Neighbor's Garden Gnome - 11/16

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LMGilbert
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Re: Neighbor's Garden Gnome - 11/16

Postby LMGilbert » Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:15 am

- deleted, as I plan to post a version of this story on my new blog in the near future -

http://wordballoon-lori.blogspot.com

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RE: Neighbor's Garden Gnome - 11/16

Postby mlstweet » Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:02 am

“I write this to you from a secret location. It is no longer safe for me to live out in the open. I know too much and been told and have seen too much. I’d blame Bob, but let’s be honest it’s at least partly my fault. After all I did continue the conversation.

Let me start at the beginning though. My name’s Robin and I’m a 26 year old guy from Kips Bay, NY. It’s just outside NYC. I was helping out my maw-maw with her yard one sunny Saturday afternoon in early March. I should have known something was wrong right away. It was unseasonably warm and the plants were already starting to bloom heavily. Maw-maw had asked me to trim her bushes and clean up the damage the snow had left, she offered to make me her famous Chicken Casserole. You can’t pass up that offer.

I got to work. It was a wonderful day clearing branches and listening to some new up-and-coming music that my brother had sent me from Paris.

Suddenly out of the corner of my eye I saw movement. I figured it was some a rabbit or squirrel so I didn’t think twice. All of a sudden; however, there it was before me. It was a gnome- you know one of those little statues that people put in their gardens to scare away birds or something. He grabbed my pant leg and pulled as hard as he could. Since I wasn’t expecting that when I tried to yank away I slipped and ended up on the ground.

In two seconds flat this formally unmoving statue was on top of my chest glaring into my eyes. I was freaked, but he spoke in a soothing voice saying:

“Don’t freak out or anything. My name is Bob. I’ve been watching you Robin. I need your help. You’ve got the Power Robin. Your Power can change my life and the lives of so many others.”

I tried to resist but he was too strong. He began telling me his life story. He wasn’t always a garden gnome. In fact he had been a full-sized non-statued human being at one point. He had had a wife and a family and a small little shot-gun ranch house in the suburbs. He wasn’t rich by any means; but he was happy. However all that had changed when he met Schamlitz. Schamlitz said that he was a real estate broker and could set Bob up to be successful in the real estate business. He promised prestige and power and Bob believed him. So Bob signed a contract-without reading it.

Schamlitz delivered on his promise. He helped Bob become an incredibly successful real estate mogul. However there was a darkness that was creeping in and it struck Bob before he even realized it. He was turning hard. He didn’t care what happened to the people whose houses he sold or what happened to the people who bought the houses he sold. Slowly but surely Bob lost the pieces of what made him human, his compassion.

As this occurred, something else occurred as well. Bob began to sink into himself. He no longer cared about coming home to his wife and children. He grew more and more selfish and as this occurred he grew smaller and smaller along with growing harder and harder.

The change happened so gradually that Bob never even realized what had happened before it was too late. He was two feet tall and mostly stone.

Schamlitz gave Bob everything that he ever wanted- fortune, fame, and success. He had not read the fine print on the papers he had signed. The consequences were unstoppable.

Bob had spent years in this way, but he had found out from traveling messages that there was a way to be freed from this cursed existence if he could find someone who had the Power- a state of being that was resistant to the desire to consume. Bob claimed that I existed in this state.

He had hatched a plan that would have me face off against Schamlitz. After much begging and pleading I agreed.

Schamlitz let Bob go (who I must mention disappeared after he received his freedom), but vowed revenge. I am now in hiding from him. Please be careful, don’t let this happen to you.”

Door Creaks Open

Robin, it’s time for your medication. If you behave yourself we won’t have to put you in the self-containment room today.

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Re: Neighbor's Garden Gnome - 11/16

Postby Love2_Write » Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:47 am

Hottest frickin' day in July just happens to be today, I'm telling you, Ruby." Chad Jackson lay sprawled across my leather couch, flicking through various channels and scowling at the sweating weathermen who appeared on every other station, reporting a heat wave. I smiled lovingly at him. Chad was nothing but a perfect boyfriend, but he could complain for hours.

