount Parking. $10.”

Sure, I got suspicious when her overt friendliness turned into a quick departure; but it was the need to adjust after her skillful attention that gave it away. I had to laugh when I realized what happened right there beneath that damned tin warning sign. I could have just called in, reported the card stolen and had a replacement by the next day. I could have, but I didn’t. Instead, I decided to follow her to see where she planned on spending my money.

She had taken off and turned down a less busy side street; I saw that reddish-gold head of hair just as she slipped into a shop door. The gilded lettering on the glass indicated that it was, “Miss Vicky’s,” just one of a dozen other costume and lingerie shops in the area. I waited outside for a good ten minutes before I went in. I wanted her to have enough time to pick out a few items before I confronted her.

The clerk didn’t bother to stop me as I walked right past her to the back dressing area; she was too busy talking on her cell phone. I pulled back the curtain just as Blondie was pulling up the stockings and hooking them to the lace garter belt that was going to cost me forty bucks, according to the tag that was dangling from it.

My blonde pickpocket didn’t seem all that surprised as I stood there watching her as she nonchalantly slip on a matching lace bra. She did eye me suspiciously when I told her that if she wanted to go shopping for lingerie, she should have just said so. I also let her know that she almost got away with it and would have, too, if she hadn’t been so thorough.

She just smiled slyly as she pressed her body against me crushing those lace covered tits against my chest. Then she brushed those soft lips along my neck and I felt her warm breath on my ear as she whispered, “bad girls always get caught.”

Maybe that was her plan all along. Crafty girls – those are the ones you have to watch out for. Where’s that warning sign?