Written by White Shade
Ms. Clarinda Davis was a very cruel, sadistic, and wicked old hag. Everyone in the small village surrounding Garden Estate knew this. They also knew that Garden Estate was the fairly small garden and mansion complex that Ms. Davis considered her home. No one was allowed in, and no one wanted to bother. She went about her business, the people about theirs. Rarely did they intersect.
Mrs. Andrews, owner and postmaster of the local post office, was busy sorting stamps. She heard the door of the old brick building open, and looked up as Mr. Jones walked in.
"Hi Gail. Seen Ms. Davis around," Mr. Jones jokingly asked, as he always did, striding towards the sales desk.
"No, why would I have? She's probably holed up in that abomination of a house she has stuck in the middle of that godawful estate of hers," Mrs. Andrews replied.
"Well I don't know, 'Garden Estate' isn't that bad of a place. Have you been there recently?"
"Of course not. You know she doesn't let anyone into the garden itself. For all we know she's got bodies lying back there", replied Mrs. Andrews with a note of scorn and displeasure in her voice. This conversation was usual banter between Mrs. Andrews and Mr. Jones.
In another part of Garden Estate Village, Bill Hutchinson, freshly out of College and looking for a job, had, barely two weeks before, moved to within a minute's walk of Ms. Davis's garden. It had not taken him long to notice the fairly large, seemingly well kept garden behind his house. Not knowing about the villagers' suspicions about Ms. Clarinda Davis, he had decided that it would be nice to spend some time reading his favorite novel underneath a tree inside Garden Estate. He could see no harm in that.
It did not take him long to find an entrance to Garden Estate. Ignoring the fact that the gate was rusted over, grown over, and had no markings of having ever been used, he entered the Estate. He marveled at the seemingly lush trees, mowed grass, rigidly cordoned plots of flowers, and the run down British Councilhouse style building hidden behind more trees. Picking a nice patch of grass below a tall conifer, he began to read.
After less than ten minutes, he began to notice something about the Garden Estate. Despite the rigid definition of flowerbed and grass, the effect of everything being unkempt and overgrown slowly weaved its way into his mind. The realization that the trees were all slowly dying entered his thoughts. After gazing at it for a while, the house began to seem more and more austere and out of place, even in the increasingly evil looking garden. Suddenly, the silence, not disturbed by the sounds of anything natural, was blasted apart by a woman's croaky old voice screeching: "Hey you stupid slacker! What do you think you're doing parking your lowlife butt in my garden? Don't you have any respect for anything?"
Unprepared for the verbal burst of abuse, Bill jumped up and rapidly turned to face Ms. Davis, blushing and stammering an apology.
Ms. Davis was a short, nasty looking old lady. Wearing a blue dress with what appeared to be a handbag strap holding something behind her back, she looked very evil hobbling along the ground, shaking her fist and bellowing as best as she could. Her eyes were small and beady, a manic, possibly psychotic glint flickering inside them. Black hair was contained in a bun below a hat. Her arms were bony and shriveled, timeless age showing everywhere. The same went for her legs, joints barely functioning well enough to carry her along. The dress she wore was inappropriate for her shriveled form.
As Bill continued his stuttering attempts to apologize, saying that he did not know that this was private property (which in fact it wasn't but Ms. Davis considered it to be, and thus it was so), Ms. Davis cut him off, belching out in her yapping voice:
"You kids are always coming in here and messing with my garden. I've taught your kind respect before, and I'm going to again."
Again, Bill prepared to respond with apologies, but his voice caught and died in his throat as Ms. Davis reached behind her and pulled out a very large shotgun. Bill's blood froze in his veins and his stomach began to flipflop as he realized that he, a 24-year-old college graduate with so many paths in life open to him, was facing a mad woman wielding what he knew was some monster firepower. Bill began to back slowly away, attempting unsuccessfully to force a statement of his young innocence to come out of his throat. He saw Ms. Davis's bony, arthritic old index finger begin to tighten around the trigger. Bill, realizing his peril, whipped around and starting running for his life.
He barely made it a foot. A massive 'bang' rattled through his still young ears, and thousands of little bits of metal blew through his body, reducing what could have been a successful man with decades of enjoyment ahead of him to chunks of flesh and bone. Ms. Davis grinned and laughed as the bits of Bill fell to the ground with small wet splats. The last thing Bill saw, before his body was shredded, were the clouds, the clouds and the leaves. Clouds that were disturbed, as if a storm was about to brew, and leaves turned upside down, foretelling a storm to come.
A short time later, Ms. Davis, still laughing, used a rake to move Bill's remains from the large patch of ground he had been spread over into a reasonably small pile, which she then threw into the compost pile.
"This'll make perfect fertilizer for my vegetables next season," Ms. Davis said to herself as she surveyed the gardens. Anyone looking at her then would have seen what appeared to be a regular old lady looking at flowers, never realizing that she was a truly evil old lady with tales of her own atrocities hidden in the brain contained within the shriveled old bag she called her face.
- White Shade