Psycho #4 – Grandpa’s Garden
© S.B. “LullaDIEs”
A Tale of Ruminations Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:
Refers to a person with a train of prolonged, obsessive thinking on a general theme that is considered undirected and unproductive. Typically they dwell on religious, philosophical, or metaphysical topics, such as the origins of the universe, life after death, the nature of morality, and so on.
Making the coffin was the easy part. Filling it was tricky.
I drove around for hours in my van looking for a lovely young woman; a treasure worth burying. I didn’t want someone ordinary, they had to be magnificent, an individual who’s beauty would reflect in the flowers.
It was dark and late at night. The streets were glistening from a rainstorm that’d just passed and the shady clouds above ate away at all heavenly lights. Even the moon was devoured by the gloomy overcast.
This area of the city was always murky to begin with though. There were only a handful of street lights scattered along the road with long stretches of blackness between. It would be the perfect night to finally find her. No one was around to witness my actions, but then again no one was around to take either.
Just as I had given up hope and started towards home, I spotted her. She was a lovely little thing, wearing a thin white sweater, soaked from the downpour. Her clothes clung to her dreamy curves, accentuating them. The woman’s dark hair was matted and stuck to her face regardless of the harsh winds as she slowly walked along the roadside. She was shaking like a leaf from the cold, which gave me my opportunity.
“Hey, miss?” I called out of the driver’s window to the woman. “Ma’am, can I give you a ride somewhere?”
I kept pace with her as she walked, driving close to her side. She glanced over, shook her head ‘no’, and increased her speed slightly.
Foolish woman. I thought as I matched her new pace. You can’t out walk a vehicle.
“Come on, don’t be silly. Its freezing, you’re soaked, and you’re in a dangerous area.” I chuckled at the excuses I used, “Hop in. I’ll give you a ride home.”
She stopped and smiled slightly while assessing me, deciding if I were a threat or not. She must have come to the conclusion that I was nothing more than a concerned old man, because she started around to the passenger side. They always got in these days, probably due to my age. Grandpa’s make little girls feel secure.
“Umm… my turn was back there.” she said nervously.
In response I pushed the throttle and the van accelerated, reaching almost sixty-five miles per hour. Her eyes widened in fear and realization, and she instinctively clung to the door handle. She’d managed to squeeze close enough to the passenger door that she only took up one-third of the seat. I knew what she was considering.
“If you jump out it will kill you at this speed.” I told her while grinning.
The questions! I hated the questions.
“Who are you?”
“Why are you doing this?”
“Why can’t you let me go?”
On and on they’d hurl the inquiries, accompanied by snivelling and excessive water works.
I stopped just out of town and gave her a sedative. I would have done it sooner, but the risk of being seen by some random stranger was always there. I couldn’t risk the woman making a scene and drawing unwanted attention. I’d gotten away with my late night pickups for far too long to be caught now.
Finally, Peace and Quiet. I thought as she sat slumped over in the seat next to mine.
I needed to get her into the ground. The hole had already been dug, and her coffin set next to it waiting patiently to be filled. During the ride back I’d decided that she would be hidden away under some purple roses. I felt it matched her personality best.
I loved flowers to the point of being almost obsessive. My garden was massive, taking up nearly a full three acres of property just outside the city limits. It was a labyrinth, filled with many paths, twists, and turns. Hidden throughout it were ‘secret’ areas; one had a pond filled with coy fish, another a bench with a solar light post. The garden was a sanctuary, my retreat from the world and a place to allow my erratic thoughts to run wild. The roses alone had won dozens of gold metals and even more blue ribbons. When judges asked me what my secret was, I only smiled.
Thoughts of the link between life, death, and the natural world plagued my mind even in my youth. By time I hit my mid twenties I’d become submerged in theories regarding plants and mortality. The concepts haunted my mind, making it impossible to focus on anything else including social relationships and sleep. The main thoughts that kept reoccurring were based off scientific laws stating energy cannot be created or destroyed, only changed. If life is energy though, what does it change into?
I’d came to the conclusion that there was a connection between the women and the flowers. There must have been, because I’d been taking them for almost fifty years and each girl made the garden seem more colorful and radiant. It was as though I could trap their very essence in the petals, granting them immortality in my own way as I changed their life energy into plant energy. The discovery quelled my reoccurring thoughts, making them manageable once again. I found myself able to attempt a normal lifestyle afterwards, so long as I didn’t stop.
