The Greens

I used one of the Soul Food Cafe’s story starter prompts as today’s Writing Challenge.

For this challenge I just sat down and wrote without stopping for twenty minutes. I liked the idea that popped up so much I might go back and clean it up for a Halloween story.

It’s based on  the SFC PROMPT: FLIES

 

Photo by Alex Andrews on Pexels.com

The name of the family that lived on Davenport Road before it abandoned and forgotten by the town and then the rest of the world was Green.

The Greens were a Father, a Mother and their four children.

Somebody at a Fourth of July picnic shared over the pie table  that Father Green may have served time in jail and Mother Green may have had something to do with the disappearance of her baby brother and two of the family dogs when she was a child but that was just talk.

Still- none of the Green Children looked like either one of their parents and all of them had the odd habit of always appearing at the corner of your eye- or you’d see them scuttling away from you and around a corner or through a doorway before you could ever really get a good look at them.

One less then charitable resident of Fletcher- which was the name of the town Davenport Road was part of- compared the way they Green Children scurried around as being rodent like.

Mrs. Parker who was helping at the picnic that day said under her breath to that observation, ” They scuttle around like bugs. Those children give me the willies.”

Everything started to go bad in Fletcher right after the 4th of July picnic- the houses got moldy, the plants and trees and the lawns either dried up and died or they simply rotted.

In addition to that unfortunate state of affairs,  six cats, four dogs, a horse and three children and two infants went missing, the corn caught some sort of blight and was wiped out before you could say, ” what the hell is eating at the crops?”

No one living in Fletcher had it in them to get angry or suspicious or to even pack up and run.

That’s because they simply stopped doing anything except for maybe blink when something hit their eye and some of them coughed when dust ( it was just dust, right?) drifted up into their noses and mouths.

They just stopped where they stood on the day the Sun turned blood red and so did the Moon.

Some of people- like the people at the Pie Table at the picnic were sitting at their kitchen tables or in their cars.  Some of Fletcher’s residents who had an inkling that something was going very wrong  were hiding in their attics or basements when they too, like everyone and everything else just stopped.

They could see a hear a little, some could see and what they saw where the Green Children- scuttling and scurrying, tasting and touching and eating everything and anyone who caught their eyes.

Some of the people, who patiently waited their turn for a visit from the Green Children wondered why they only ever saw four of those children- there were so many of them.

Hundreds of them.

 

 

Salina’s Garden

Salina was putting the finishing touches, with a little fortification from what was inside of her champagne glass with ” Groom ” stenciled  along  the side in frosty script, on her newly renovated garden when her neighbor trilled ” Toodles   Girlfriend!” at her from the street.

” I thought I’d pop on by and see how you’re doing.”

Cally was the neighbor that inspired the eight foot tall fences and large black dogs ins spike collars to patrol them and at the moment she appeared  at the edge of Salina’s property, Salina’s lovely Spring afternoon came to a crashing fiery mess all around her.

” I’m doing fine, I’m right in the middle of-”

” How did you do it, how could you cope with your world just, ” Cally threw her hands and tipped with her long bony fingers out to her sides ” exploding like that? You know. I get it. Men. Right? That’s what they do.  It’s a shame though.  I mean you were with him for 25 years. ”

Cally did not sound sorry at all. Cally sounded light and bubbly and slightly frantic.

Like a cheerleader on crack.

Salina took a breath and rolled her eyes so far back up into her head she would swear to you she could see her brains.  ” I’m getting a dog. ”

Cally raced on just like Salina thought she would.

Salina could have said ” I’m getting a hit man and he’s going to take you out because right now I cannot take your crazy on top of the insanity that took up residence in my life before you opened your mouth” and Cally would have gone on babbling like a toxic river running wild after the sketchy factory squatting on it’s banks hocked up all of it’s guts.

” Well. Here’s the plus side, now that he’s gone you can get in touch with your inner Crone.  Now you can be the woman the Goddesses intended you to be.”

” Yeah. The Goddesses.” Salina said biting her lip.

It was an odd enough response from Salina to get Cally’s attention for about five seconds. Not liking to be caught looking clueless or unawares for even one second let alone five she wondered if Salina was about to laugh or cry.

When one is in such a delicate state, one can never tell Cally knew.

Cally watched Salina hopefully, if not a little hungrily as she put her glass of champagne down on  her potting bench and reached for her shovel. “Well.  I’ve got to get to back to work, I have a few things left to do and then I’m finished so-”

Cally actually shut her mouth and her thin pale lips turned up in her version of a smile. ” You know, ” she said sounding surprised, ” Your flowers and herbs really do look nice. Especially around that- what is that? ”

” It’s a hitching post, it’s a horse’s head. My Great Grandfather brought it with him from England back in the early 1900’s,”

” Oh.” Cally said with the same kind of practiced smile that most mental health practitioners mastered  before the ink was dried on their degrees. Not that Cally had one of those, she was just familiar with Mental Health services in general.

” Did he? You say he brought it  all  the was from England. ” I see ” Cally said as she made a beeline towards the recently deemed ” maybe ” hitching post.

” Hmmm, are you sure it’s a horse? Say, what is that smell? I smell, what is that? Apples. You don’t have apple trees do you? Where is that smell coming from? ” she stopped mid stride.

” It’s chamomile. See? I put enough down to carpet this area. When you walk across it, it gives off that smell. Nice. Isn’t it?”

Cally  smiled her tight prissy smile. ” Yes. It’s very nice.”

” I must say” Cally said. ” You’ve done so much since your husband ran out on you Salina. That must have been hard. It must have been worse being he ran off with someone else.”

” You know what was really hard Cally? ” Salina dropped her shoulders, her hair fell into downturned face heavy with grief and pain. She even hiccupped a couple of times.

Cally drew herself up and smiled with sunshine literally streaming from her eyes.

She put her hand on Salina’s shoulder and then she patted it. ” No. What? What was the hardest part? I can imagine how terrible it was. I thought you were the perfect couple.”

Salina swung the shovel up and brought it down with enough force on the top of her head to bring Cally to her knees. ” The hardest part was digging that grave in front of  the hitching post deep enough for two bodies. That was the hardest part Cally.”

Salina strolled back to the potting bench  dropped the shovel against it.  Then reached for her glass and  with her face turned up to the now clear and not fiery  blue skies she threw back the last few drops of her champagne cocktail.

When she was done she walked back to where Cally was crumpled up- and then a thought hit her.

A very important one.

What was that drink called again, Salina asked herself   as prodded  a clearly recently deceased  Cally with her toe. Damn. What was this stupid drink called. She pulled her phone out of her back pocket and checked the app where she had found the recipe.

There it was.

That’s what it was called.

Death In The Afternoon.

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Inspired by The Daily Addictions Prompt: Cope