The Garden of Fragile Things is a literary dark tale that chronicles four boys’ coming of age against paranormal forces that operate between two worlds.
Richard J. O'Brien was born in Camden, New Jersey. He served the army, attended Rutgers University, and worked a variety of jobs before attending graduate school. In 2012, he received his MFA in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Currently, the author lives in Pennsylvania and teaches English composition at Mercer County Community College, Rowan College at Gloucester County, and others.
Then one day when she was reading one of her books
on gardening she just remembered that her husband Henry had a laboratory in
their basement. Rachel decided that one night when her husband was doing
one of his experiments she would peek her head through the doorway and watch
what he was doing. Rachel quietly walked down the basement and slowly
opened the door just enough to see what her husband was doing. Rachel
didn't want him to know she was watching him because he didn't like to be
disturbed when he's working on his experiments. Rachel was getting more
frustrated because she didn't see him working on any experiments on
Just as Rachel was slowly shutting the door she
noticed he went over to another table and brought a flower that was in a pot
and placed it on the table. This got Rachel excited. She slowly opened
the door just enough not to be noticed. Henry opened a blue bottle and
placed a few drops of the solution on the flower and sure enough the flower got
larger and more beautiful than ever. Rachel shut the door and scurried
off to their bedroom and pretended she was asleep.
"Next time we spend the night with grandma,
maybe we can sneak out of bed and see if she has any old creepy books in her
attic. If she does we can give them to
our father to read to us instead of those boring stories he's been reading over
and over for the past several years!" exclaimed Susan. "Tonight we'll
ask him if he'll let us spend the night at grandma's house this weekend. I'm
sure he'll say yes," said Billy.
Night finally arrived. Billy and Susan asked their
father if they could spend the night with their grandma tomorrow. Their father
said, "I don't see why that would be a problem because your mother and I
were planning a weekend trip." Billy and Susan were happy that their
father was going to let them spend the night with their grandma. Billy said,
"I really hope grandma has a spooky book in her attic." "I hope
so too," replied Susan. "Let's get some sleep," said Billy.
Johnny’s big sister Betty would tease him about his
comic book on a daily basis, and say things like, "Johnny if you don't
stop reading those stupid comic books the boogeyman is going to get you."
She would come in his room and yank the comic book
out of his hands and throw it across the room. The more his sister tormented
him, the more anger for his sister was mounting.
Finally one night as he was reading about the boogeyman
his sister yanked the comic book out of his hands and started tearing the pages
out of the comic book. She said as she was laughing "Sorry, Johnny, but
it's for your own good."
Johnny replied, "I wish you were dead."
Betty said as she was laughing hysterically
"What are you going to do, sick the boogeyman on me?"
"You wait and see," replied Johnny in an
Betty said "Grow up you stupid little
twerp," as she slammed the door behind her.
Johnny got out of his bed and spent the remainder of
the night taping the boogeyman comic book pages back together on his desk by
the bedroom window as tears flowed down his cheeks. Johnny closed his eyes and
said "If there really is a boogeyman, come out of the closet. I want to
show you to my sister so she’ll stop teasing me about your existence?"
A couple minutes later as Johnny was drifting in and
out of sleep, a light was peering beneath the closet doors with a low lying fog
pouring out beneath the closet doors.
A voice called out to Johnny and said "Johnny
it's the boogeyman."
Johnny raised his head off his desk and jumped out
of his chair and fell to the floor. The doors of the closet flung wide open and
there stood a dark figure over six feet tall with blazing red eyes and a
sinister voice calling out to Johnny.
Kevin told himself the next time that he had this
dream he would try to remember more details about the dream and write them down
on paper hoping to solve this horrifying puzzle. By doing this might even find
the location of the cemetery so he could face this horrifying dream head on and
get his life back to normal. Before Kevin went to bed he drank a glass of
wine in hopes this would calm his nerves, so when he was dreaming this horrible
dream he would feel not so scared and more in focus of his surroundings.
Just before Kevin went to bed he knelt down at the side of his bed and said a
little prayer before he closed his eyes and started dreaming.
