Mr O’Hara’s Plums

Word of The Day Challenge: Grounds

Vincent van Gogh’s last painting ‘Tree Roots’

” 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.

Aggy Draper

RDP Monday: SEED

Andrew Wyeth


Aggy Draper’s mother was disappointed when she realized Aggy’s eyes were not blue.

Everyone knows babies with blue eyes are the prettiest babies of all.

You only had to look at Homemaking Magazines and Christmas Cards to know that is



Aggy Draper’s father was disappointed when he saw that Aggy’s skin was not fair and pink.

Everyone knows the prettiest babies are pink.

All of the babies in soap commercials that

are floating on white clouds and wrapped in soft white blankets are pink.


Aggy Draper’s parents were disappointed that their daughter

never laughed or played with dolls, or had many friends

and the friends she did have

were so much more sparkly and pink then their own dull Aggy.


After Aggy Draper grew up

and left home

and lived alone

as her parents watched her age and fade

they knew had been right about Aggy  all along.


Aggy was alone because

babies with blue eyes are so much prettier

and sweet pink babies are so much more lovable

then their own

quiet and dull





Flashback To Faraway

For Fandango’s Flashback Friday

” Stories From Faraway “

First Published At the Soul Food Cafe

August 2007


In my hometown, which is a place called Faraway, a man named Mr. Nightfall stands under a pear tree full of light green poisonous fruit and waits for the Sun to set.

Mr. Nightfall is my neighbor and our streets, like all the other streets in Faraway are lined with deadly fruit trees and deadly gardens. All these dark shady places are kept and tended by people with pale faces and empty eyes and here in our town Faraway no one is Sane and no one really lives because no one is really alive in Faraway.

When Mr. Nightfall comes from Faraway sometimes he brings storms and in that wildness all you’ll see, all you’ll hear is Mr. Nightfall.

When Mr. Nightfall crosses your path and he settles over your town you’ll know he’s there because your skin will start to feel to tight and you won’t be able to pull air into your lungs.

Everything will seem very… Faraway. That’ when you’ll know Mr. Nightfall is close enough to put out his cold, dark hand and lay it over your shoulder.

Once I followed Mr. Nightfall to a city with stores and cars and a coffee stand where the woman who served me wore a picture on her chest of a creature with stars in her hair.

I asked if the creature in the picture was from  the Well of Angra Lei and the Woman squeezed the cup of coffee so tight at the sound of my voice that the top popped off and the scalding hot coffee filled her eyes and mouth and she didn’t cry out.

The woman had turned to stone, her face was frozen into a mask and her eyes had rolled up into her head and I could hear her someplace deep inside screaming and screaming and screaming and she will never stop.

They never do when they are taken Faraway.

Mr. Nightfall didn’t come back for me, he never turns back but he did call out to me and I followed him through the town and the entire time he cursed and spat and hissed like one of the cats that’ not really a cat from back home in Faraway and he said, “They know I’m coming.”

“Of course they know you’re coming Mr. Nightfall, don’t they always?”

“No, not like this they haven’t known me like this for centuries I don’t like this Miss Praecox. No I don’t like it at all.”

This time the people in this little town by the sea knew Mr. Nightfall was coming.

There were candles in windows and there wasn’t a soul on the street. They were locked behind doors and the curtains where drawn and they knew they were very aware Nightfall was coming.

As Mr. Nightfall crossed the city I stopped here and there and looked in windows and when I could I found people and I touched them, carefully, quietly with my left hand and I told them my name and their minds stopped liked old clocks.

I could hear it loud as thunder as gears and cogs and wheels that turn their minds
ground to a halt and I could hear what they took with them to Faraway.

My name.

” Enjoying your visit Miss Praecox?”

” I always do Mr. Nightfall.”

He reached out to pat me on the head and thought better of it, ” Just like you’re Mother, we were a team in our day to. We worked well together.

The Praecox have always done their best work with Nightfall.”

” So what’s happened here Mr. Nightfall, where is everyone?”

He held a newspaper up and showed it to me. I couldn’t read it of course and he ran a cold dark finger under the headline and read it to me.

” Hurricane Force Winds expected to Strike Seattle, Power Outages State Wide, locals ready for Nightfall and freezing temperatures.

They were ready for me this time. Lord I hate the press”

” Killjoys” I said with feeling.

” Well, there’s always tomorrow, isn’t there Miss Demetia Praecox?”

I agreed because everyone knows Nightfall comes from Faraway and sometimes it brings madness with it.

read more adventures from Faraway