Flash Fiction- Theme- Summer
Tarence looks out the front window after a hot Tennessee rain the day before. His gray eyes scan the green grass and he smiles. Time to mow the lawn.
He is more excited about being able to use his lawnmower. Riding it always makes him happy. Tarence gets dressed and heads outside. He looks up at the sun, wrinkling his brow. It’s warmer than he thought since it is still early in the morning.
Shrugging, he heads into his garage. He glances over his prized lawnmower; starts the engine and he drives it out, whistling. Tarence stares down for a moment at his phone and places it on busy status. He didn’t want to be interrupted while he’s working.
He looks up to see a car drive by slowly with dark windows so he can’t see who’s inside. It turns around the corner at the end of the street and he shrugs it off. Putting his phone in his pocket, he drives the lawnmower to the grass, lowers the blade, and grins as he listens to the blade slice through the grass.
His nose is invaded by the freshly cut grass, and he sighs in delight. Terance drives in a straight line to the curb, turns, and heads back to his house.
As he drives back to the curb, he notices the car from before slowly driving past again. He scrunches his eyebrows as he watches it disappear down the street. Terance wasn’t liking the strange vibes he’s getting from the car.
He shakes the feeling off and finishes mowing half the lawn. It is getting hotter to the point he can’t stand the heat. So, he figured to take a break to eat something since he skipped breakfast. Parking on the side of the house where no one can see his lawnmower, he turns it off, climbs down, and heads inside.
Wiping his brow, Terance walks into the cool kitchen, grabbing himself some water out of the fridge. He chugs it while he stares in the fridge, deciding what he wants to eat.
He nearly chokes when he hears someone banging on his front door. Terance curses under his breath and walks to the front door. He peeks out the window first, but sees no one standing there. Scratching his head, he walks back to the kitchen. He is halfway there when he hears someone knocking on the door again.
Growing frustrated, he stomps to the front door, throws it open, and growls. Parked at the curb is that mysterious car that driven past twice earlier. The car engine wasn’t running and the passenger window was rolled down, but no one was inside. Terance scanned the neighborhood for any suspicious, but nothing seemed out of place.
Glass shatters in the back of his house and he runs back inside. He sees a man barging into his back door, a mask hiding his face, and a baseball bat in hand. Behind the man is another masked man, carrying a tire iron in his left hand.
Terance hisses, and he rushes the two men. The first man swings the baseball bat. He dodges the bat but can’t move out of the way of the tire iron. It hits his head, and Terance falls to his knees. He lifts his head, snarling at the man and lunging at him. The scuffle ends after a few minutes.
The first masked man opens his eyes, his mask no longer on his face. His face itches, but when he tries to move, he can’t scratch. His arms are pinned at his side.
“Matt? Matt, where are ya?”
His friend grunts, letting him know Matt is somewhere off to his right. He turns his head and sees the bloodied face of his friend. His body is buried under the ground. The man looks down to see he is also buried up to his neck. He tries to wiggle himself free but can’t.
“Matt, can ya get free?”
Matt shakes his head. “No, Tex, I can’t move. I thought you said this would be an easy hit. In and out quick with whatever we could find.”
“I know Matt. I thought it would be easy, too,” Tex says, trying to see around him. “He didn’t look that tough.”
“Well, you two are dead wrong.”
Terance steps in front of the two men and squats down. His gray eyes change into a murky white. His smile grows wider and longer across his face as he cocks his head to the side.
Both men scream as they watch the human fades into a gruesome ghost. Blood slips down the side of his mouth and apparent slices appear. Terance stands up and walks around the side of the house. He starts up his lawnmower and drives it towards them.
The lawnmower itself is rusty, has dead grass and plants around the bottom, and blood splattered on the front. He stops and stares at the two.
“No one lives in the house,” Terance says, as he nods his head to the house.
Matt and Tex turn their heads to see a boarded up, run-down, old house. Vines are taking over the front, the windows are broken, the roof is caving in on one side, and there is some graffiti on the sides. They glance at each other and then up at the thing sitting on the bloody lawnmower. Terance turns the mower off so the two can hear him talk.
“I had an accident while mowing my lawn years ago. I was mowing it when some kids thought it would be fun to throw rocks and things in front of it. One kid got killed when the rock came back out and hit them in the face.” Terance shakes his head. “One got impaled by a stick, and the other two got away without a scratch. But me?”
He chuckles and gags as the top of his head falls backwards, leaving his mouth wide open. He grabs his head and puts it back on straight. “I thought my mower was off and jumped down to call for help.”
Tex and Matt struggle against the dirt holding them prisoner. Terance just chuckles, holding his head down so the top part doesn’t flip off again.
“I was on the phone with the dispatcher when I heard a strange noise. I turn to see the lawn mower was still on. It churned up a rock, but instead of the rock dislodging itself, it dislodged a blade. I moved closer, and it rumbled at me. Then the blade somehow sliced through the grass, came out from under the mower, and…”
Matt whimpers as he stares at the grotesque monster. “The blade flew up and sliced the top of your head off.”
“Good guess, but the blade stopped before it could go out the other side, just enough that my head popped backwards and I died. Not instantly, mind you.” Terance shudders. “It was pure agony, twitching on the ground, gagging and seeing the world upside as the top of my head sat on the grass.”
Tex gags and throws up in his mouth. He has to tilt his head to the side to get the acidy nasty mess out of his mouth. Matt screams and scratches at the dirt around his pinned hands. Terance stands up, laughing at the two. Terance walks back to his lawnmower, climbs in the seat, starts it up again.
“Need to finish mowing the lawn.” He sings loudly as he drives his rusty yet reliable lawnmower towards Tex and Matt.
The men scream in fear as they hear the blades slicing the ground not far from them. It keeps getting closer and closer until their screams are cut short.
The police string up the yellow tape around the front yard while a detective stares down at the bloody mess. He glances up at the beaten house, not seeing the man in the window watching. He turns to see a few men returning with shovels to dig out the bodies.
Another detective joins the first, picking up a bloody newspaper that lays close to the bodies. He chuckles and looks at the house. “I guess the lawnmower ghost got another victim. This is the eleventh time we have found someone dead in front of this house and it’s always someone we’ve been looking for.”
“I don’t know how he does it, but the ghost seems to attract the thieves, drug lords, and murderers here.” The detective looks at the paper to see the story about the thieves. “I’m just glad he’s on our side.” He looks at the window and nods before he and his partner walk away.
Terance nods back to the detectives and turns away from the window. He plops on his couch and turns on the television. He flips to the news, looking for his next victim.