"You might want to stay here. I don't assume you're in the mood for a swing on the hammock." I remarked, swatting his arm as I leaned down from behind him, standing.

Chad snorted and scanned me with those warm brown eyes that rang with silent disbelief. "Damn right!" He flipped his blonde hair out of his face, tugged on his boxers, and adjusted his tight fitting undershirt before rolling on his side. "I'll be napping," he mumbled, shutting off the television and handing me the remote. "Have fun roasting out there."

"I will. Have fun snoring!" I laughed, pecking him on the nose before I set down the remote on the wooden table in front of him.

Barefoot, I darted outside in extremely short jean shorts and a black tank top. No way I'm going to stay cooped up in the house; I'm going to swing myself to sleep on my favorite white hammock. Sunday brought peace and sleep along with it. Enough with the arguing that had threatened to ruin Chad's relationship with me; it was time for a major relaxing session. I danced around the yellow flowers and finally got to the hammock, lying down on my stomach and watching the world go by outside my fence. It was a quiet day. I liked that.

Just as I was about to doze off, a polite, British-sounding voice that was high but still clearly male, whispered, "Ms. Jafar? Psst, Ruby! Wake up, would you?"

I snorted, wry and so over faking the whole 'nice neighbor' role. Thinking it was my nosy neighbor Flynn, I replied calmly, "I'm not asleep. I'm simply resting my eyes and trying to ignore you, Flynn Daniels." Flynn and I weren't exactly on speaking terms, and his voice was slightly higher than usual, but I didn't let it bother me.
"Open those blue beauties, brush that red hair out of your face, and look at me, for cryin' out loud!" Tittered the voice.

I felt my mouth swivel down into a frown. "I'd prefer not to, thanks."

"I'm not Flynn, love." Cooed the voice, and I finally worked up the nerve to flash open my eyes. And then, I screamed.

Flynn's short little garden gnome stared at me with a cocky expression, looking delighted. "I'm far beyond pleased, Ruby!" it exclaimed.

"Get away from me." I began to hyperventilate. The heat was making me hallucinate, plain and simple.
A laugh erupted from beside me. It was doing it again. Moving and talking and acting human. "You're not hallucinating, and you might want to keep your thoughts light; I can read them. Anyway, I'm here to tell you what's really going on. You see, Flynn may seem annoying, but in truth, he's only acting that way to find out every inkling of information about you for his wife, Maria. Yes, Maria Perez, who is a control freak and does not love Flynn Baxter at all. Maria wants to kill you, and hearing every detail of your soon-to-be-if-you-don't-listen-to-me death is making me shudder. I can't take it anymore, love! You must run, far away from your home; do as I say or you'll be dead in a week, I swear it to you!" Frantically, the garden gnome hopped about. "Ooh, I better go; run away, Ruby, run away!"

I closed my eyes for an instant, confused and disbelieving yet fearful.

"You're hallucinating. Go back inside, kiss Chad awake, and make an appointment with Dr. Simmons ASAP." I said coldly to myself, rising and leaving the twisted hammock behind me.

*
ONE WEEK LATER:

"Police suspect a Maria Perez is responsible for the bloody death of twenty-two year old Ruby Jafar..."

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Re: Neighbor's Garden Gnome - 11/16

Postby bethanyc » Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:06 pm

The air is crisp and the sun warm, as it creeps over the horizon, eager to burn off what’s left of winter’s frosty blanket. The robins in Mrs. Grable’s pine tree finally had their babies, who are now screeching with their newly discovered voices, never-resting mother for their breakfast. It’s morning’s like these, when I can no longer see my breath hanging in the air in front of me like an icy veil, that I realize fourteen hour work days make having weekends to myself all worthwhile.

I set down my gardening basket, which consists of little more than a spade, some floral-printed gloves and a rusting trowel I picked up at a garage sale last summer, and squat down on the crunchy grass. “I will have a tulip border this year,” I say through a chuckle. How many years have I said that?

