A short story by Luis Padilla
"Slow down you crazy child, you know your much to ambitious for a juvenile, but if your so smart tell me why are you still so afraid, you got your passion and you got your pride, but don't you know that only fools are satisfied. Dream on but dont imagine that they would all come true"
I dig digging, so digging I did. For a solid four hours. I started to dig at 11:30 am and by 3:00 I had roughly 12 dead carrot stubs uprooted and untangled. The roots looked like dreaded hair, in tight bunched up clumps. These were not your ordinary run of the mill roots. These roots were stronger than a horse and seemed to stretch out forever. I'm talking about in all directions, criss-crossing from the shed to the house and then back to the shed.
By one I was covered in sweat, by two I was covered in mud and by three only one carrot remained. It stood proud and erect, almost flippantly defiant. Challenging me to tangle with it's tangled web of roots. I looked at the pile of dead carrots then back to the one that remained. And decided that I would need a break before I would attempt to uproot this thistle.
I walked back into my house through the rear, then back out with my dog through the front. Jack relieved himself very nicely on the lawn of Scott Drudge, which was fine by me because I hated that prick. My midday snack consisted of a corona and tuna fish out of the can with no bread. I was beginning to feel refreshed and invincible. After another couple of coronas I was ready to go tackle the last carrot. Or so I thought. I grabbed my shovel, two more coronas and was on my way.
I walked out of my house with my held high but it shrunk with each step towards the shed. Either my eyes were going to shit, or the coronas were having an impressive effect. Because now there were thirteen carrots standing proud and erect, not just one. All of them stood wearing grins and looking smug. But that's insane. Carrots do not have lips; they could not in fact grin.
However I swear that these carrots did and they were flashing a manacle grin. I dropped to my knees in desperation in front of the carrots, letting out a few choice words as I did. The carrots seemed to react to this, as if they understood. I am convinced that they did, I am sure that they fully understood what was going on.
"Oh," I shouted, “so you understand me, you think that you know what is going on? Well I've got news for you, you don't, (I huffed and puffed like an angry four year old) you don't know the half. I then let out a disturbed laugh and grabbed a carrot. After some struggle, I dislodged it and held it up in the air like a trophy, taunting the remaining carrots.
"You see this,” I asked, “you see what is going to happen to all of you?" I then put on my best 'pleading" carrot voice. “Oh please don’t eat me Mr. Wes. Oh please, please, don’t. Urgh.”
I then bit off the head of the carrot. After the first crunch of the bite the carrot's substance changed into a soupy tasteless chunk. "Yuck," I said spitting it out, "what the hell?” Then suddenly I heard a faint laughter, there was no denying it. For a split second I heard the carrots laughing, and then I felt dizzy. I quickly grabbed my head to keep it from spinning off, but I could not keep the ground from spinning, so I feel. I struggled back to my feet as something that sounded like radio static blared in my head. My stomach hurt and my eyes were heavy. Just then what felt like an invisible baseball bat hit me on my side and I landed with a thud.
I was panicked. Something was wrong here; very wrong. I struggled to get away. Like a defeated men I half-walked, half-crawled my way back to the door. I was in full panic mode. I needed to get back into my house, I needed to get this taste out of my mouth, I needed to grab an aspirin, and I needed to be far, far away from those carrots and my shed. I almost made it. But I blacked out inches from my door.
A deep sleep fell over me. My dreams where like a kaleidoscope, strange shapes and squiggly lines raced in my vision. I saw snakes and rabbits, roses and carrots. I saw a horse being thrown down a water well, and I saw a rocket ship fly through water, everything in my dream world was backwards.
I awoke sometime the next day it felt like; 7 am. My head pounded and my stomach was filled with water. I vaguely remembered the carrots but my head was mostly groggy. Slowly it was all coming back to me and with a sudden burst of energy; I jumped up to my feet and ran back to my backyard. My heart sank as I laid my eyes upon the shed. The carrots had doubled, maybe tripled in number overnight, they were everywhere. I suddenly felt dizzy again, I leaned over and threw up, and I could not help but feel suffocated.
