The Seeds

They grew quickly. According to the details on the packet, his front garden – and where he intended to plant them, between the large grey slabs of his driveway – was far from ideal: it had the wrong aspect, was on a slope, was overhung by the large oak. In spite of his objections, the strange man in the shop had said they would be fine. “A hardy strain” apparently.

And so it was that within the first couple of weeks the hard lines and edges of his driveway had been softened and rounded by the bright green of the newly grown modest plants, their small leaves meshed together in a tight carpet. It was the perfect effect.

When he had been called away to London, he had been promised it would only be for a night or two. His wife had expressed concern, disappointment. Their holiday was just ten days away and she was nervous about being left to make the final arrangements by herself – just like always.

He had told her not to worry, but when he rang on the Tuesday morning it was with news that work was not going well and that they needed him there longer. He said he’d be back as soon as he could.

When he spoke to her on Wednesday there was a tense note in her voice. He assumed she was stressing over the holiday.

On Thursday she failed to answer the phone.

It was late Friday evening when he finally pulled into his road. Approaching his house – the pavement shrouded in darkness – it appeared as if the streetlight had broken, again. And then, suddenly, he stopped. The lamp was not broken; it was not there. And neither was his drive, nor his house, all absorbed by a monstrous carpet of green.

From a 2017 workshop entitled “The Dark Side”.

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