Lilith had a daughter. She was the only thing that she loved-in her own way. Lily-Ann avoided her mother for the most part. She couldn't stand the way her mother threw parties for her to meet boys. Anyone that was invited to meet her made her cringe.
Lily-Ann would sneak out of these parties and go down to the library and read about botany. Lily-Ann loved plants and gardens. Her mother hated them and told her so.
She didn't care what her mother thought. Lilith announced to her that she had found the perfect suitor for her and that he would be coming over for dinner. Lily-Ann didn't argue with her but rolled her eyes when she left the room. She sighed. Why does mother do this? I will hate him. I'm not going to go to any dinner.
Lily-Ann went to her closet and pulled out a dress that resembled something out of the fifties. It had a form fitting bodice and flare skirt. It was cream with bright red roses on it. She also grabbed her black army boots.
Her black fish net stockings were a bit ripped but didn't matter as Lily-Ann pulled them on. She did her makeup with bright red lipstick and smoky eyes. Lilith tried to teach her daughter about makeup but Lily-Ann always went for the dramatic to almost Goth her mother hated. To finish things off she placed a red velvet bow in her black cropped hair.
Now she was ready. But she wasn't going to the party. Instead, she was going to sneak out and go to the small café where poetry readings and performance art was performed. She would drink lattes and listen to them all.
Lily-Ann went out the back door and down the back alley. Her mother would be furious but it wasn't the first time and wouldn't be the last so it was no big deal.
When she got there, there was a line up. Lily-Ann picked up her pace. She knew something was on tonight when she seen the line. This would be far more fun that some boring dinner with a boy she couldn't stand to be in the same room with.
She barely grabbed a seat at a table. The place was full. Lily-Ann sipped at her latte while the first few performed and then the main attraction of the night came up and performed. Lily-Ann just stared.
A tall gangly boy stood up on stage. He wore a black suit that didn't really fit very well along with red boots. His black hair was tied in a ponytail with a red ribbon. He also wore makeup. Dark eyeliner outlined his smoky eyes. His lips were stained red.
Lily-Ann was captivated by him. Standing there he appeared to be so shy and awkward but when he cleared his voice and started speaking, Lily-Ann's heart leaped. His piece was about plants and that they were special in a special garden that was created for a love. She hung on to his every word. It felt like he was talking about a garden that was meant for her.
Their eyes met. She didn't blink in case he disappeared or something. As he continued on he kept his eyes on her and read the words out to her telling her about the garden. It was a magical garden were magic danced the night away and true love bloomed.
Lily-Ann held her breath.
When he was done he took a bow and smiled right at her. He walked off the stage and went right to Lily-Ann. His eyes were cat green and he smelled of sage and rosemary with a hint of spicy rose.
"Hello, my name is Edward. May I sit with you?"
She nodded and he sat opposite her. His cheeks slightly blushed as he spoke. "What may I call you?"
"Lily-Ann is what mother named me."
"She chose well I would say. Lily-Ann is the perfect name for you."
"Thank you Edward. It's the only thing pretty my mother gave to me."
"Really? I bet your mother gave you many pretty things." Lily-Ann sighed. "My mother is Lilith and she wants me to find a boyfriend that totally bores me."
"You're Lilith's daughter? I see." Lily-Ann watched his cat green eyes go a little deeper in color. She was hoping he wasn't going to get up and leave.
"I would like to take you to the garden that I talked about in the performance. Would you come? I might make you forget about your mother for a bit."
Lily-Ann's eyes went wide. "The garden really exists?"
Edward smiled. "Of course it does. Will you come?"
They left the coffee shop and together went for a walk to a part that Lily-Ann had only heard about. There wasn't much to see. Edward led her to an old cemetery where at first it looked abandoned but when they both stepped in, magic started to awaken. He took her hand and led her to the back where a black silver wrought iron bench was sitting. The back of the bench was roses that twined up into the air creating a large back to the bench.
They both sat down and Lily-Ann watched the garden come to life. Beds of roses popped up and sprang into bloom. Everything shimmered because the roses were metal. Two cello player were in the corner playing. Edward offered his hand. "Would you dance with me?"
She blushed as she took his hand. In the middle was a clearing and they danced to the cello's mournful music. "This garden was meant for you. It had waited for a long time for you to show and now you have." He smiled down at her.
They danced for some time until the moon above shone on them. "I guess it is time for you to go back to your home. Lilith will be wondering where you are."
Lily-Ann shrugged. "Maybe, but I wouldn't count on it."
Edward looked at her. "Do you think that your mother would think I was a good suitor?"
Lily-Ann smiled. "She hates everything I love so she wouldn't approve of you."
He nodded like he understood what she meant. Then he grinned. "What if I was to approach her on my own? Would that make it different?"
Lily-Ann like Edward very much. "You could try." Before they left he plucked one of the metal roses and gave it to her.
Three days later an invitation came to Lily-Ann's house. Lilith was in a good mood. She told Lily-Ann that they were invited to a special dinner party and that this time she couldn't run away.
They went to the party and Lily-Ann was very nervous. She chose to wear a black gown that had little crystals in it that shimmered like the stars on a black night. Her mother didn't see but underneath she wore her army boots. Her smoky eyes were darker tonight and her lips were painted a dark purple black. Around her neck she wore the only necklace that her father had given her-black pearls.