My well-groomed garden had gone to hell. Dozens upon dozens of unsightly four inch yellowish carrot stubs had invaded my backyard. My rose garden was ruined my Lillie's were brutalized. All my hard work and all of my effort had been sabotaged. I wanted my revenge. An idea hit me and I smiled while letting out a defiant "Humph, I'll have my revenge watch you will see."
The dozens of Carrots stayed motionless but they understood, I swear on anything they understood. I parked my car in the Home Depot parking lot. My mind was racing as I walked through the door. How did those carrots grow so fast? I wondered as I wandered past the tool section. How did they even grow at all? I only planted a dozen or so seeds, now there were thirty or so. But not for long I comforted myself. That's why we are here baby, to get rid of our little weed problem.
I scanned the garden center until I found the most potent weed killer that money could buy. I saw a green bottle that said "Walt's weed killer" and then in small black letters it said "guaranteed to kill your weed''. I grabbed three gallons and made my way to the front.
The young blond laughed when I placed my order by the register. “What you planning on doing, mister? Clearing out a Forrest?"
"Yes, something like that,” I said as I paid her the money.
"Well you made a good choice. This stuff here could nuke a Venus flytrap. There is no weed surviving this stuff, I guarantee it. It will totally destroy your weed problem."
"Thanks,” I said, “But my problem ain't with no weeds honey, it’s with some damned carrots".
She looked at me as if I had three heads. I did not care. I grabbed my weed killer and whistled ‘uptown girl ‘ on my way to the car. Vengeance was mine.
I got home and quickly ate a lunch. I needed strength for the task at hand. I ate tuna but skipped the corona. After lunch I sat in my living room, smoking a cigarette and contemplating all the evil I was to exact on those carrots, I could never let them get away with destroying my garden. Oh how I loathe them, I imagined all the salad that I could make with them; how many v-8 smoothies I could whip up with them. Then I remembered the taste and gagged in my mouth. I decided that carrot cake was out of the picture, but killing them was very much still in play.
I laughed then took a deep drag off my cigarette. I am going to relish there demise, I will bask in their downfall; or uprooting for that matter. There would be no denying me. All I had to do was finish this cigarette, get up and commence my beautiful vegetable plunder. My plan was so utterly perfect, so utterly genius. All it takes is sweat and a little ingenuity then I’ll have my garden back. I laughed again growing more worried by how much I have been laughing lately.
“You will see. Just wait I’ll have my revenge." With that I feel back into a deep sleep.
In my dream a mouse crept unaware in a tiny shed; my shed! Only smaller; much smaller. The mouse was abnormally big, so big in fact that its whiskers protruded out of the sides of the shed.
"Here, kitty, kitty” it said, but when it spoke, it used my "pleading" carrot voice.
I could hear the beast’s claws scraping along the bottom of my miniature shed. I wanted to run but I could not. My heart jumped in terror. I looked down upon my feet; hundreds upon hundreds of snakes slithered silently by my feet in an endless array of serpents.
“Here kitty, kitty," the mouse continued. I watched in horror as the mouse’s head broke through the sheds door. It's eyes were black, but the pupils were tinny. In sharp contrast to it's four inch whiskers. "Meow, meow,” it laughed, “here little kitty".
The psychotic mouse smiled and when it did, chunks of little carrots fell from its over-sized sneer. I looked back down to escape it's gaze and noticed that the snakes had turned into roots. The roots were growing at an alarming rate. They were multiplying in seconds, tripling with each passing minute, and to my horror they were alive and heading straight for my foot. I again tried to run but I could not, I was paralyzed with fear.
"Oh God,” I thought as the roots shoot towards my foot. Why couldn't I run? My legs were attached, my arms moved but why were my legs unable to move? I looked and noticed that my T.V. was still on. My dog Jack stood by the door; leash in his mouth, staring at me with a look that said "walk me please". It was 6:30 i must have slept for hours. Jack saw me stir and let out an impatient whimper.