Kevin's preparation before the dream started to pay
off for him in a big way. After careful analysis of his dream in the morning,
Kevin was able to find out the name of the cemetery. The name he was able to
come up with was called Koimeterion Gates, but Kevin could not make out the
other two words because they were partially covered in dirt. There were
enough words on the sign to pinpoint the location of the cemetery. The cemetery
was located about fifty miles south from where Kevin currently lives. Kevin
decided to wait until the next day to search for the cemetery because the
weather forecast didn't show a cloud in the sky. Kevin decided since the
weather was so nice he wouldn't start his drive until around 3 pm and arrive by
4 pm which gave him four hours to do some investigating before the sun went
down. Kevin left the house a little
before 3 pm because he had to stop by the gas station to get some gas in his
car and eat a sandwich on the way there to the cemetery.
As Kevin was pumping gas in his car he looked up at
the sky, closing his eyes and feeling the warmth from the sun on his
face. Kevin was so excited he ran in the gas station and got his sandwich
and drink. Kevin told the cashier "man it sure is a beautiful day out,
isn't it." The cashier replied "it sure is, but I'm here all night. What
a bummer." "Well I must be going. I want to get an early start before
the sun goes down, said Kevin."
Kevin got in his car and headed for the Koimeterion
Gates to put an end to his horrid dream. Kevin had no idea this dream was about
to become a reality and be his last dream he would ever dream again. Kevin really wasn't such a perfect guy like
his friends all thought he was. He would go to church every Sunday like all the
other Christians would but when Monday came his sins would take hold of him.
Maybe because he was deep in sin is why he was having such a horrible
dream. Kevin's car finally pulled up to the Koimeterion Gates which was
going to be his final destination and there was no turning back.
children got a little older their fear of fairies seem to fade. One day
the children got the courage up to take a trip to the fairies fort to put their
fears to rest about these evil fairy tales their parent's told them when
they were too young to distinguish between fantasy and reality. Seamus was
the older of the three children and the bravest so it was evident that he would
be the one to lead them through the evil fairies fort. Aine was the youngest and the
most frightened but she knew her older brothers would take good care to
not let anything harm her. The children proceeded to sneak out of the
house when their mother Sophie stopped them dead in their tracks and said
"Where do you children think you're going." The children replied
"to ride our bikes through the trails and we'll make sure we get
back before sundown." The mother said "please be careful and you
better all be back for dinner." Seamus said "Don't worry Mum we'll be
right on time for dinner that's a promise." "Ok, now hurry along,
I've made cookies and hot apple pie for dessert said Sophie." The children got on their bikes and peddled
into the woods and waited for their mother to go inside the house. Seamus said
"think the coast is clear." So, they quietly pushed their bikes
back out of the woods to the side of their house and one by one slowly
rode their bikes to the street and took off as fast as they could
pedal down the road to the evil fairies fort.
Finally, after about an hour of riding down the road
they reached their destiny, the evil fairies fort. "There really is
such a place said Niall. Look at this place, it is really creepy looking, I
wouldn't want to live here said Aine." "Well since we're here
who wants to go in first said Seamus." "I do, said Niall." Niall
entered into the fort and immediately felt like he was being watched by someone
other than his sister and brother. "Is anyone feeling what I'm
feeling right now said Niall." Aine and Seamus laughed at
Niall."All I feel is a cool breeze, nothing unusual said
Seamus."Aine said "Niall don't talk like that, you know I
scare very easily." "No, I'm not kidding I really felt like
someone is watching me, said Niall." "I want to go home said
Aine." "Oh, it's probably nothing let's just stick close
together and not separate from one another said Seamus." Seamus said
"I don't believe this is really a fairies fort." Seamus found a metal
pipe, started shouting and swinging his metal
pipe with great force, desecrating the evil fairies fort. Seamus was in for a big surprise, each swing
of the metal pipe against the fort just angered the fairies even more. The
fairies seen enough and it was time to teach these kids a lesson that will be
"Darling I can't wait to start decorating the
plantation. I think I'll go into town and go through the archives during the
Civil War period and go to the antique stores in town and keep the look of the
plantation as though time had stopped said Mrs. Knoll.” "That sounds like a good idea. While
you’re in town I'm going to finish up the paper work here and then take a
stroll through the battlefield. As soon
as morning arrives I'll try to get other Civil War buffs to get together and
hold a reenactment on the battlefield to bring in more money for the town said
Mr. Knoll.” Mrs. Knoll didn't realize that fixing up the plantation would
really be a bad idea since whenever anyone does renovations to an old home if
there are ghosts present this angers them and sometimes there are fatal
consequences by doing this. As for Mr. Knoll having reenactments on a
battlefield where thousands of Civil War soldiers lost their lives is a bad
idea as well. The reenactment will only summon up an army of the dead that will
have grave consequences for the living. Mrs. Knoll's decorating of the
Clanton plantation was going as planned until she had one of the walls knocked
down to have a more open area for her guests. Knocking down the wall just
angered the ghosts and that's when all hell broke loose. Doors started opening
and closing on their own, lights would flicker on and off on their own, pots
and pans would fly across the kitchen. Also, if someone was in a room a figure
would pass by the doorway and when someone would call out to the figure they
would get no response. As soon as the reenactments started at the battlefield
the actors soon came face to face with Union and Confederate soldiers that had
been dead for over one hundred years.
