Novelette Excerpt — “The Tomato Thief”

by on Nov 9, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

She dragged the chair out on the porch and sat down on it, sitting bolt upright. She had a cup of tea in one hand — herbal, because she didn’t need to spend another night like the last one.

And she waited.

She dozed off once or twice, but as soon as she slumped backwards, the forks and the spoons jabbed her awake. The moon moved carefully in the sky overhead.

It was nearly midnight when she fell asleep — really asleep — and that lasted nearly a minute. But the ladle prodded her in the small of the back and forks were pressing into her shoulder blades and she came awake immediately.

The mockingbird landed atop the tomato cages and looked around. It was impossible to read anything in those small white eyes, but Grandma Harken thought it looked… furtive.

She kept her eyes lidded. Surely the porch was too dark for it to see her watching through the slits.

After a few moments of standing there, glowing like anything, the mockingbird dropped into the center of the bushes. Light splashed over the garden, briefly turning the squash and beans into a fantastic landscape of black and white… and then the light was gone.

In the dimness, she could see a figure standing up. The figure bent down, and came up with something in its hand.

Grandma Harken cocked the shotgun. The noise was like a crack of thunder across the desert.

The figure froze.

Grandma Harken looked down the barrel and said “Don’t move. And don’t you drop my tomato.”


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