"Ok buddy I'm coming, just give me a second ok?" I stumbled off of my couch and almost tripped over the bottles of Walt’s Weed Killer. And suddenly I was fully awake. The dream now was a distant memory a million miles away. My mind could only think of one thing at this point and that was revenge.
“I don't have a weed problem honey, I have a carrot problem,” I laughed and opened my door to take Jack for a walk. "Hurry Jack, be swift with your shit, for I have some business to attend to".
Jack crapped on the Drudges lawn again; serves the bastard right. I had a strong urge to take a rock and throw it through their living room window. The urge was strong but brief and it quickly passed. I smiled. A bout of rage was dwelling inside; those damned carrots were hot on my mind.
"Here kitty, kitty,' I said into the wind. Jack stared at me, his droopy eyes slanted and his funny black spotted tongue hung out of his mouth. "Oh, what are you looking at flea bag?" The dog let out a whimper, I was downright angry and it felt good.
I marched into my house and slammed the door rather hard behind me; I walked up my stairs, went into my room and grabbed my flashlight. "Ok,” I said to myself, “I don't care how many roots you have, I'm going to get them. You have no right! You hear me? No right. I have spent years making my garden glow, planting and uprooting flowers. Watering the garden; and fending off field mice, you have no right! Do you hear me?” I shouted louder, "Your roots and carrots are gone, do you hear me, gone. Meow meow, here little kitty" I then again laughed out loud for the hundredth time. "Meow Meow," and the wind blew.
I expected the carrots to have multiplied but none the less I was shocked to see the rate in which they grew. The ground was simply no longer visible; not because it was dark outside but because hundreds of carrots now littered the ground. The carrots had encircled my shed, covering my Lilly farm and completely wiping out my rose garden. They also seemed to be approaching the back of my house. This had to stop and fast.
"Oh cute, very cute, you destroyed my garden and now you come for my house? Over my dead body! This stops tonight, this stops now.” I unscrewed the top of my weed killer. "I'll show them. Gaurndamnedteed to kill yo weed." I laughed again, "I’ll show them all".
I poured and I poured until every single carrot was drenched. Then I poured some more. When I ran out of weed killer I grabbed a bucket of bleach. When the bleach was gone I sprayed my hose. My back yard was muddy but I did not care, for revenge was in my heart and the desire to destroy the carrots was rabid. I danced under the moon light in my soupy concoction of weed killer, bleach and water. Stopping only to bend over and place my finger in the mud, then smear it on my face like an Indian at war.
"Here kitty kitty,” I said in my best 'pleading carrot voice. “I don't have a weed problem, I have a carrot problem. But from the looks of it I don't have me no more problems...meow meow...”
Then a thought hit me, the terror of that thought almost paralyzed me with fear. "What if this is not enough?” I became frantic and ran into my house gathering anything that I could find. Ajax and toothpaste from the bathroom, dish soap and syrup from the kitchen. I was running through my house like a mad man, stopping only to drink some milk out of the jug. I also grabbed some jelly for good measure. I made it to my back door and then back peddled into the kitchen. I found a bottle of ranch dressing and let out a defiant "Hmph," then headed back outside.
I spent the next hour digging holes near the overgrown carrots, filling the holes with my potent potion, then refilling the holes with dirt. I was filthy and my garden reeked, and it was pitch black outside.
"See you stupid carrots? I told you I would get my revenge, meow meow." I dance my little victory dance waving my hands frantically from side to side.
"Guaranteed to get rid of yo weed' I let out another manacle laugh as I squeezed the last drop from the ranch bottle. It landed on the ground with a thud, and then suddenly the earth began to tremble beneath my feet, knocking me down.
"What the,” I could only watch in horror as my shed started to shake, it swayed back and forth like a tree in a storm. Then suddenly in a split second it stopped. Everything became quiet, way too quiet. And then I heard it again, a sick choir of laughter arose from the carrots followed by a terrifying "meow" As the shed and the ground that I was laying on gave way.
As I plummeted towards my death All I could here was, "meow meow…here little kitty," delivered in a perfect pleading carrots voice, and then I hit the ground.