I begin chipping away at the hard soil, when I hear a soft, Irish accent from behind me say,

“Pardon me, Lass.”

I spin on the heels of my pink Uggs, hoping to find Colin Farrell smiling down at me with a couple of pints he needs help polishing off, but instead discover the two dark, beady eyes of the red-hatted garden gnome who is usually stationed in the Logan’s front yard standing in front of me.

“I didn’t mean to alarm you,” he says, while his little pipe dangles from the corner of his bearded mouth, “But you’re the first one I’ve seen today, and I’m required to report in.”

I nod my head in slow agreement because I’m pretty sure I’ve either gone mad or I’m dreaming. Considering my most recent dream involved me making out with Dick Cheney behind the bleachers of my high school, I’m not going to complain.

“All right then,” he says with a firm nod. “Mrs. McIntyre left at the crack of dawn to catch her flight to Miami for the bi-sexual senior’s cruise. She won’t be back until the New Year. The Grables,” he points to the red brick house across the street with rose bushes to die for, “are still in bed. The Mrs. is still a bit under the weather since the leg amputation last month, and Mr. Grable…well…let’s face it, he’s a lazy sack if ever I saw one.”

My eyebrows come together in my forehead. Mrs. Grable had her leg cut off?

“Then there’s Ms. Hughes,” he mutters through a smirk, as he peers at the house next to mine. “She’s been…entertaining Mr. Murphy since about two-thirty this morning. I don’t think I need to tell you what they’re doing over there.”

I nervously return his grin, and shake my head as convincingly as possible. The thought of my recently divorced neighbor with her misshapen breast implants and coffee stained teeth, spending any alone time with dear Mr. Murphy, the principal whose wife left him last Christmas for a go-go dancer named Trixie, is making me feel a little queasy.

“And then there’s my people,” the little man continues. “The Mr. never came home last night, so the Mrs. took off first thing this morning with an overnight bag and the American Express card she found locked in his top desk drawer last week. That’s all the news I have on my end, but Flossy will be over later to give you the report on the houses in the cul-de-sac.”

“Wait!” I say, grabbing his tiny wrist before he has a chance to walk away. “Who’s Flossy?”

He turns around slowly. His bird-like eyes are serious and steady on me. “Flossy is the pink flamingo at the end of the block,” he answers through a stream of smoke that threatens to conceal his rosy porcelain cheeks. “She monitors the south end of the street and I the north.”

“Oh,” I say, because other words don’t come to mind. “Have you been doing this long?”

“Not long,” he says, and begins to walk away. “Just since Expedia fired me.”

The tiny little man stomps across my driveway and disappears into the shrubs, leaving behind a pair of equally tiny footprints on the cold concrete, while I’m left to wonder if I’ve died and gone to some alternate universe where elves come to life and wooden birds patrol the neighborhood. I briefly consider the likelihood of such a place, but finally decide this must be God’s way of telling me I do not need tulips in my yard. At least it’s not trolls like last year.

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RE: Neighbor's Garden Gnome - 11/16