Count Drac Von Stoller recalled the happy years when
he had a beautiful wife named Marie. However, an unfortunate illness took her
at such a young age. The Count never fully recovered from her death. Now the
Count spends his lonely days inside his castle thinking of his beautiful wife
Marie and stares at her portrait on the wall in the study, talking directly at
the painting as though she can hear what he's saying.
One night when the Count was reading a book on
ghosts, he caught a glimpse of something in the corner of his eye that
frightened the willies out of him. It was a black cat with blazing red eyes.
The Count brushed it off as just his mind playing tricks on him. The cat leaped
from the window sill onto the ground, and headed to the front door of the
"Well, if it's not true,
then why don't all of us camp out tonight at the ghost town and put these old
stories to rest once and for all?" I replied. I told John that I would get
my tent and some blankets. Karen volunteered to bring some food and
flashlights, and John said he would bring some firewood, beer, and his guitar.
I decided we would all ride together in my car. Everyone was excited about telling
our friends at school all about our spooky tales when we got back, but little
did we know that there would be no tales to tell because we would never be
heard from again.
As we were driving down the
dusty, country road John was strumming on his guitar as we all sang along
joyfully. We were having the time of our lives just being together because we
were such great friends. Just up ahead of us was a man in the middle of the
road on a horse.
"Slow down!" Karen
exclaimed. I immediately slammed on my
brakes. John doesn't scare easily, but this man on the horse in the middle of
this dark, deserted road gave John the willies. The closer we got to the
mounted figure the more frightened we all became, but we just kept driving. We
blamed it on the beer we were drinking and proceeded to the old ghost town. We
just couldn't face all of our friends the next day and say we were too scared
to camp out there. We would be the laughing stock of the school, so we
As we approached the entrance to
the town the car stalled. We were definitely not going to walk back home since
it was too far and we didn't want to end up running for our lives from that
mysterious man on the horse. So, we gathered our belongings and crossed through
the entrance. We turned our flashlights on and looked for a safe place to camp
for the night.
"Where did that man on the
horse go?" Karen asked as we walked.
"Who knows and who
cares," John quickly replied.
All of a sudden the mounted
figured appeared and charged full steam ahead in our direction. His eyes were
as red as fire. We all froze in our tracks. He rode right through us as if we
were the ghosts. It was enough to turn any skeptic into a believer. I told
everyone to get our cell phones out and call our parents to come pick us up,
but none of our phones would get a signal.
"Well it looks like we're
stuck here for the night," John said, "we may as well make the best
"This looks like a good
place to pitch a tent--right next to the saloon and bank." I replied. John
placed the firewood on the ground and tried to get the fire started while Karen
and I got the tent set up. We all gathered around the campfire to keep warm and
sang a few songs to try to lighten the mood. Karen decided after awhile that we
should tell some stories about the old ghost town.
"All right, who wants to
tell their story first?" Karen asked excitedly.
All of a sudden, an overwhelming feeling of panic
took over my whole sense of being. I dared not look back, for if I did, it may
have been the end. My cabin was just in sight when rain suddenly came pouring
down, drenching my clothes. I feared for my life and did my best to muster up
enough energy to reach my cabin. Hoping whatever evil lurking behind me
wouldn’t take me from this world I loved so dearly, I yelled. I just knew
someone would hear my cries for help. Unfortunately, no one answered, and I was
losing my footing on the muddy ground.