I came up with this prompt, accompanied by this picture for Writer Zen Garden on Facebook. Not only did I have one response to it, but four. The image of four different characters, each thinking, imagining, or locked in their private visions in this garden came to me. This is the perspective of one of those characters.
There was little enough inspiration to be found in the garden. Not for his little brothers. Not anymore.
Leiwell ached to see them, toiling in the hot sun, surrounded by suspicious faces. True, Danyell and Dayell didn’t have to work as hard as they had, now there were so many additional pairs of hands. Those hands could hurt, as well as help. The twins were no longer safe from them, alone with their own dreams, shielded by a wall of shadows.
Only Danyell and Dayell hadn’t been shielded. The shadows had proven as perilous to Leiwell’s little brothers as they’d been to any outsiders who approached their garden sanctuary. This was why Leiwell had released the barrier, allowing the world in.
“Are they truly safer?” Happily Ever After asked. His pupils no longer shimmered with different colors, since he no longer devoured other people’s dreams. His eyes were clearer, more like a human boy’s. Indeed, he looked only too much a human boy, as he stood, studying his faded velvet trousers with a troubled expression. “Look at your new neighbors, Leiwell. Take a truly good look at them.”
*I am,* Leiwell thought, glancing out of the corner of his eye at the other villagers, picking vegetables and flowers. None of them seemed to notice Happily Ever After. For that matter, none of them seemed to notice Leiwell. He must have drifted into a space between shadows and reality. Most people had to find a door, or a strong ghost of a memory to drift out of the here and now, but Leiwell didn’t need to. Perhaps it came from feeding his flesh, blood, and dreams to shadows every night. Leiwell could literally transform into a ghost at times, stepping into the many layers of this garden, which existed in different realities and dreamworlds. Not even Dayell could spot him here. Not that Dayell didn’t have plenty of other things to occupy his all too keen halfling eyesight.
Here's where the word count is about to be exceeded. Let me know if you'd be interested in reading more! I'm polishing up two rough drafts of books involving these characters, which I hope to publish; 'Stealing Himself From Shadows' and 'The Hand and the Eye of the Tower'. I'm going to be working on a sequel to these books during NaNoWriMo, 'A Godling for Your Thoughts?'