Flash Fiction, Shorts

The Garden

Today was the day. Finally Gary would get to work on the garden he’d been planning. It wouldn’t be anything too big, he didn’t  have the space for that. Instead, he had marked out a plot of land six feet long and two across,  just enough for a small vegetable patch. That was all he  wanted, anyway, and it would be a good summer project. Gary could only stand reading alone with no air conditioning for a few days at a time. Besides, he should get some sun, and in the enclosed backyard there would be no one to see him with his shirt off.

Gary walked across the lawn with a shovel from the shed, his white belly soaking up the sun. He stopped next to the fence where he had marked the boundaries of his  garden with wooden stakes. He left them there, stuck his spade in the earth, and began to dig. He had never had a garden before, and wasn’t sure how deep he should dig, but figured that didn’t really matter. He would go until he got tired. There was a part of him that relished the physical activity, and he hoped it would get hot enough so he could sweat.

He had gone about a foot down when he hit something solid under the earth. When Gary tried to pull out the shovel  it was stuck. He put his foot down next to it and yanked hard with both hands. He slipped and fell to the ground, but brought the shovel with him. He sat  and stared at it. The pointed edge of the blade was covered in blood. Without thinking, Gary scrambled on his  knees and began pulling out clumps of dirt with his hands. He found something solid, and cleared away enough dirt until he saw a blood-stained Hawaiian shirt.

Shit. He thought. He had hoped it would have been a rabbit or something. Now he had two problems. One, there was a corpse in his yard and he had no idea how it got there. And two, he still needed to finish his garden, and he was hot, sweaty, and covered in dirt.

He should call the police, right? That’s what normal people did, when they found a dead body in their yard. But what if they thought he had put it there? Would they believe that he had just stumbled upon it? And then of course they would all come through and tromp through his yard, and probably delay his garden project in the process. He really couldn’t have that.

Gary picked up the shovel from where he’d dropped it and began covering up the body. Then he finished the rest of the digging, and went to the store to buy vegetable seeds and gardening supplies, but he didn’t need much.

He already had fertilizer.






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