I opened the garden gate around the backside of the property and parked next to the coffin. It took a while to get the woman to her final resting place within the wooden box. My joints burned from the arthritis and hard work involved. It could have only been my imagination, but I swear they got heavier each year.
Once she was resting peacefully inside the coffin, I placed a walky-talky in with her. I wasn’t a cold hearted bastard after all. It must be lonely underground, and I thought they could use the company. Sometimes I found it hard to sleep due to continuous onslaughts of new ideas. When this happened I would talk to the women underground until the wee hours of the morning, sharing my thoughts with them. Most of the time they didn’t respond, but every once in a while one would.
Sliding the lid in place, I sat on top of the coffin and began hammering in the nails. My hands were shaking violently, a side effect of old age. It didn’t make the job any harder, just more time consuming. As I finished up with the last nail, I laid on top of the coffin, breathing heavily from my efforts.
I turned my head to the side and pressed my ear close to the wood. Closing my eyes, I could hear the womans faint breath.
Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.
I allowed the sweet, earthy smells of the surrounding plants to fill my senses, sending me into my own Utopia.
Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.
Enough old man, I thought to myself when my own breath became calm again. You’re going to lull yourself to sleep.
I began pushing the coffin closer to the hole. Again, a time consuming process. As it started tipping downward, I put my body weight on the end I stood at, slowing the decent. I wanted to be as gentle as possible. There was no need to bang her around and bruise her up. What if it reflected in the flowers?
Stop it, I ordered myself before my mind could go off on a tangent of thoughts. Now isn’t the time for contemplation.
As the end touched down in the hole, I climbed in with it. Pulling carefully, I stopped with the top end only just hanging off the edge, digging into the soft ground slightly due to the weight applied. My back ached at that point and I was taking ragged breaths once again, but I urged myself to continue on. I needed to finish my task before my wife woke up and came in search of me.
Getting out of the hole once more, I sat at the edge with my legs spread and hanging down, one on each side of the coffin. I lifted up and pushed with everything I had. As the coffin moved a couple inches, I slid down into the hole with it. Carefully setting the coffin on the ground, I stood up and took a deep breath. Exhaustion was starting to take its toll.
You’re getting to old for this. I thought as I climbed out of the grave for the last time.
I grabbed the shovel nearby and started filling in the hole. The scratching sound of metal cutting through dirt and the soft thump of soil hitting wood became the melody I worked to. This was yet another slow process, but my work was almost done.
Halfway through the burial I noticed the loose dirt started to jump around on top of the coffin’s lid, accompanied by muffled banging sounds. I sighed as I reached for the walky.
“Stop that.” I firmly ordered.
The commotion stopped, and I went back to work. It didn’t take long for a new noise to emit. This time from the walky.
“Hello? Who’s out there? Can you help me?” she sounded terrified.
“Its Grandpa.” I said into the black box. I left it at that and heard no more from the woman until the hole was filled.
I finished the task just as the sun was coming up. Knowing my wife would be getting up soon to start breakfast, I decided to turn the walky off and put it in the tool shed with the others. Over the years I’d put a lot of effort in keeping my secret from my wife. She knew of my recurring theories and remained understanding of my gardening obsession, but the details of my experiments were for me and me alone. The truth was, she would not approve of my techniques and I knew she would turn me into the authorities if she found out.
“There you are!” my wife exclaimed as I emerged from the shed. “Have you been out here all night?”
“Just getting the ground ready to start some purple roses.” I replied cheerfully.
“Well, the grandkids will be here in an hour or so. They want to play in the garden.”
“As long as they remember that flowers are people too, they can play out here all day. I could use the help getting some seeds in the ground anyways.” I smiled at my wife and she grinned back before heading towards the house.
“Help me.” the soft cry was heard faintly from the shed behind me.
“What was that?” my wife asked as she turned to face me.
“Nothing cupcake. I’ll be in in just a moment.” I replied as I turned towards the shed.
Damn. I thought I turned that off.
Picking up the walky, I stared at it as I listened to the short breaths and sobbing sounds on the other end.
“Please. Help me. Please. Don’t leave me. Please.”
I looked up and out the window facing her patch. The earth was clearly disturbed, but the kids and I would have that covered in no time.
“I won’t leave you.” I said into the walky before shutting it down and removing the batteries.
© Sitarra “LullaDIEs” Sefton