Postby livitrytit » Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:48 pm

You wouldn’t believe it if I told you. I mean, I hardly believe it myself. You know, you hear about these things, but you don’t believe ‘em. It’s a story right outta them two-cent dirt rags you get at newsstands. You know, the ones that read ‘Alien mom has turtle son’ or ‘Elvis found alive in his Winnebago on route 69’. Forget it. This story ranks right up there with all that nonsense. Trust me.
It was like any other day. There I am, relaxing, just checking things out in the neighborhood. Now understand I’m the new kid on the block, so I’m taking stock of the neighborhood from a distance, ok? I’m not one to get into other people’s business or drama and I’m not trying to be a Nosy Ned.
Anyway, I was takin a good gander at the people across the street. Decent enough people getting their house all decorated and real nice for Christmas, and it got me to thinkin’, so I said out loud to myself, “You know, we should do something like that to our house.” And outta nowhere, THWAP, I get a snowball upside the head.
“Hey! Keep it down over there. You gotta death wish or somethin?” said a tiny but surly voice from over the hedges. “So help me, if you get me tossed in the shed or attic.”
Dazed, I searched the skyline for someone, anyone. Nothing.
“Down here birdbrain,” sniped the little voice.
I peeked down and there he was in all his glory. The neighbor’s creepy, little lawn gnome was looking up and grinning at me.
“Who…who the…what…I mean…”, I struggled for words.
“Oh please, you’ve never talked to a gnome before?” scoffed the little man.
“Well, I mean-”
“Yeah yeah, anyway. We got little precious time, so listen up.” he snapped. “You know what time it is right? Please tell me you know what time it is?”
“I, yes, it’s…well, what time is it again?”
“Oh for cryin’ out loud, come on man. All right, look. See if you can keep up, ok?” he said with authority. “It’s winter time.” He paused. “It’s cold.” He paused again. “Which means…,” he says as he raises his dirty little eyebrows.
I chimed up, “Which means…it’s colder than I thought cause I’m outside freezin’ my rear off talkin to a garden gnome!”
“Hey, snap out of it. I’m trying to help you and you’re worried about your chilly little tushie,” he said mockingly.
“Wait, I don’t need your help and you have to admit – “
“Enough,” and with that he smacked me upside the head. I shook it off, but I’ll tell ya, it was a pretty good smack from such a little guy. He continued, “You think it’s all fun and games for us gnome foke? Everyday’s a holiday for me?”
I grinned and cocked my head like, yeah, pretty much.
“Well snap out of it pencil neck. I’ve got worries. Plenty worries, like getting peed on by your dog, or dragged under by the other neighbor’s groundhog. Or…” He paused. “Getting replaced by Frosty.”
Wide eyed and confused, I replied, “huh?”
“You don’t know? How can you not know?”
“Well, I must admit-“
“Shut it. You’re killin’ me.”
“You know, I still don’t know what this has to do-“
“Shh!”
“Well, it’s just-“
His tiny hand goes up, “ah!” He points at me and then covers his lips with his finger. “These are dire times my friend. Don’t you see? Don’t you understand? These things come in cycles, and the time is drawing near.”
I just stared at him with curiosity and bewilderment.
He continued, “These cycles, or seasons as I often hear them called start out all sunny, then it’s cloudy, and then it’s raining, and now, now it’s-“
“Now it’s snowing, yes thank you for pointing out the obvious captain half-pint. Wanna get to the point?”
“There you go, that’s the spirit. Get fired up cause you’re gonna need that fire to – oh no,” he suddenly froze where he stood.
“What? What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Don’t move. You’ll be less suspecting and maybe –“
Suddenly something grabbed me. What the heck. “Hey, put me down. Stop. Gnome, help. Help me.“
“Sorry Pinky, but I tried to warn you…” his voice faded. “See you in January.”
And like that, I was cast away in a storage shed with the others. Just another common Flamingo decor replaced for a fat man in a red suit.

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RE: Neighbor's Garden Gnome - 11/16

