Night Gardening

Every day on her walk to work, Esther passed a bare little patch of land.

It had, at one point, been a building. Or at an outbuilding. A shed, really, for a nearby business to store its goods. The business was bought by a larger business, and the shed was broken down, with plans to clear it away and turn the bare patch of land into more parking.

The larger business was built by an even larger business, and in the deal, the patch of land was forgotten.

The mix of gravel and chunks of rotting shed meant the land was a barren, soulless plot between a large multinational chain and the tenements of its employees. And every day, as Esther walked by on her way to a marginally better workplace, she felt sad that this patch was so dull.

And so it was that one late night she found herself pushing debris to the side, or repurposing it into vaguely square-ish beds. She had four large bags of soil, purchased from the nearby multinational chain for a very good price, which she spread into her newly-created beds. She then took the plants that were on sale and set them in their new homes, creating attractive rows of flowers, or at least as attractive as she could create in the darkness.

One police car drove past, and she tried to appear as though she was just passing by, looking nondescript. The officer didn’t stop, and when he was out of sight, she returned to her gardening.

The next morning, on her way to work, she smiled at the neat little garden she had created. Already she could see some changes she’d like to make, and a few weeds were poking up, but the garden cheered her, and she saw a few smiles on other faces she passed, as well.

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