Eight-year-old Katie looked up from her coloring book when she heard her parents’ angry voices. This made her sad. Her parents were fighting more often lately, and she didn’t know why. She felt very uncomfortable. Slowly she closed her book and put her crayons away. She knew exactly what to do.
On days like this Katie visited her secret place. She called it her Secret Garden. She didn’t need to go very far. All she needed to do was step outside her front door and she was there! It was that easy! As soon as she entered her Secret Garden the angry voices disappeared.
Katie was an only child. She spent much of her time playing alone or with her big gray cat, Whiskers. Her Secret Garden, which was really the front yard of her house was filled with tall trees, bushes, and flower beds. The garden was also hidden from the street. Katie liked this because she felt extra safe and protected.
The most fascinating part of her garden were three trees which stood together in a multi leveled planter. Her mother’s rose garden lined the front walk with a big grassy area for Katie to run around and play. There was also a grassy slope leading down into the garden from the street.
Whenever Katie felt sad, especially when her parents argued she stepped outside her front door and was instantly transported to a happy magical place with Whiskers lurking nearby.
One day, Katie decided to climb the old tree next to her house. Not only did she climb this tree every day, but once she reached the top of its branches she hopped onto the roof of their house! What a view! She could see the whole neighborhood. There was Mr. Swanson who washed his car every Tuesday and Mrs. Green across the street. Katie laughed every time as Mrs. Green hurried out to the car holding her tennis racket as if she had a very important meeting to go to and zoomed off to the tennis club in her fancy BMW. Of course, Katie’s mother didn’t know she climbed onto the roof of their house, and she had no plans to tell her either!
As it happened one day, Katie stood in front of the old tree near the garage door. It had a huge boulder at its base. She was thinking about climbing the tree when suddenly she heard a woman’s voice.
“Katie. You’re going to fall.” The voice said.
Katie whirled around expecting to see her mother standing behind her but there was no one there. She looked left and right. No one was there. Where did the voice come from? Soon she decided it was her imagination and chose to ignore it.
She approached the tree and began her climb. Katie stepped on top of the boulder while placing her left hand on the tree’s familiar branches. She then grabbed the second branch firmly with her right hand. When she was halfway up the tree, it happened. Her foot slipped and to her horror she toppled over backwards, falling headfirst towards the ground and the boulder at the base of the tree!
Miraculously, her foot became wedged inside the trees’ branches stopping her fall. She quickly pulled herself upright and jumped down from the tree. She ran inside the house to tell her mother who was busy preparing dinner before her father arrived home from work.
Her mom was so preoccupied, without looking at Katie her only reply, in an irritated sort of way was, “Katie, I’ve told you a dozen times to be careful. Wash your hands for dinner. Your father will be home soon.” Katie was crushed. It was obvious her mother didn’t believe her about the woman’s voice, or she didn’t care.
She ran outside into the garden. She was so scared. What happened? She was so sure she heard a voice. Katie leaned against one of the three trees and cried. Katie knew if she could tell Whiskers and the garden about her mysterious adventure, they would believe her.
After a while, Katie seemed to understand Moms and Dads have grown up worries but kids, have worries too. Katie decided being a grown up was just as hard as being a kid.
That night as Katie lay in bed. Her eyelids grew heavy. They briefly fluttered open again when she felt Whiskers crawl underneath the covers as he always did and settling near the bottom of her feet. Katie smiled feeling light and peaceful.
As Katie fell into a deep sleep, she heard a woman’s voice whisper in her ear.
“Katie, everything will be fine. Go to sleep.”
And she did.
About the Creator
Hi there! I’m a fiction writer. Written all my life. Want to inspire if I can. Living on a guest horse ranch in Baja California, Mexico. Married to a Mexican Cowboy!