Postby metv » Sun Jan 23, 2011 2:59 pm

“Oh my family. How I miss my family !”
I whipped around hose in hand and sprayed the dog out of her nap in the warm sunshine.
“What the heck was that ?” I thought looking around the yard.
A gnarly high pitched voice wailed from under the Quince bush that bordered my neighbor’s yard. “Why did I knock on her door? Why ?” the voice lamented.
I almost took out my lilies as the hose was dragged behind me on my quest to investigate the talkative Quince bush. “Hello?”
The Quince bush started to shake slightly as the tip of a pointed green hat poked its way out and a tiny blue dressed gnome followed behind. The hose dropped from my hand crushing the lily that I had just been watering. My neighbor Mrs. Wilson’s gnome, which had sat peacefully, definitely quietly, and I would have said until now contentedly on her patio, was now sobbing in my yard.
“Oh dear” I said “What happened ? Can I help ?” At this point reality has obviously been completely suspended as I sit here conversing with this Home Depot refugee.
“You need to know what is really going on. The truth of the gnome’s plight. I’ve been trapped in servitude to Mrs. Wilson for years.” Shock and disbelief must have registered on my face as the gnome grew quite indignant. “You don’t believe me do you ? You think just because we sit there with that silly grin on our face we must be happy ! Well I’m here to tell you …” but she dissolved in to sobs before the truth could be revealed. Suddenly, she got a panicked look on her face as the sound of Mrs. Wilson’s old, noisy Cadillac came up the street. “Oh no, it’s her. I’ve got to get back.” The next thing I knew, the gnome was high tailing it through the Quince bush and back to Mrs. Wilson’s patio. I heard the Cadillac door close and watched as the little gnome picked up her wheelbarrow and froze the grin back on her face.
I picked up my hose and began to water the lilies that remained standing. A glance into Mrs. Wilson’s back yard confirmed that the little gnome was in fact back in place. A sigh of relief left me in a breath I didn’t realize I was holding. I stood for a moment and contemplated what had just happened. How eager was I to embrace insanity ? At the same time, if this had actually happened, if Mrs. Wilson’s gnome was truly trapped and not the happy go lucky wheelbarrow toting gnome I had thought her to be, then what was I to do ? I glanced back again at the gnome and noticed that tears were still streaming down her face. I sent a spray of water over the bushes and she mouthed “thank you” as the water covered her tears. I guess I was embracing the whole insanity scenario after all.

As I muttered under my breath, I marched over to Mrs. Wilson’s front door and knocked. “Yes deary, how can I help you ?” I took a deep breath and said, “Mrs. Wilson, I’ve always admired your garden gnome on your back patio. Can you tell me where you got it ?” Her eyes narrowed and suddenly the little old lady who used to leave freshly baked cookies at my door disappeared. “You’ll leave my gnome alone if you know what’s good for you !” and she slammed the door. I knocked again and the door flew open, “I warned you !” she cried and a flash of light flew from her finger tips. Suddenly the world was looking a lot bigger and I was a lot smaller. She picked me up and took me to the back patio. “Damn nosy neighbours” she said as she placed me beside my new friend. That’s when I noticed the rest of the yard was full of more gnomes. That’s when I remembered how many neighbors had “disappeared” from our neighborhood. That’s when I realized that I too had now become trapped.

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Re: Neighbor's Garden Gnome - 11/16

