Garden of Insanity
It has happened two nights in a row. The first time was at mid-night, the second closer to three in the morning. I woke up to pee the first night when I heard the rummaging sounds through an open window. I thought it might be raccoons or something in my beloved garden so I grabbed a broom and ran out side to protect my veggies. No raccoon, no nothing. What ever it was, by the time I got there, it was gone. On the second night, I woke up hungry and went downstairs to snack on some left-overs. Once again I heard something in my garden through the kitchen window. Once again I found nothing in the garden as me and my trusty broom knocked about trying to discover the source of the sounds. Enough is enough, time for me to take steps in protecting my precious garden. I take great pride in growing my own vegetables. They are more then just food, my garden holds the fruits of my efforts and is nurtured by the sweat of my brow. Green thumbed and a talent for jarring and pickling, I have a well stocked cold room to see me through the cold season. This year has been less then perfect for growing gardens; Too much rain and not enough sunshine. I have worked hard to maintain what I could but the harvest won’t be as plentiful as it has been in the previous years. That is why I have decided to take extreme measures to be sure there aren’t any foragers taking what little there is to take. I put up tin plates hanging on strings fastened to wooden posts all around the garden perimeter. I sprinkled a healthy dose of powdered cayenne pepper around the garden’s perimeter as well. It is suppose to keep rabbit and deer and the like away, I hope it works on raccoons to. My best move, I put an outside microphone smack dab in the center of the garden and hooked it up to my computer in my bedroom. If anything sneezes from the pepper or knocks into a tin plate, I am going to hear it up close and personal. And you can bet I will be out there in a flash with my mighty broom.Wouldn’t you know it, it rained last night. It wasn’t suppose to. It rained quite hard, washing the pepper away and it beat my tin plates like they were drums. The sound of all that racket did not cease. It was so loud I turned off the computer to keep from going batty. Besides, I wouldn’t of heard a parade march through the garden if one happened on through it. This morning I found a fairly deep impression near my cabbages. Can’t tell what from. There were a couple zucchini near the cabbages that didn’t come from my garden. My poor plants took a beating but they will be okay. I spent some time drying under the melons so they wouldn’t get too soft in all that dampness. I re-staked the tomatoes and peppers. My beans and peas took it well and suffered little. It is that depression in the soil near the cabbages that bother me most of all. The day is full of sunshine for a change. Will have to re-sprinkle the pepper around my garden again. I will be all set for tonight. No rain forecasted for five days at least. That is, if one believes what they say on the news. Last night at two-thirty, I woke to the sound of sneezing and my tin plates rattling. I was up and outside in a flash. Superman couldn’t have moved quicker then I did. Still, I wasn’t quick enough. I did however see the tail end of something as I burst out the door. It was big and dove out of the light from the porch as I came out running. It disappeared by my cabbages. I ran over to were it disappeared, and found nothing. No other sounds for the rest of the night yet I still couldn’t fall back to sleep. In the morning I found another one of those impressions by the cabbages near to where I lost site of whatever it was I surprised. The depression in the ground is like a shallow cup shape. About two feet wide from side to side. There were a few cucumbers near the impression that weren’t mine and I have no idea where they came from. I feel annoyed by this ‘visitor’ and its violation of my garden. Not to mention I am losing sleep over this. I will set up my cot inside, by the porch door and keep my big flashlight near. If it comes back tonight I am going to see it.I saw ‘it’. It came back and I was ready for ‘it’. ‘It’ isn’t an animal at all. ‘It’ was a short man. Not a kid, much too stocky. It was certainly a man. I was furious! I was up and running to my garden the second I heard him. I hit him with a beam of light from my flashlight and saw him plainly, a surprise little man who was wearing makeup. Like he was dressed up for a halloween party. As I flew off my porch yelling things like, “Hey, what are you doing there!” and “Stop right there, I’m calling the police” and “Thats my garden your tromping through…you…you crazy buffoon!”, he took off like a bat. He was faster then me in the running department. I couldn’t catch up to him, and I tried my best. Well, now I figure he won’t be back. Not after I have seen him. Just incase though, I will spend one more night on the cot inside near the porch.Last night has left me wondering if I am losing my mind. I was half sleeping when a scratching sound at the porch door brought me to alertness. I called out, “Who’s there?!” and got no response. I slowly took hold of my flashlight and my broom and quietly crept to the door. There on my porch stair, sprawled the little man dressed in his costume. Plain as day he was to me, hunched over under the porch-light, yet there was something not quite right about him. He was making crying sounds. I was totally confused and didn’t know what to do. I opened the door and his head snapped up to look at me. There were cherry tomatoes all over the stairs and a few perched on the frills of his green costume near his throat. His green eyes were wide with fear and he looked ready to bolt again. I slowly set the flashlight on the railing and held out my hand in a gesture that I hoped indicated I wasn’t going to harm him. It did no good. He was up and off in a flash. He moved with a rustling sound and my eyes couldn’t move fast enough to track him. I lost sight of him entirely by the cabbages once again. There is something about the cabbages and this odd intruder that go together that I can’t figure out. The cherry tomatoes on my porch were red and ripe and perfect. The cherry