When the Grass is Greener
The doors were locked. Who was she kidding? They were always locked. The scrolling vine pattern carved into the heavy teak and polished to a gleam worked on Della like a sort of magic, tempting her to see what was hidden behind.
Her lackluster and dismal world sprawled gray; its most alluring scenery consisted of cinder block buildings, cracked sidewalks riddled with dead weeds, and trash rolling through the streets. The murky sky frowned upon the earth, making Della certain even the heavens disapproved.
She took one last look over her shoulder then reached a tentative hand to the door. With the barest hint of pressure, she laid her palm on the warm wood. Tension coiled in her stomach like an agitated snake, ready to pounce, but she couldn’t resist.
She, like all the others, walked past this door day in and day out, but it was as if no one else could see it. No one ever glanced at it, their shoulders slumped, eyes on the fissures in the pavement. Della wondered if they couldn’t see it or if they just didn’t care.
She leaned in to smell the lacquer, the heavy scent of real wood, and . . . something else. She didn’t know what carried that delicate fragrance. She had no word for it. With her nose an inch away from it, a faint click tickled her ears.
Frozen, unable to breath, she watched with eyes wide as the door swung inward. Slow and smooth, the dark teak door exhaled a breeze of cool, fresh air, caressing her skin. Her eyes slid shut for half a second as her shoulders relaxed.
Her senses, she was sure, deceived her. Before her emerged a garden–what she thought must be a garden–blindingly green, fragrant, and vibrating with life .
Della stepped over the threshold, enamored by the little flitting birds and a tiny, fuzzy yellow and black thing, buzzing haphazardly from one perfect pink doodad to another.
“Have I died?”
A soft-looking animal with long ears and a bushy little tail hopped out of a gorgeous, healthy shrub and wiggled its nose before hopping off down a winding path lined with pretty stones.
A smile broke across Della’s face as she tiptoed after the sweet creature. She couldn’t resist a look back at where she’d come from, but the door was gone.
She stopped and turned in a circle. Garden, hills of green, and blue skies littered with perfect puffy white clouds filled every part of her vision. No door, no intricate carvings.
“What is this place?”
*** *** ***
The sun hung low on the horizon, a dull yellow hue. A man stood on the dreary street and grinned at the ivy-carved door. “All that glitters is not gold, my dear.”
Tipping his hat at a jaunty angle, he swung his cane and whistled, walking away without a second glance.
Okay I was totally pushing it this week, getting a story written. I’m always interested in old sayings that have been around for forever. Do we really know where they originated from, or is it just best guessing when people give history to these phrases?