Postby LigFam » Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:47 am

Claire was not a green thumb. She wasn’t even a green thumbnail. But she knew her roses weren’t dying due to anything she had done or forgotten to do.
The tall, tea roses were a gift from her son, Joseph. He was so happy to bring them to her on her birthday. He had handed them to his Mother in a basket decorated with multi-colored ribbons and bows. Five single tea rose plants, each a different color.
Joseph even helped her plant them in the front yard. They picked the sunniest place with the best soil so they would thrive and bloom for many years.
Unfortunately, as of today, none of the roses looked like they would last until the end of the week.
As Claire studied the plants trying to see if an insect or blight was having their way with her beloved gift, something tugged at the hem of her pant leg.
She turned around and saw her next-door neighbor’s garden gnome next to her foot. Her first thought was it was 11:00 in the morning, all the kids were in school and she didn’t hear anyone walking behind her. How did that get there?
Claire stood up and looked around then bent down to pick-up the gnome to return it to her neighbor’s yard when the gnome did something strange. It stepped back and introduced itself.
“HALLO Guten Tag! Mein Name ist Lukas”
“Whaaaaat the. . .? exclaimed Claire.
The Gnome realized his mistake and holding his hands up as if to calm Claire down, he repeated his greeting only this time he remembered where he was.
Placing his left hand on his chest he said, “Excuse me. . . Hello, Good Morning! My name is Lucas”.
Claire’s eyes and mouth were so wide open, she looked like a balloon with a painted face on it that was over filled with helium. She didn’t know whether to scream or run; but instead asked a question.
“Is this a joke?” she said. “Are you a little person who lost some sort of a strange bet? Claire said accusingly.
Lucas was slightly amused by that but said “No Claire, I am really a garden gnome. I wanted to let you know what was really going on with your roses.”
Putting aside that Claire was convinced that she may be having a grand mal seizure and all of this was a hallucination brought on by the miss firing of her brain matter, she did really want to know what was happening to her roses.
“OKaaay, Lucas”, Claire said cautiously, “What is happening to my beautiful roses?”
“Well you see,” said Lucas, “you share a birthday with Jennifer. “
Claire looked even more puzzled than before. “You mean Joseph’s girlfriend, Jennifer Flowers?” said Claire.
“Yes” said Lucas as he walked around the dying rose stems.
“What does that have to do with my roses?” said Claire a little annoyed.
“Joseph gave those beautiful flowers to you on your birthday which is the same birthday of his girlfriend of 6 months.” Lucas shook his head as if to be ashamed of Joseph’s insensitivity.
Dumbfounded doesn’t even begin to explain how Claire felt. She couldn’t speak for a moment and it didn’t help that she was very aware that she was having an in-depth conversation with a plastic garden gnome.
“Putting aside my son’s obvious insensitivity towards his girlfriend, which I will speak to him about when he gets home later today; I reiterate, what does this have to do with my birthday gifts being on their death rose bed?” Claire said with a crescendo voice.
Lucas held up his hands trying to calm her down and said “Jennifer has been lightly spraying the roses every day with weed killer. She keeps the spray bottle in her backpack and when Joseph and Jennifer come home from school, she zaps the plants as they walk into the house.”
Shocked and stunned, Claire stood there for a minute and then managed a small amount of composure and said “Thank you Lucas, it was nice to meet you.”
She then headed towards the house.
Lucas said “Where are you going?”
Claire turned and faced Lucas and said “I am going into the house to call an ambulance and if I am EVER released from the hospital, I will be moving away from this town.”
Lucas shrugged his shoulders headed back towards the next door neighbors house and said “I really need to mind my own business.”

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RE: Neighbor's Garden Gnome - 11/16

Postby LigFam » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:48 pm

Claire was not a green thumb. She wasn’t even a green thumbnail. But she knew her roses weren’t dying due to anything she had done or forgotten to do.
The tall, tea roses were a gift from her son, Joseph. He was so happy to bring them to her on her birthday. He had handed them to his Mother in a basket decorated with multi-colored ribbons and bows. Five single tea rose plants, each a different color.
Joseph even helped her plant them in the front yard. They picked the sunniest place with the best soil so they would thrive and bloom for many years.
Unfortunately, as of today, none of the roses looked like they would last until the end of the week.
As Claire studied the plants trying to see if an insect or blight was having their way with her beloved gift, something tugged at the hem of her pant leg.
She turned around and saw her next-door neighbor’s garden gnome next to her foot. Her first thought was it was 11:00 in the morning, all the kids were in school and she didn’t hear anyone walking behind her. How did that get there?
Claire stood up and looked around then bent down to pick-up the gnome to return it to her neighbor’s yard when the gnome did something strange. It stepped back and introduced itself.
“HALLO Guten Tag! Mein Name ist Lukas”
“Whaaaaat the. . .? exclaimed Claire.
The Gnome realized his mistake and holding his hands up as if to calm Claire down, he repeated his greeting only this time he remembered where he was.
Placing his left hand on his chest he said, “Excuse me. . . Hello, Good Morning! My name is Lucas”.
Claire’s eyes and mouth were so wide open, she looked like a balloon with a painted face on it that was over filled with helium. She didn’t know whether to scream or run; but instead asked a question.
“Is this a joke?” she said. “Are you a little person who lost some sort of a strange bet? Claire said accusingly.
Lucas was slightly amused by that but said “No Claire, I am really a garden gnome. I wanted to let you know what was really going on with your roses.”
Putting aside that Claire was convinced that she may be having a grand mal seizure and all of this was a hallucination brought on by the miss firing of her brain matter, she did really want to know what was happening to her roses.
“OKaaay, Lucas”, Claire said cautiously, “What is happening to my beautiful roses?”
“Well you see,” said Lucas, “you share a birthday with Jennifer. “
Claire looked even more puzzled than before. “You mean Joseph’s girlfriend, Jennifer Flowers?” said Claire.
“Yes” said Lucas as he walked around the dying rose stems.
“What does that have to do with my roses?” said Claire a little annoyed.
“Joseph gave those beautiful flowers to you on your birthday which is the same birthday of his girlfriend of 6 months.” Lucas shook his head as if to be ashamed of Joseph’s insensitivity.
Dumbfounded doesn’t even begin to explain how Claire felt. She couldn’t speak for a moment and it didn’t help that she was very aware that she was having an in-depth conversation with a plastic garden gnome.
“Putting aside my son’s obvious insensitivity towards his girlfriend, which I will speak to him about when he gets home later today; I reiterate, what does this have to do with my birthday gifts being on their death rose bed?” Claire said with a crescendo voice.
Lucas held up his hands trying to calm her down and said “Jennifer has been lightly spraying the roses every day with weed killer. She keeps the spray bottle in her backpack and when Joseph and Jennifer come home from school, she zaps the plants as they walk into the house.”
Shocked and stunned, Claire stood there for a minute and then managed a small amount of composure and said “Thank you Lucas, it was nice to meet you.”
She then headed towards the house.
Lucas said “Where are you going?”
Claire turned and faced Lucas and said “I am going into the house to call an ambulance and if I am EVER released from the hospital, I will be moving away from this town.”
Lucas shrugged his shoulders headed back towards the next door neighbors house and said “I really need to mind my own business.”

