The weeds have taken over the yard. This isn’t just a dandelion or two, it’s a forest of weeds. Waist high might be livable, well for her anyway, but some of these are taller than he is. The state this yard is in no one can get any use from it.

Well, he thinks, she’s lucky to have a good neighbor like him. He uses his clippers to prune the flowering shrub that’s overgrown and begun to block his entrance to her yard. He doesn’t know what they’re called, but the little white flowers smell quite nice.

Instead of tossing them on the pile he carries the armload of cuttings back up to the kitchen and puts them in a vase. He’ll have to look up the name later.

Back at work, he notes the foliage and brush is so thick she probably can’t even get down to the composter by the shed. Hoping his pruning shears are equal to the task, he hacks away at the overgrown rose bush. There are branches going every which way, and the thorns are really quite merciless. Damn. He pulls off her glove to suck a bleeding finger. He’ll need thicker gloves for this.

The sun beats down on him, sweat trickling between his shoulder blades as he plants his hands on his hips and surveys the enormity of the job. He mops his forehead then shakes his head at the stand of ragweed that encroaches the Muskoka Chairs ranged around the fire pit. As he gets closer he notes the presence of creeping charlie intertwined in the closest chair. Those chairs cost a bomb. What’s she thinking of to let it all go to hell like this? I guess it’s just been a bad time all around.

And the decaying wooden ladder propped open at the entrance to the garden plot has some kind of vine climbing all over it, a giant strain of creeping charlie maybe? Could be that stuff called kudzu. Or is that just in Florida? No matter, it is an eyesore. She ought to have burned the decrepit ladder in the pit last fall, it will be devilishly difficult to get it out now. Maybe a machete?

What a mess. So much to do, so little time. Well, physically shifting everything would take far too long. Maybe he better check the shed. There is probably still some pesticide in there. That will help soften things up, make it easier to clear out.

Returning to his own yard, he smiles at the uniform expanse of lawn and the precise placement of flowerbeds along the side, the picket patch of vegetable garden enclosed behind a freshly whitewashed garden fence that keeps the predators out. The ornate birdbath sits unused under a tree near the freshly filled feeders. He’ll get that woman’s yard looking just as good.

It’s what any good neighbor would do.

Grape vines clime the old wooden ladder

I wrote this bit of flash fiction for this weeks #storycraft challenge. Family things have kept me hopping so I’ve been forced to miss the last few.

This week’s “Antagonists” challenge was to write a scene in which an antagonist acts against the protagonist, from the antagonist’s point of view. I chose 3rd person intimate to get right inside the mind of the antagonist to understand all their motivations, one of my favorite things about writing! 😀

Does it play?


6 thoughts on “Weeds

  1. I think this worked well, Laurel! Showing that the antagonist most likely won’t think he’s doing wrong at all, by making them the protagonist of the piece was exactly the point of the exercise. And wow, he’s so creepy! I love that he used her gardening gloves, I could picture her being freaked out by the changes to her garden and then finding blood on her glove – and. or the CSO finding the blood and getting his DNA from it. Fantastic details!
    Thanks for taking the challenge – sorry it took me so long to come and take a look 🙂
    – Dani

    • I’m glad I succeeded in getting him to come across as creepy.

      I was afraid he might be a little too low key, since I was trying for an understated, self serving/self righteous tone in his thoughts.

      Funny, I rather imagined this garden may be a future crime scene too. 😀

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