When they arrived at the home, the gothic style home glowed from within. A tall older man that looked like a walking skeleton greeted them at the door. He ushered them into the dining room. A small group was already there. A man clothed in white and gold stood in front of a massive stone fireplace. Lily-Ann thought it was odd. She didn't know what he was.
Edward came in wearing his finest and when he saw her he gasped. "My love, you wore the perfect dress for the occasion tonight."
He took her hand and kissed it as well as Lilith's. Lily-Ann watched for a reaction. Her mother appeared enamored by Edward. She let out a sigh.
They all had a wonderful meal and when the evening meal was done , Edward stood up with his glass and proposed a toast.
"I want to thank you all for coming tonight. This is a special evening tonight as something very special is going to happen. This lovely lady to my right will become my bride tonight."
Lilith almost choked. Edward continued on as if he never heard her. We will gather around in front of the fireplace and Lily-Ann and I will stand and recite our vows. Come join us."
Lily-Ann thought her mother would spit fire but didn't say anything-yet. It made her nervous as they approached the large stone fireplace. She could picture Lilith throwing Edward into the fire place and watch him burn but so far nothing. It was as if Lilith was enamored over him again as she stood there and beamed.
The white and gold robed man took his place in front of them while everyone looked on. Lily-Ann and Edward faced each other. He handed her a small bouquet of roses. They were metal. Edward was the first to say his vows.
From the first time I saw you I knew you were the girl from my special garden. It was fate that brought you to me I'm sure. I promise to be the best husband to you for all eternity. I will give you as many metal roses as you like and as many poems as you would like to hear. My darling Lily-Ann, I give myself to you."
She smiled at him and said a few words.
I promise to be the best wife I can be and will cherish every metal rose I get and every poem you read to me. I give myself to you.
The man in the white and gold robe mumbled something and then they were announced as husband and wife. Everyone clapped.
Lilith did not. It appeared that whatever spell Edward cast on her was now wearing off. Her eyes were demon red and she was mad.
Marching up to the couple she pointed her sharp red painted fingernail into Edward's chest. "How dare you...
Lily-Ann watched her mother's angry face turn into a happy one. She hugged and congratulated Edward and smiled at Lily-Ann.
"What did you do to her?"
Edward smiled down at his bride. "Mother in laws can be nasty things my dear. One can never be too careful. I will always keep tricks up my sleeves to protect us from her. She will never be the wiser and one day she will come around and accept me."
Lily-Ann felt a chill go through her. She wasn't sure where it came from, him or her mother. He quickly pulled her into his arms as if he felt her chill. "It will be okay. Nothing will happen my dear."
Everyone went into the other room and celebrated the night away.
Lilith went home without her. She never said goodbye or anything. Lily-Ann was not surprised but worried all the same.
Edward was the most gentle husband and Lily-Ann was so enchanted by him that any worries that she had, disappeared. She loved Edward.
Then one day sitting in her metal rose garden , the sky darkened and this smell of burnt grass made Lily-Ann cough.
In a haze of black smoke, Lilith appeared. Lily-Ann had no place to run. Her mother's feral look told her to stay put. Lilith sauntered up to her daughter and smirked. "So, you thought you had the wool pulled over your mother's eyes. Well, you should have known better. My eyes are never blind no matter what you put in in front of them."
Lilith waved her hand in the air silencing her. "Never mind, you will come with me back home. This marriage was a fiasco."
"What about Edward? I love him mother."
She scoffed at her. "You don't know what love is."
"And you do,?"she spit back at her. "How many men have you had?"
Lilith narrowed her eyes at her. "How dare you talk back to me? I think you need to be taught a lesson."
That's when Lily-Ann saw Edward standing at the garden gate. He not look happy. Lilith didn't turn around to face him. She knew he was there. Lilith sighed. "You almost had me dear but you knew that I would come to be wise to your tricks demon boy." She snapped her fingers and Edward fell to his knees holding his throat, choking. Lily-Ann raced to Edward and screamed at her mother. "Stop this. I love him and I don't care if you like him or not. You hate everything I love and I'm tired of it. It is time you left me alone."
Lilith's eyes went wide and were feral. Still, Lily-Ann held her ground with her mother. "Stop this now or you will never see me again."
It was like cold water was poured over Lilith. She stopped and Edward could breathe again. Lily-Ann helped him to his feet.
Lily-Ann could tell that he was angry by the way he shook. She held into his arm to settle him but she was afraid it was too late.
He flung his hand out at her and Lilith disappeared into black smoke.
"What did you do to mother?"
Before Edward answered a black cat sauntered out of the black smoke.
Lily-Ann looked at him. "You like black cats, don't you?"
"Yes, I do but you turned mother into a black cat?"
He shrugged. "It was the only thing I could think of that I hadn't given you yet."
The black cat rubbed up against Lily-Ann's leg and purred. She picked it up and petted it. "I'll call her Lilith in honor of my mother. She can keep me company in the garden."
"I thought you might. She will make a nice pet, I'm sure."
Lily-Ann put the cat down and walked out of the garden gesturing for the cat to follow. Edward went to follow his wife when Lilith hissed at him making him wait for her to go first.
Edward sighed. "Mother-in-laws."