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Re: Neighbor's Garden Gnome - 11/16

Postby Trissa » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:21 pm

Life at my end of our cul-de-sac is quiet. Most of the homes are owned by DINKS. Double Income No Kids couples. Homes with children somehow congregated at the far end of Hazelnut Drive. I enjoy the peace and take full advantage of it, especially during summer. Tanning season!

Laying out one fine August noon, my tranquility was disturbed. A low "wolf whistle" came from behind the privacy hedge between my house and that of my neighbors, the Nelsons. I sat up hurriedly, retying my bikini straps. "Gary, is that you?" I lowered my sunglasses for a better look. Someone laughed on the other side.

I hustled "the girls" into place and hot-footed it to the hedge. "Really, Gary, you should be ashamed of yourself."

The bushes shook violently. "She's coming! Out of the way, idiot." Another voice squawked back. "You don't need to run me over, dolt. Watch where you're going!" The sound of people scrambling, more shaking bushes. Forgetting how I was dressed, I kneeled down and found a space in the hedge big enough for my head. Two small boys dressed in liederhosen wrestled on the ground. Sensing my presence, they stopped mid-fight. One boy sprawled over the other, beating his companion over the head with a pointed elfin shoe. The other had handsful of the other guy's hair in his tiny fists.

"What do you boys think you're doing? You shouldn't be spying on people. Are the Nelson's home? I should talk to them about your behavior."

Straightening themselves up, they no longer looked like children. In fact, they looked like the garden gnomes from the Nelsons' front lawn.

"They aren't home," the blue hatted gnome said. "On vacation."

The red hatted gnome winked at me. "You're hot." This remark got him an elbow from Blue Hat.

"Wait a minute," I squinted at them. "You guys are little people, right? Did the Nelsons ask you to house sit?"

"Stop pretending, sweetie," Red Hat sneered. "You know who we are. You stick your garbage can next to us every week."

Blue Hat shuffled nervously. "Yeah, that's it. We're little people. Friends of the Nelsons."

"Knock it off," Red Hat hit Blue in the shoulder. "Stephanie ain't stupid. She has eyes. And a lovely blue they are, too."

"My God!" I fell into the hedge with surprise. "You're the gnomes!"

Red Hat stepped closer to me, staring into my eyes with his stoney brown ones. There was a small cracking sound as his lips moved. "I'm Harvey and this is Dwight. We're from that lawn and garden shop down the road."

