Midnight Gardener

Midnight Gardener

That feeling of being watched crept over his back; it sizzled like fresh moon dust over morning dew, and a smell of guilt — burned vanilla and hair-honey — tickled his nostrils.

He sneezed, and licked the gob of mud-snot that covered his mouth. Eyes still watery, he looked up from the hole in the ground and spotted Jenny Jones standing on the front porch, lantern in hand.

He ducked between the flowers, stifled a yelp of laughter, and held his breath, for a cliché question carry-whispered itself over Jenny’s lips; of course there was no-one out there— Christ Almighty! Did she really think he would answer?

Here he was, risking his life by dragging a dead body over the neighbours’ lawn, digging a midnight hole in the flower bed where the blue of the paraffin flame waltzed with the rose buds — such a fantastic dance of death.

Jenny had one last, urgent glance over her shoulder; she shut the door and caught her night gown in the slam! He wagged his tail, scratched away at the swarm of fleas behind his ear and placed the pigeon in its grave.

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