The Garden

Christopher’s Projects > The Garden

The Story at a Glance

The Garden tells the story of Corey, an artist working as a plant genetics lab assistant, who finds himself seduced by the beauty of Vertumnus, a poisonous, indigo-haired young man who lives in the lush garden of the mansion next to the one where he rents a small attic apartment. Written 09 June 2016. Revised 04 May 2017.

About the Project

The Garden is a writing project which I intend to publish as a novella (~20,000-40,000 words) by 30 June 2018. I was inspired to construct a story about a boy being seduced by a poisonous youth who lives in a garden after reading Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Garden of Dr. Rappaccini” as a teenager. I started writing The Garden (this time around) in late May 2016.

Theme Work

  • You can’t always know from outer appearances what the truth is, or where true danger lies. Written 10 June 2016.
  • Nature isn’t always safe. Not safe at all. But what is life without danger, and what is passion without suffering? Written 10 June 2016

The Settings

  • The GARDEN.
  • The LAB.

The Characters

  • COREY, an abstract painter in his 20’s, works as an assistant in the plant genetics lab of Dr. Peter Baglione.
  • Dr. Peter BAGLIONE, a legitimate plant geneticist, is the arch rival of Dr. Rappaccini. Baglione’s name comes from Pietro Baglione from Hawthorne’s work.

A Short Synopsis

In The Garden, A young artist falls under the thrall of a handsome gardener with indigo hair who lives in the garden of the mansion next door to his apartment. As he experiences a powerful, erotic attraction to the young man he realizes that there is something toxic about him and the plants he tends. Nevertheless, they begin a physical relationship which, according to the gardener, must remain secret. As the artist begins to exhibit symptoms of toxicity, himself, his scientist boss alerts him to the possibility that he has become involved with one of the dangerous experiments of the unethical Dr. Rappaccini, a scientist, himself who has been shunned by the academic and medical communities. When Corey confesses that he is seeing the son of the Dr. Rappaccini, his scientist boss prepares an antidote to the poison which he strongly suggests that he take. Corey, wanting to free Vertumnus, also shares the antidote with him, but the antidote kills Vertumnus instead. In an Epilogue, Corey remains in the Garden with Dr. Rappaccini and Vertumnus is restored to life and to Corey by the plant the following spring. Short synopsis written 09 June 2016.