Deadly Garden

Photo of snowy terrain, with the opening of a cave on a rocky hillside.

Today I’m trying out the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge, and this week’s prompt is:

April 8, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that “rethinks the hero.” Define the hero, comparing or contrasting to the classic definition. Break the mold. What happens to the hero in the cave? Is it epic or everyday? Is there resistance or acceptance? Go where the prompt leads!

I found the word-count limitation to be a neat challenge, since I typically don’t write stories with a ceiling of the number of words. It’s a tricky exercise to tell the story that’s in your head to a specific number.

Deadly Garden
by Dave Williams

Discovery of treasure! Purples, blues, yellows! Like reaching a monochromatic street’s end to find Times Square.

The backyard garden rewarded Zuberstan’s long flight from the hive. Inebriated with joy, Zuberstan didn’t sense the golden retriever running — until the dog nearly reached the bee.

The beast’s jaws opened. The cave’s drooling maw ended with the darkness of death. Hot breath enveloped Zuberstan. He zipped backward. The jaws shut. Then flight from the dog’s reach.

Zuberstan gasped, headed back toward the hive. A group would return. Some bees would distract the dog, buzz its head, while other bees feasted on nectar.

copyright © 2021 Dave Williams

by Dustin Humes/Unsplash

Language of Plants

Their voices are softer
in winter:
pine, holly, juniper, hellebore.
Many gardeners turn indoors
during the cold months,
but she keeps busy
in the garden,
as she adores
the language of plants
year round:
the yawns and coos of spring
colorful babbles of summer
trees’ wisecracks of autumn
and murmurs of winter.