Word of The Day Challenge: Grounds
” You kids can’t play here! ” Mr O’ Hara used to bellow from his back porch.
He’d stand there with a bottle of something that would burn his throat as it went down and holler and curse into his overgrown Plum orchard for hours at a time about those trashy kids treating his property like their own private playground.
When he carried on, the bees who were feasting on the over ripe plums that had fallen to the ground would buzz louder and some of them would fly up into the sky and fly around the tops of the trees and watch him turning redder and redder as he carried on.
Convinced that he wasn’t going to stumble down the broken flagstone path into the orchard where the grass was as high as your waist and treacherous patches of nettles patiently waited for careless wanderers, the bees would return to their meals.
Mr O’ Hara’s Plum Orchard always smelled a little dusty, a little moldy a little rotten no matter how green the leaves on the trees were.
There was a time when the crows visited the Plum orchard because Mr O’ Hara not only grew delicious plums ( which the crows weren’t crazy about,but they did like resting in the trees ) but sometimes resting under the trees were meals fit for a king and the Crows would help themselves until Mr. O’Hara showed up with his shovel and chased them away.
The Crows took his anger in stride, after all he fed them well.
At the end of last Summer, when most of the plums had either rotted away or been eaten by the bugs and the birds, the Crows saw Mr. O’ Hara stumble down his porch, they watched him trip over the broken flagstones and they saw him stumble into the over grown grass.
” I know you kids are out here! I told you what I’d do if I caught you out here, didn’t I? Well didn’t I? So why are you here? ” Mr. O’ Hara was carrying a spade.
It was rusty and the handle was bleached bone white.
They heard the grass crunching under Mr. O’ Hara’s feet. They could smell him and they could taste his anger…and his fear.
One crow called out to another and then that crow called out to crows further away and in minutes the sky was black with crows.
Mr O’ Hara went further towards the back of the orchard and just before he got to the fence line he stopped. He stamped around. Then the crows saw him raise his spade over his shoulder and he drove it into the ground.
” I told you kids what I’d do if I caught you here…I told you!”
The crows were as loud as an ocean wave crashing against slick green rocks.
Then the Murder of Crows heard a crack and then another crack and then the air was filled with dust and bones and they saw Mr. O’Hara pitch head first into the sink hole he had opened up.
The crows stopped cawing and they listened. Even the bees stopped buzzing.
Mr O’Hara yelled for a very long time and when he was done the crows and the bees had a little more to eat for the next few days then Mr O’Hara’s plums.