Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Garden - A Magpie Tale

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Old man Brown’s body was withered and bent into a permanent question mark. His face, laced with wrinkles and punctuated with sagging jowls, was surprisingly serene as he stood on his back porch and looked out over his garden.

The garden had been his obsession for years. Everything had to be neat, orderly, and perfect in all respects. Visitors would often ask him if the garden was real or if he had taken a photograph and had it blown up to mural size. They usually thought it sounded humorous, but it wasn’t funny to old man Brown. He dominated his garden. He ruled it completely, that is until Effie died ten years ago.

She used to bitch about how much time and effort he put into his garden and how she felt some jealousy at times. Finally, however, she accepted his obsession and let him spend all the time he wanted in his garden. In fact, there were times when she would encourage him to “go garden, damn it” so she could have the house to herself. Some say she died from loneliness, but it wasn’t true. She died from boredom.

Brown stood there gazing out over the garden and smiled to himself. The garden looked completely different now. Most folks wouldn’t even call it a garden. To them it was just an overgrown backyard that desperately needed to be cut down.

Brown grabbed the handrail and carefully stepped down the few steps. Once on the ground floor, so to speak, he hobbled over to the lawn chair and lowered his fragile body down slowly. When settled he closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. He continued to sit there with his eyes closed as though waiting for the overgrown plants to envelope him.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Soon enough, my garden, soon enough. I’ll be joining you soon enough.

He sat there a while longer while the sun heated up the garden, then he called to the house.

“Hey sweetie! Bring me a beer, will ya?”

In a few moments out came a drop-dead gorgeous young beauty wearing shorts and a can of cold beer in her hands. She danced down the steps, sat the beer on the small table next to Brown, bent over and kissed him on the top of his head and then turned and bounced back into the house.

No need to start thinking dirty-old-man thoughts about Brown. He may have let his garden return to nature but he still needed his house cleaned.

This is an entry for the Magpie Tale writing challenge. Check it out here.


Tumblewords: said...

A fine read! A chuckle, a wide grin and then a laugh. Love it.

Helen said...

I was going to say I was feeling a bit like old Man Brown today ... until the end of your Magpie and I laughed out loud! I really needed that.

Tattered and Lost said...

Quite fun.

Anonymous said...

Unlike every other "ode to the watering can", your's had everything I needed to read: insight, death, and sex with a twist! ENJOYABLE!

Wanda said...

Oh this is great, and I love your twist.

This had all the qualities of a good read, and I too had to laugh at your ending.

phil said...

Bet he freed her tangled in the overgrowth one hot day, and she was his evermore.
I like that. :)

willow said...

Heehee, fun story!

Sandy said...

Great ending! Loved your descriptive way of writing and kind of new where it was going but then ya got me!


Anonymous said...

Love it. There's life in the old guy, yet. I liked the point you made about joining the garden soon. That is a lovely way to think about passing on. I really enjoyed your tale!

Wanda said...

Just wanted to let you know there is a new Art Challenge up... Horses, one in particular.. Daisy Mae. There are several shots to pick from.

Hope you have time to join deadlines.

Anonymous said...

Lucky old Mr. Brown! Lovely take - I kept visiting your other blog and wondered why i couldn't find your Magpies!

Sue J said...

I absolutely loved this. Thanks!

Shari Sunday said...

What a shocker at the end. The old guy had a little life in him yet! Loved it.