“Hi babe. Whatcha’ got?”
“Seed catalog. It’s my first one EVER. I feel so grown up!”
“Uh, that’s not your name,” said Josh, looking at the mailing label. “I think that’s the people who lived here before us.”
Spring was still a long way off, but the catalogs arrived well ahead of time to prime the atavistic urges of the snowbound denizens of the far north. Kira took off her boots and set them by the door.
“It doesn’t matter. We’re here now. We have our own house, our own yard, maybe a garden in summer. This proves it!” Kira held up the catalog with it’s WAY too brightly colored flowers and photo of bi-colored corn on the cover. “Isn’t this pretty? We can grow corn!!!”
“‘If you build it…'”
“Never mind. Whatever you want honey.”
Josh was thumbing through a catalog that had arrived at the same time, one that also had the previous occupant’s name on it. In it was the photo of a shiny, new, rototiller. Bright red handles and bright sharp blades. A chill went down Josh’ spine. “I don’t want to think that,” he thought, shaking the disturbing image from his mind. He turned the page and there was a beautiful, big chain-saw. “Good god,” he thought. “Is that how I really feel about Kira?” He set the catalog down on the coffee table, but the images persisted. He got up, took the catalog and threw it into the recycling in the kitchen, but the disturbing pictures remained in his imagination.
“Is this what I’m REALLY like?” his heart beat 100 miles an hour. “I LOVE my wife!”
The kitchen recycling can was clearly not going to do the job. He took the catalog out to the alley and lifted the lid on the big recycling bin, but as he was about to toss it in, the neighbor two houses down started up her chainsaw, the little one she used for cutting branches.
“I’m a homeowner now. I’m going to need this stuff.” He looked around the neighborhood. Sam had rototilled his yard last year. There was Mrs. Jamison, using a chain saw to cut back her lilac bush. This wasn’t about Kira. This was necessary to maintain the value of his property. He wasn’t evil to want power tools. No.
He stood in the alley and thumbed through the catalog again, this time a large vice caught his eye. He saw Kira’s narrowing head and bulging eyes. “Do Mrs. Jamison and Sam have thoughts like these?” He dropped the catalog into the cavernous realm of the recycling bin, and as he did, he saw Kira rotating wildly in the garbage truck’s hungry maw.
19 thoughts on “Catalogs”
Holy crap, Martha.
My anger at what happened yesterday in DC seems to have been channeled to poor Josh and Kira’s mailbox…. Who knew.
It’s OK. Josh is going to get help.
Nothing like a vivid imagination.
I hope he sees someone…
Darkest thing I’ve ever written. 😦
The prompt took a sinister turn!
Surprised me. 🙂
But an excellent story! 🙂
Operatic. I worry for Kira. It was only a seed catalogue!
Hopefully Josh will seek help.
There could be trouble if he doesn’t.
This totally creeped me out! I know you are a writer, yes you are, but I thought your genre was historical fiction not horror! (though you managed this one with way too much ease!)
I think I channeled my anger over events yesterday into this story. 🙂
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