Today’s challenge is to finish this story. Feel free to re-word what I’ve written, but it needs an ending and I’m so sick of putting up bread and butter pickles, I can’t seem to finish it.
The townspeople say I’m mad, but I’m not really crazy. Just scared. That day haunts my dreams, leaving me housebound; afraid to go outside. When I look out the window, my day mares begin.
It all started when I invited the towns folks to see my lovely garden. One of them screamed, saying, “It’s got his leg.” Then they all screamed and ran away, leaving me wondering why my ankle was aching. I looked down and a vine had wrapped around my foot and began constricting my ankle. Quickly I pulled my machete from my jeans pocket and hacked it away, but there was still vine on my leg. I ran inside and started pulling it off my leg and at the same time it grew cucumbers. Finally, I got it off and slung it out the back door…
Winter’s on now. Snow covers the ground, yet they grow.
But for some unfathomable reason, people continue to wander into my back garden, never to wander back out. It’s as if the saying “once bitten,twice shy” has become as twisted as my cucumber vines. Now it’s more like “Once bitten, yours for life.” And like a virus, the desire for midnight cucumbers has spread. People come who have never before visited my little acre.
I hear the gate creak open, sometimes accompanied by the flash of full moon off the gate’s hardware, but always followed by the rustle of vines and the pop of bones as they tighten. And crunching. People don’t even scream any more. It’s as if the cucumbers in my back yard are making up for all the years of pickling I’ve done.
I’d dearly love to apologize for this inhuman, inhumane harvest, but no one believes me, no one visits any more, and I’m afraid to go out of the house.
Liz Husebye Hartmann