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31st August
posted by amber


Who cut the yucca, I wondered as I entered my wife’s yard. Oh, don’t get the wrong impression. We’re not divorced or anything, but the yard is hers, the house is hers, the kids are mostly hers. And I have the great outdoors. Which is fine with me.

I was returning from a 2 week camping trip – fishing, hiking, kicking back, with some guys I’ve known since high school. I’ve been trying to convince them for years to come on a trip with me. But not a one of them was able to break away until now, when they’re in their early 50’s, their kids old enough to leave alone, their wives too involved with their careers to take much time off (except for Mexico in the winter). Finally these guys have the freedom I’ve always had. And they all agreed, I have the perfect wife and they all wish their wives had been as understanding as mine has been for all these years.

I work hard, and I need to play hard. Gardening just won’t do it for me, the way it seems to for her. She was entered in some kind of garden competition during my absence. I wondered if she’d won.

The yucca plants were laid out like white-wrapped bodies, the huge masses of flowers which had looked like wavering ghosts the early morning that I left now tinged with brown, their stout stalks cut neatly at an angle.

I know my wife just hired a new gardener, but she would never permit him to cut the yucca plants.  Or the roses, I thought, as I noticed a dotted line of roses leading toward the garage.

Inside the garage, I found more roses, and festoons of clematis, and spikes of gladioli, decorating my kayak in a most peculiar manner. Eventually, I realized that the kayak was full of holes, and the flowers were stuck in the holes. Except for the larger holes, which contained my skis and my ski poles. My scuba tanks and flippers peeked out from beneath the kayak, but I couldn’t see my spear gun.

Then I saw a white apparition in the far corner of the garage. It wasn’t a yucca. It was holding my spear gun. It was pointed at me.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

This first line was suggested by my mother, Mary Bond.

1 Comment

  1. mary bond

    Hi Amber I love it, I love it. Much more fun than my rather ordinary story and puzzle I faced – Who cut the Yucca? We have one yucca plant in our front yard and this year it produced two spires that each had many blossoms. I photographed it. For awhile this summer I was the only one in our home, Peg away, our landlords, Peg’s son and his wife off sailing, their son James away at a youth camp. On the night that James came back in the evening I could see from our basement windows someone moving in the back yard. Saw only their legs but assumed it was the lawn cutters. As it has been so dry they did not cut the lawn. Next time I went out I was shocked to see the yucca flowers were gone at the height of their beauty. Remembering the legs I saw in the back yard I did some sleuthing and found the yucca flowers out in the area at the back of our house we call the no-mans land. It was awhile before I saw James and when I asked him about it, he said the gardeners had showed up and as there did not seem to be anything for them to do he or they suggested cutting the yucca blooms as they were beginning to lean. Oh well.
    I think your last few stories are getting better and better -I guess I like the surprise endings. Keep it up. Mom

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