The stairs seemed to stretch forever to a boy of five. He didn’t know where they led, but he knew he wanted to find out. Looking back over his shoulder to make sure he wasn’t being followed, he started to climb.
As he climbed, he noticed the way the sun filtered through the trees and onto the ground. He hopped between little patches of light as he made his way up the steps. He counted each piece of wood at the edge of each stair as he went up.
“One, two, three,” he counted. “Four, five, six.” He stopped counting and stood and looked up at the seemingly endless stairs. Only being able to count to ten, he was forced to start counting over once he reached that stair.
As he neared the top, he thought he heard someone calling his name from the bottom. He looked back but because the stairs curved, he couldn’t see anyone. Shrugging his shoulders, he finished climbing.
At the top, he looked around. It was a beautiful garden. Why was it here? Who had put it here? He walked slowly through the flowers trying to name each as he passed them. His grandmother loved flowers and she had taught him all about them.
He turned from his study of a strange coloured flower when he heard his name called. There was no mistaking it this time, someone was looking for him. He debated for a few seconds about hiding and not letting whoever it was know he was here, but he couldn’t do that.
“I’m over here,” he called to the unseen person. He knew from the voice it was his favourite uncle.
“There you are. Everyone has been looking for you. What are you doing way up here?”
Smiling, he ran over to him and launched into what he found.
“Look, look at these flowers! Why is this here?” he asked innocently.
The man looked around. He hadn’t been here in years. Taking a deep breath, he tried to explain why this garden was here.
“Years ago, way before you were born, there was a fight between some really bad wizards and the good wizards. This garden was made for them.” The man looked down at the boy. He hoped his simple explanation would be enough. The boy’s next words made him realise children tended to know more than they were given credit for.
“That is when Uncle Fred died, isn’t it?” he asked.
“Yes, but not only him.” The man looked around. “This Memorial Garden was made to honour all of them.”
Smiling the smile of a sweet innocent child, James reached up and took his Uncle George’s hand in his. “Uncle George, I think Uncle Fred is here. Look at this flower, it shouldn’t be this colour. Uncle Fred did that.”
George smiled down at his nephew. He looked at the flower and had to admit, a bright yellow and bright red flower was not normal. Maybe Fred had been here.