Jasper was the type to find trouble just by opening his eyes. It is for that reason his parents never liked the idea of him becoming a traveler. They knew just as well, however, that Jasper’s luck never held him back.
The day’s adventure started off in a valley in a region known for its hot, dusty weather. The land was mostly dirt and browning trees amongst cacti. Yet, somehow, Jasper had found a place brimming with flowers.
It was as though he stepped into a fabled garden. A delicate silver gate separated grime from beauty. Vines grew upon it, flowers with Star-like patterns bloomed from the bright green stems.
Four trees carrying different fruits (apple, orange, banana, plum) guarded each corner of the garden. Around them were patches of yellow flowers, the kinds whose roots bleed.
The center of the garden held the greatest of discoveries. A single rose grew not from a bush but from a vine like the star-flowers. The petals were a deep red, darker than any Jasper had ever seen.
As Jasper grew closer, he realized, with a touch of his fingers, that the rose was glass.
“Amazing,” Jasper breathed. “You can’t even tell close up.” The petals, though hard, moved with the breeze like any living one would.
Jasper’s eyes dragged down the white column the glass rose was growing around. There were images carved into the rock, stories about the rose preserved for all time.
Reading glasses on, Jasper began to read.
The images first showed the Earth before humanity destroyed the forests and desert had taken over. It was a world Jasper had never seen before, beautiful and bursting with life.
The column’s images showed the destruction of trees. A human knelt before a shining entity, a fairy if the wings were any clue. The human was crying, pointing at the destruction their fellow man had created.
The fairy blessed the human with the glass rose. The human took it, running away and creating an oasis for life.
“Why here?” Jasper asked the glass rose. “If you’re creating this, you could surely be used to save this world.”
“Because of greed,” a voice whispered and Jasper turned towards it. A man stood behind him, young except for his eyes. “What do you think others would do if they knew such power existed?”
Jasper looked the man up and down and then back to the images. “Exactly what you’re doing,” he pointed out. “The rose didn’t only give the plants here life, did it? It gave you life too.”
The man smiled and raised his arms. “So what will you do?” he asked Jasper. “Do you think you can do better?”
Jasper’s nose scrunched in thought. He walked into trouble no matter where he went. Even gardens seemed to be no safe space for him. Unlike his parents, Jasper liked to believe his lack of luck meant something. Maybe he was needed? Maybe the trouble he found himself in, led to something better?
He imagined the world looking just like the garden. People could enjoy the shade of a tree during the warm summers or watch insects as they buzzed around the heads of flowers.
Jasper had grown up only reading about such things but maybe, if he found a way to use the rose, he could make it so the children of tomorrow could actually experience what he hadn’t.
“I’m taking the rose,” Jasper told the man. A scowl slipped over the man’s face. He reached for Jasper but stopped suddenly. His eyes were on the rose.
The glass rose had eased its ones from the white column and was wrapping itself around Jasper. The rose itself found a snug spot behind Jasper’s ear and he couldn’t sworn he heard it say, “thank you.”
The man’s shoulders slumped. “So it has chosen you,” he sighed. “I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.” He turned his back on Jasper and wandered to a plum tree. “Good luck. I hope you are strong enough to become Mother Nature’s hero.”
Jasper pressed his finger tips to the rose petals. It whispered to him and Jasper headed north, surely heading into more trouble. He would meet it head on though, the potential of what could be driving him onward.