Eva was the serious type, Germanic as they come. She often had fits over the Farm’s absence of order, and the slightest of infractions were punctiliously reported back to George. Fun Nazi, some snickered, calling her Fraulein Braun behind her back. She viewed the old Mooney place as a “diamond in the rough”, though “Disneyland dump in disguise” was more like it. Other residents only there for a short stay watched with curious amusement as she marched around the Farm like a work camp warden, toting a clipboard to check off the status of her seedlings here, her plants there.

Whoever coined the phrase ‘If you fail to plan, then plan to fail’ never had a garden, at least not at the Mooney place, or just forgot to mention that it didn’t apply to farming whatsoever. Eva’s master plan did not include being thrown off a horse one fine spring morning. That one left a mark. Dead cat, strike two. Broken elbow, three. A case of pneumonia, four. She was just about done.

Before she had gotten sick, her potato patch had been a lush canopy of green. Now, unattended for a week, it was dotted with ugly mounds of limp, brown plants keeled over into the dirt. Eva yanked on one and it slipped right out of the ground, gnawed off at the base. So did the others. Cha-ching! she thought, one after another, calculating the cost of all the seed. She plunged her hands into the soil, collapsing a trail of subterranean tunnels bored by an unseen force, finding only the remains of one lonely tuber gnashed with the mark of the beast. Eva looked out in terror at the rest of her garden, because whatever liked potatoes was going to fucking love carrots.

Copyright © 2020 J.J. West. Campfire Tales.
All Rights Reserved.