The Authentic Eclectic

The beasts at the end of my garden.

If only this were a fictional tale.

Black and white image of a tree with a hand and arm coming around it
Photo by Simon Wijers on Unsplash

The mornings begin quiet with the exception of birdsong. The sun begins to warm the air, the morning dew soon evaporates. Calm surrounds my garden. As I hang the family washing, I smile to myself and think what a beautiful day. But then…

Then… an unholy roar comes from the back of my garden. The fence vibrates violently as the roar is joined by more unearthly sounds. A strange, animal like panting begins. I am unsure if it comes from one or more of the creatures on the other side of the fence. Screams follow.

My eyes widen in fear. What…is…it? I am cemented to the ground. The roars get louder. Finally, a voice cuts through the animalistic panting.

“I am the leader” it yells. It is high pitched. Squeaky almost. It can’t be. Is that a …a child’s voice? Are they children on the other side of my garden fence?

Thwummp! My mind is reset by the object that has narrowly missed me. Maniacal laughter can be heard. Thwump! Thwump! More objects land around me. I need to take cover.

Suddenly all is quiet. I check myself for injuries. None. Around me are an array of sacrificed toys. A doll stares at me from a bush — one eye poked out and an arm ripped off. She is naked. Hair mangled. No longer the joyful play fellow of an innocent child. Now a lonely sacrificial figure, doomed to be sacrificed day after day in goodness knows what hideously unsavoury ritual by these beasts at the end of my garden.

Plastic spades have landed in a heap. Evidence of a burial being hidden perhaps? A dolphin falls forlornly out of the vine. Lost. A dirty, sad looking teddy sits at my feet, almost begging me to keep it. “Please don’t put me back there” its eyes plead.

While it is quiet, I gather the detritus and plop them all back over the fence. I want to put this day behind me. I feel slightly shaken. I convince myself it is a one off. A strange and wild day. The wind was blowing a bit oddly after all.

The next day I go to the back of the garden to begin some weeding. All is quiet. Ahh, it must have just been a one off as I thought. Then my shoe kicks something. It is off white and is a strangely familiar shape. I dig in the depths of my memory and try to figure where I have seen something like this before. I bend for a closer look. Are they teeth I can see? Yes. Definitely teeth. Weird. What the actual? Now I know why I recognise it. It is a sheep skull, teeth intact. To be more precise, it is only half a sheep skull. How? What? When?

I am not going to lie. This is just frigging weird. A sheep’s skull for “f’s” sake?! Now I am a freaked out. The toys I can get. But this. What sacrifices have those monsters been up to? Did they bury the rest of the sheep in their garden — is that why there were shovels over my fence the other day?

I carefully place it back over the fence — to the unknown chaotic Castle Rock at the end of my garden.

I never seem to hear adult voices. Only bestial childlike roars and screams.

Today is a slightly different day. Small things get thrown over the fence, one by one. Small voices whisper conspiratorially on the other side of the wood. Gifts perhaps? I pick them up and plop them back. More whispering. More agitated now. The fence bends slightly under the weight of the beasts gathering on the other side. More things drop near me. Larger offerings. More whispers. I am beginning to wonder if these are lures now not gifts.

The fence creaks. Small, dirty fingers appear at the top. I take a swift intake of breath. But do not let it go. Wild hair appears, followed by a pair of wide wild eyes. No sounds. They look down, indecipherable whispers follow. The fence rattles, creaks under the strain as more small hands and wild heads appear. A line of dilated hungry eyes stare back at me.

Frozen to the ground I stare back. Will they launch at me. Climb all the way and take my body to their lair. Sacrifice me, bury my body but not my head in their garden, as they have done with the poor sheep? Will my dried skull be tossed back into my garden to lure the next victim?

As suddenly as they appeared. They are gone. A bell rings.

I finally breathe. I wait. All is quiet. I creep closer to the fence and listen. Heart beating loudly. Nothing. Closer I step. I decide to take the plunge. I climb the fence. This could be a trap. This could be my end.

I peer over. The beasts at the end of my garden are preschoolers. Clearly not any kind of preschoolers. This is no “Happy Rainbow Preschool” and more like “Lord of baby Flies Preschool”.

I sigh an only marginal sigh of relief. Tomorrow is a new day.

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Trudi Bishop

Trudi Bishop

Kiwi by birth but not always by nature. Spent most of my adult life in the UK. I’ve landed back in NZ, a stranger in a familiar land. Trying to figure this out.