• Published 22nd May 2022
  • 185 Views, 7 Comments

Paradise in Limbo - Undome Tinwe

In Limbo, a Gardener cultivates a place of peace for a Lost Princess.

  • ...

The Ambitious

"I spoke with the Conqueror again."

The Gardener raised an eyebrow. "Oh? Does he still think he can escape from this realm without help?"

"He's too proud to consider any other possibility." The Lost Princess rolled her eyes as she gently placed a sapling into the small hole she had dug in the soil. They both knew that the Gardener could simply will whatever plants she desired into being, but they also both understood that beauty was as much a journey as it was a destination.

And so, they continued the planting as the Gardener spoke. "What amuses me most is that escape may very well be possible, if only he were willing to work with others. I do not know what happened in their past life, but I have seen him with the Wayward Child and the Deceiver, and if they did not hate each other so, they would be very powerful together, if the strength of their bond is any indication."

The Lost Princess shivered. "I do not understand how you can stand in the presence of the Deceiver. Her very essence is repugnant to me."

"All creatures hold some desire for peace in their heart," the Gardener replied. She willed the next sapling into existence, a cherry blossom that would one day rain lovely pink leaves from its boughs. "Though I will admit that those three hide it a little too well."

"I wish I could help the Wayward Child, but she is so full of malice that it has poisoned her soul." The Lost Princess sighed as she dug the next hole. "Perhaps I will manage it eventually. After all, we have Eternity here."

"Oh? Do you not believe that escape is possible for you?" The Gardener asked, curiosity piqued.

The Lost Princess let out a resigned sigh. "No," she said. "I can sense that my tether to the other world is shattered. However I was imprisoned, the key is now lost, and so I shall wander this place forever. I wonder if it was done on purpose, sometimes."

The Gardener nodded. She knew the Lost Princess recalled even less of her old life than was usual. "I'm sorry," she said simply.

A shrug from the Lost Princess. "It's not so bad when there is good company to be had," she said, smiling at the Gardener. "How about you? Will some hero or heroine one day spirit you away from your garden?"

Shaking her head, the Gardener returned to her planting as she explained. "I think... I think that would be very bad. As you can sense your tether to the world, so can I sense mine to the Pony of Shadows who haunts this realm, and I know my imprisonment is the key to his lock, somehow, so I cannot be rescued. I sometimes wonder if I gave myself willingly, or if I was sacrificed for a greater good."

"You're a good person," the Lost Princess said. "I like to think that you were valiant in your final moments."

"It's a pleasant thought," the Gardener replied.

"Pleasant thoughts for pleasant company." The Lost Princess hummed to herself as she helped cover the roots of the sapling in soil. "The Conqueror would do well to spend some time here."

"He is too ambitious to simply dwell in this garden." Dig, plant, cover. Dig, plant, cover. They were moving in a soothing rhythm now. "Such a shame. I sometimes wonder if I was that restless in life. I think I was an adventurer, before."

"And I was a leader of some sort," The Lost Princess replied. "Both positions which are prone to desires of grandeur. Perhaps I was struck down for my hubris, and that is why I am here to help you with this garden now. I could think of worse fates."

"I do appreciate having the time to tend to my plants now," the Gardener said, touching a hoof to one of the dahlias to make it bloom. "Let others have their ambition. I will take my peace instead."

"And I am happy to partake in your peace when I can." Glancing at her for permissions, The Lost Princess plucked the dahlia from the ground after the Gardener nodded in assent. She stared at its beauty for some time before releasing it and allowing it to fade away, returning to the Aether from which it came. "It is a good distraction from my endless search. Perhaps that is the curse of my own ambition, to believe that I could find the truth of my past in this realm beyond time."

"The fog of ignorance is difficult to accept," the Gardener said, touching her hoof to the ground to grow a new flower in place of the old one. In time, it would blossom into a rose, with bright red petals that would glisten in the light of the ethereal sun. "I cannot blame you for wishing to glimpse beyond it."

"At least my ambition is tempered with the peace of this garden." The Lost Princess stroked the leaves of a fern as she smiled softly. "Thank you for that, Gardener. I would not want to end up like some of the others who wander here."

"It is my pleasure," the Gardener replied with her own smile. "You bring joy to my contentment, and that is all I desire for now."

With that, they returned to the simple joy of tending the land, satisfied with what they had as they waited to see what the next change would bring.