The Fiction and Poetry of Jason Thibeault

A Garden Grows

Even though Ear-du-roth was as beautiful as he could have ever imagined, even though he was filled with pride and love for his First Children, Yune felt there was something missing. At first, it was just an itch, a little spot in his mind that he kept returning too as he contemplated his existence and the universe, as he looked out across the world that his children had wrought in his name, but soon it grew too great to ignore. And he realized, again, that it was boredom, that he could spend the rest of his days exploring the very fabric of existence but no matter what he might discover, there was nothing more fulfilling than creation. And though he had, in a way, created Ear-du-roth, it was not through this own acts, his own magic, that he had brought the land into existence. And he envied his children for that. Although while he felt a great shame for his jealousy, he did not deter his desire: to create something of his own.

He allowed his essence to fill Ear-du-roth, to seep into every space and every substance. He could feel where his children had touched it, feel where they had given rise to the plants and flowers, feel where their violence had brought up the mountains, feel where their love, their creativity, their curiosity, and even their malice, had shaped the world with land and sea and air, with hot deserts and frigid mountain passes. Still, Yune seeped deeper, so deep that he felt the world itself, felt it writhing and pulsing with life. He did not know how long he stayed there in the heart of Ear-du-roth exploring every aspect of the world his children had created in his name. But soon, he grew restless again and he remembered what had drawn him into the land in the first place: that desire to create something with his own magic.

So Yune rose up through the layers of Ear-du-roth, through each strata and rock, drawing his essence that he had spread throughout the land back into himself. And even though he felt the pang of pulling away from the seas and the trees and the air, he was filled with a profound sense of purpose. He knew what he wanted to create. And as he rose from within the land, he reached out with his magic, let it flow from his heart and his head to build a garden. He filled the garden with everything he had experienced across Ear-du-roth, the best of everything, the brightest flowers, the deepest greens, the most sparkling rivers, and, at its center, the most magnificent tree, the Great Tree, Yalen-bon-afkan. It stretched into the air, almost touching the very clouds themselves. Its canopy spread out across the garden just as its roots dug deep into the land, to the very heart of the world itself. The branches were thick, the leaves like emeralds, and the bark smooth tender.

But Yune was not done with just the garden itself. He knew that he needed to put something in it. He knew that the desire to create extended to more than just an extension of the land. He remembered how he felt when he brought the First Children into being, how filled with joy he was, how filled with purpose had had felt. But while he was connected to the heart of Ear-du-roth, he had reflected much on that moment of creation and realized that while he truly and deeply loved his First Children, he knew that they lacked something: substance. He had made the First Children like he was, formless and shapeless but filled with magic, but not like he had wanted to be. Intertwined with the physical elements of the world they had built, he recognized that he wanted to create something in the image of how he wanted to be. He wanted to be able to stand upon the land, to feel it physically and not just within his heart, to touch the rocks and the plants.

And so that itch, no longer an itch, was now a hole in his heart. His desire to create wasn’t satisfied with the garden. It was only fueled by it. He needed to fill that hole and the only thing that would do that was to bring into existence other beings that could walk upon the land, that could experience Ear-du-roth in a way he could not, that could tell him what it was like to stand upon the land and swim in the water.

So he created his Second Children and he named them he-um-nan.