"Trudy got us half-price last fall," Blue said as he tried to snap his suspenders. He was leaning on a tiny garden hoe.

Red stood on tip-toe. "Hot or not, we need to discuss where you're puttin' that trash can. I don't know about Dwight, but I don't like standing in the heat smelling your trash. It gets ripe, you know?"

"Sorry, I never noticed you guys standing there," I explained.

Blue looked downcast. "We get that a lot. We're nothing but lawn ornaments to you and the Nelsons. Made of stone...must not feel anything."

I reached through the hedge and patted his peaked hat. "Sorry. You're right, though." Blue sighed. I looked at their smooth, faces that held permanent laugh lines.

"It's nice in a way; not being noticed. When the Nelsons are gone, we get a break." Red laughed the laugh I heard earlier. "You didn't notice we weren't in our spots by the driveway."

"Yeah," Blue looked up. "Guess there are benefits."

Thinking a minute, I finally got off my knees where I had stumbled. "I'll make a deal with you guys. I'll move my trash can and I won't say a thing to the Nelsons." The two gnomes waited in anticipation. "But no more spying."

Red looked disappointed, but the two agreed to the arrangement.

Hazelnut Drive is still quiet at my end of the cul-de-sac. No screaming kids, no shouting parents, no car radios blaring. But once in awhile when I'm sun-bathing, I hear the tiniest laughter.

Ashley
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RE: Neighbor's Garden Gnome - 11/16

Postby Ashley » Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:26 pm

Gossip! My favorite pass time was to gossip and be that noisy neighbor that even I would hate to have living next door. Yes, that’s right it was my favorite pass time that was before I realized I wasn’t the only one watching and boy, did I have things all messed up!

It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. I had settled down to watching the normal comings and goings of the neighborhood. Mr. Jinkens was home early again today and new car was in the driveway. His wife wouldn’t be home for another two hours and the cobalt would be long gone by then. Five year old Katie was playing too close to the street and her mother was nowhere to be found. She was probably too busy to notice poor little Katie. Old Mrs. Tanner was out working in her flower bed. Mr. Tanner was standing next to her likely complaining about the Hanks boys walking through their yard after school. He was always making a lot of hand movements and talking loud when the boys walked home. The Hanks boys passed through the Tanner’s yard moments ago and were now playing a violent game of football with other neighborhood teens.

About five minutes passed and most of the families went inside for dinner. I stayed out a bit longer than usual. Alex wouldn’t be home until seven or so tonight and I wanted to relax before cooking dinner.

“Hey,” the strange voice was coming from the Tanner’s yard. I froze in my chair. I knew everyone in the neighborhood and didn’t recognize this voice. I racked my memory for who should be out, but no one came to mind. I turned to find myself staring at Mrs. Tanner’s garden gnome. It was walking towards me. I couldn’t help, but stare in amazement.

“It sure is nice of Mr. Jinkens to plan a surprise party for his wife’s birthday. She has been so homesick and stressed from working so many hours.” I guess I had just assumed. Oh, what horrible gossip I had spread. The little gnome went on to tell me of how the Hanks boys liked to take out there anger in a healthy way and how their game of football was not at all as violet I as I had thought. “They are just boys being boys,” the gnome laughed.

According to the gnome, for being such a nosey neighbor I sure did miss a lot. I guess at the angle where I sit I never saw Katie’s mother watching her daughter. I never heard the happy greetings of Mr. Tanner, who didn’t want to leave the side of his sick wife but waved his arms and yelled for the Hanks boys to hear. My heart sank as I realized all the horrible things I had assumed.

I talked to the gnome a while longer. I don’t remember exactly what happened next, but before I knew it the gnome was back in Mrs. Tanner’s yard and Alex’s car was pulling into the drive. From then on I decided I wasn’t going to start rumors, gossip, or be such a noisy neighbor.

It’s been a year since my encounter with the gnome. I have felt his eyes watching my every move since that day.

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