Wednesday, July 20, 2011

DAY FOUR : In which Matheson develops a green thumb.

He woke with a start.

He’d slept for ages, he was certain, and though he initially hated missing the first light, as he got up he was glad he’d given his body the chance to heal. Last nights weariness was gone.

He popped upstairs, and the low position of the sun confirmed his suspicion.

Well, shit. He was down to his last porkchop, and had run plum out of coal. He’d do a little wandering, see what he could find, and come back before dark and put the night to good use.

He started up the hill, to get a good vantage point on what was going on, but thick masses of grass had grown up all over the placel. He started cutting it back, lest it get too big, and out popped seed after seed.

He picked them up, looked them over. He knew nothing about plants….or did he? As he stared, he got the distinct and sudden impression they were wheat seeds. A memory came to him, from far away, a young kid running his hand through fields of golden stalks, the smell of stew and rabbit, gruff voices, the rumble of heavy engines.

I ought to try and plant a garden, he thought. Man can’t live on pork chop alone. Well, maybe he could. If he couldn’t find an alternative source of food, he’d have to put that hypothesis to the test.

The sun was already beginning to disappear. Jesus, he thought. I was really laid out last night. He pocketed the seeds, and turned to head home, but stopped.

Screw it, he said. I’ve probably got a little bit of time. Let’s do this.

He dashed off, madly, honing in on every plant he could see and cutting it to pieces. He hardly even stopped to gather the seeds- instead he sent them flying into the air and trusted that at least some would make it into his pocket.

He was so focused he hardly even noticed the sun was abandoning him, but seeing a creeper glaring at him from atop another hill brought him back to reality.

Time to go home. That didn’t stop him from slashing down all the grass he saw on his way home, though at that point it was almost a reflex. He just did it with an eye open.

The first thing Matheson did when he got home was run into the basement, grab a hunk of pig from his underground ‘meat locker’ and start gnawwing away at it. But what he saw down there stopped him cold.

Those seeds were sprouting!

Just a little, but from where he’d thrown them, just a few hours before, they’d taken root in the earth and started to grow!

Maybe I could get a garden going down here, he thought? That’d be pretty nice. I’d never even have to leave!

That thought made him both happy, and depressed, at the same time.

He grabbed his pickaxe and set to work clearing a space for a garden, happily stumbling across some coal in the process. He mined out as much of the stone as he could, brought in some dirt from here and there, and after raking it a little and tilling with it a hoe, he was pretty proud of himself.

He delicately planted the seeds in rows, placed a few torches for light, and stood back to admire his handiwork.

The seeds were growing before his eyes!

He took a few steps back, actually, at first. It was kinda creepy. Why should they grow so fast?
He had visions of terrifying plant monsters springing up from the ground and devouring him in his sleep. But the seeds stopped pretty quick, and he relaxed, wondering how long it’d be before he could harvest.

Now it was time to eat! He wiped the sweat off his brow, picked up his wiggling raw porkchop, and prepared to bite down, then stopped.

I’m tired of this raw meat bullshit. I bet I could make a stove of some sort, he thought. I’ve got enough coal to get a pretty good fire going.

Sure enough, he made up a quick stone frame, put some wood scraps inside, lit it on fire, and in a few minutes his house was full of the smell and sound of crackling meat.

As he took his first heavenly bite, he thought, it almost drowned out the sounds of skeletal hands scratching at the walls and door, hungry for his flesh.

Continue to the next post.

No comments:

Post a Comment