“Green Forever, green with me. Green perfection, green be free.”
There was no way out, so sitting cross-legged in the middle of the dirt path had become one of Jason Garrison’s favourite morning rituals. Over the past three months, Jason had trained his legs to hold this position for more than a few seconds, and he was now able to close his eyes, concentrate on improving his breathing, then get up and have enough energy to walk all day. Jason tried to ignore the distinct odour coming from the thick, green hedges on either side of where he sat, instead forcing his mind to think about his bedroom and how warm and comfortable sleeping in his own bed would make him feel. This was only his escape before another day of searching for an exit from the maze he had been stuck in for the past five months.
Following the surprise restaurant dinner his grandparents had hosted for his seventh birthday, they finally gave Jason the nod to be able to open his presents. He pushed himself from his seat and nearly tripped over his own feet while rushing towards the table harbouring the gifts his friends and family had left for him. Gadgets. Clocks. Books. Clothes. All of the usual presents a boy of Jason’s age could expect to receive. Eventually, all that was left was the present wrapped in shiny, green paper. Bits of wrapping paper went flying through the air as Jason clawed his way to the present itself. Inside was a square piece of cardboard with some of the exquisite writing on one side that Jason had ever seen. An invitation to Jason Garrison to connect with me in my maze. Squinting his eyes and bringing his eyebrows closer together, Jason turned the invitation around. In a similar style of handwriting, the words, Green Forever, were written over the top of a picture of an impressive garden maze.
Green with me.
Winding down the window of his grandparents’ car to get a clearer view of the maze as they pulled up in the deserted carpark, Jason was reminded of the year his sister convinced him to ride the ghost train at the local Greenvale show. He calmed down knowing that, on this occasion, his grandparents would be with him and that there were no tracks and nothing for him to be strapped into. Instead, meters upon meters of well-maintained hedges lined the maze walls, the dense greens of their leaves contrasting against the foggy sky. Putting his jumper on was Jason’s priority once the three of them were out of the car and it was fun to pretend that he could breathe out smoke while waiting for his grandparents to organise their belongings. The sounds of their boots on the gravel road were amplified in the silence as they made their way towards the small booth at the maze’s entrance. An elderly gentleman wearing a green, three-piece suit with a white tie grinned from inside the booth as the three of them approached. “Ahhhhh, Jason! Jason! Jason!” the old man exclaimed, revealing the yellow stains on his teeth. “Right. On. Time,” he said, pointing towards Jason with each syllable. Jason looked up at his grandad who motioned for him to hand the man the ticket. The man accepted the ticket without inspecting it and stepped out of the booth, giving away his short figure. “Come!” he yelled as he used his right hand to beckon them to make their way to the entrance of the maze. “Be green with me!”
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My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
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