tomatoes on my vines were still green, not enough sun to turn them yet. Did this fellow bring them from some other garden that has gotten more sun then mine? Why was he on my porch, knowing I saw him the night before and screamed out my displeasure with him being there. What was he doing crying on my porch?Its been seven nights now that I haven’t slept worth a darn. I am tired and irritable and losing my sense of reality. Last night I set up my cot by the garden outside. I was in a half doze when I heard my little friend again. I faked sleep so I could listen to what he would do. He moved very slowly but still made a rustling sound when he moved. He approached within three or four feet of my cot. It was all I could do to maintain a sleeping facade. I heard him sniff a few times, like he was trying to smell me. I eventually broke the silence and quietly asked him what he was doing in my garden. I didn’t move, I just spoke. He didn’t turn and run, he stayed put but didn’t answer me. Slowly I turned my head so I could see him. The light wasn’t as bright here but I could see him well enough. He was standing there, facing me so that I got my first really good look at him, and like a kick from a mule the thought ‘that is no costume’ struck me dumb. My next coherent thought, ‘what happened to this fellow to mutate him so?’ He was greenish-blueish and had scaly looking growths that seemed to leaf off of him. His hair was sparse and what was there was thin and ropey. It looked like bulbs of something were attached near the ends of his hair. His hands were long and thin and the fingers stretched out much longer then they should. That gave his hands the look of something more like weeds then hands. His facial features were odd as well, no protruding nose and what seemed like a nasty hair-lip. I don’t believe he was wearing any clothes. With a facial expression filled with wonderment I could not hide, I asked him who he was. He dropped his eyes to the ground and looked around, as though trying to find something. Failing to find whatever it was he looked for, he looked back up to me and tried to talk… I think he was trying to talk. It sounded like wispy blowing sounds and, to be quite honest, I couldn’t help but to stare at how his upper lip separated in the middle as he made those sounds. I sat up on my cot but that proved to be the wrong thing to do. He was off in a shot and I was left sitting by myself. Once again he ran towards the cabbages. I didn’t even bother to try and give chase; There was no point in it. I laid down again and tried to get some sleep. Wasn’t very successful at it but I tried. In the morning I noticed a pile of what looked like sliced sweet pickles were the strange man was standing. Did he dump a jar of pickles while he visited me last night?I am for sure a crazy man. I have stepped off the train and am certifiably nuts now. That is the only answer that makes any sense to me. Early last evening, I got it in my head that I should dig down in one of those impressions near the cabbages. I grabbed my spade and started digging just as the sun was setting. I got down to about a foot and a half when I exposed a thick vine. Here is the odd thing, it was growing downward and not up. I have never heard of such a thing as a vine that wants to grow away from the light. It wasn’t a root, it was for sure a vine. I loosened the earth around it and kept going deeper to see where this vine was growing to. About two hours later and another six feet down, I found the answer to my question. The vine ended at what must be the biggest head of cabbage I have ever seen. It was growing there so deep in the earth and greener and fuller then any cabbage of mine growing up top. I was trying to expose as much of it as I could when the leafs began to shake on the cabbage head. That freaked me out double time and I reeled away from the monstrous plant. That is when the leafs separated and the head of my little mutant friend popped out. Eyes locked we both began to scream and scream. I could smell the sour smell of stink weed permeate upward as I wrestled with the loose walls of dirt to get out of that hole. I got out and was running before I even hit the ground. I stepped on the head of my shovel and received a blow to the noggin for my troubles. I went out like a light. I woke this morning and the hole was filled and there were zucchini and cucumbers and pickles all over the place.It has been a week since that night with the hole. Not a sign of that creature since. No more random vegetables appearing, no more impressions in the ground near my cabbages, no more sounds at night. I don’t know what happened to it. It isn’t there anymore. I finally built up enough nerve to dig that same hole again only this time in the full light of day. I dug down eight or so feet and found nothing. The soil was rich and dark but there was nothing there but worms. I have no clue what that was I had growing in my garden but it was something I believe the world has never seen before. Something that cries tears made of cherry tomatoes and poops zucchini and cucumbers and the like. Maybe it was some sort of mutation of plant life from all the toxins we have dumped in the earth for so long now. Maybe it was evolution working right here, in my garden. Maybe it was some infant vegetation God that was seeded here and it had grown enough to move on to wherever a vegetation God would go. Who knows. I have no evidence of it except a pile of regular looking zucchini, cucumber, and pickles and my story. I am finally able to sleep at night again. I am still a little jittery and ‘off’ feeling inside, like there is a part of me permanently damaged by all of this. Maybe that is what insanity feels like. I can quite look at my garden the same again either. Like I don’t trust it anymore. It shows to, there are weeds where there was never weeds before. I have let it grow soft and I can’t muster up the energy to make it proper again. I think next year, I will plant a flower garden. Maybe that will bring me back to loving my garden once again. Or maybe I will give up the garden all together. Yes, that feels easier. I can always get myself a fish tank to look after and take pride in. That sounds safer and saner to me.