Welcome to the new website! I hope you like it. To get things started, I’m going to feature a flash fiction piece that placed third (or maybe second, I honestly can’t remember) in a flash fiction contest at Horror Novel Reviews back in 2013. I figure the best way to introduce a new website is by showing off a piece of writing.
By Vincenzo Bilof
Left to die alone. One blade of grass the mower can’t cut.
“Cut it my way,” the wife says while I’m lost in a world of dragons and magicians, a realm where I can die and live, live and die.
“Be a man and get the damn weeds. Those weeds are all over my flowers.”
A baby screams. Mine.
The weeds have been murdered, but one blade of grass waves in the wind, green, indestructible. I’ve got leather gloves and I lack the strength, it seems.
She won’t see it. Go about my day and slay the dragon. I’ve got enough magic armor to resist flame.
“You missed a spot.”
That’s not true. I work a lot of hours and I come home to diapers and dragons. The office is full of blank walls and nosebleeds from closet coke addicts. Everyone has to numb their brains while monotony creeps, closes, entraps.
One blade of grass still lives; let the grass grow longer and entrap the blade, let it disappear into a green forest where everything conforms to the wind.
“The grass is getting high again. I found a large tic on the dog. You want that on your daughter? She has to sit in this house until that grass is mowed. Look at her… she needs to play outside.”
This is what conquest feels like. There must be sweat and there must be desolation in my wake. Grass clippings swallowed by the lawnmower. Don’t look. Don’t look because you know you got it. Don’t be a fool. Nothing could’ve survived the grass holocaust.
Taunting me, the blade remains. The weed whacker moves the blade, whips it back and forth, mashes it down.
“You missed a spot again!”
Let me play with dragons. Headphones drown out the wrath of an unhappy child.
In my dreams I’ve seen a shovel. I’ve seen myself digging until my shoulders crack, my elbows bleed, my fingers snap. Beneath the bright sun of a relentless summer day, I drown in my own sweat, digging and digging.
Rust that looks like dried blood crusts the edges of the spade. I’ll never miss a spot again.
Digging it up, hurling the patch of lawn with the singular blade into the trash. Hole in the ground, but I’ll mow around it.
“What the hell happened to my lawn?”
I rev the mower to make sure nothing can escape me. The body bag bulges with grass clippings.
A blade remains.
Digging in the moonlight. I can’t sleep anymore.
She waits inside, sitting in the dark.
“We need to talk.”
She doesn’t appreciate my sacrifices. The only way to destroy the grass forever is to dig it all up. The backyard, too.
“I can’t take it anymore. You’re lazy and inconsiderate. I told you how I want the grass cut. I told you to do it my way. Sitting around and playing computer games all day… you can’t do the simple things. You can’t do anything right. I’m sick of it.”
The yard becomes a hole. An abyss. Somewhere down there, my wife tries to speak. Maybe she wants me to cut the lawn her way.
Slaying dragons again in peace. Headphones drown out the screaming of a child. I don’t think I’ll be going to work tomorrow.
In the valley of dirt, a shard of grass must still be alive. I’ll find it.