The Kingdom

First published in Cloudbank 14, July 2020. Copyright 2020 by Tetman Callis.

            His garden was his kingdom. Night and day he could be found there. He put a white plastic lawn chair in the center of the garden and sat there through the winter, wrapped in blankets. His wife brought him hot tea and sesame cakes, dried figs and mulled wine. In the spring she brought him seeds piled high on trays. He sat in his plastic chair and cast the seeds into the garden all around him. In the night he dreamed the seeds had awakened, their life reaching up out of the ground. His wife watched from the window of their kitchen. When the crop was high and ripe and she could no longer see her husband in his chair, she took the sickle and harvested the garden. At the end of autumn, she took a new husband, as she had done every year, and she showed him his kingdom.