Eva had spent the last half of winter dreaming about her garden, figuring out what to grow and when. She envisioned gazing upon lush rows of bountiful produce, where she would spend her days strolling leisurely along the paths with a harvest basket in one arm, plucking out the best vegetables with ease to sell at the farmers market in Naples. She had the land, the plan, and the vision. Most importantly, she had the unwavering optimism and encouragement of her landlord, George Mooney. But what she didn’t have, unknown at this early stage, was a team of strong Honduran immigrant workers, $20,000 of automated equipment, and a flamethrower.
All the rows were neat and tidy, laid out in German precision, measuring exactly one meter across and fifteen long, and sifted through thoroughly for rocks. Straw had been flung along the pathways to help smother out weeds, though Eva had joked with George that she wasn’t planning on growing any weeds that year so it wasn’t a concern. George was excited about it, and everyone else at the Farm threw out kind words of support, though nobody ever actually appeared within a stone’s throw of the garden for fear of getting roped into slave labor. It must have been that everyone knew that not only weeds, but rocks as well, would be an ongoing problem. Eva cheerfully described her rock clearing process to everyone as “two rocks for every dirt”, a quote she picked up from the old farmer’s almanac. But truth be told, in the Mooney garden, it was more like ten for one, and large mounds of stones had begun forming around the fence lines.
About six weeks in, the fits of garden rage began. Up until then, Eva had been tossing stones from the garden beds in a gentle underhanded lob toward the fence, cheering when they landed where she wanted them. The novelty had passed. Eva’s mood had since degraded into full-on rock rage, where she routinely pelted the fences with lethal stone missiles.
Copyright © 2020 J.J. West. Campfire Tales.
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