[The strawberry patch, 979 words, Genre: Horror]

* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn

The woman, Samantha, was approaching her mid-forties. She still took care of herself, still made the appearances to make herself look attractive for her husband. She dyed her hair with highlights to turn her black hair into a red striped effect. She put on eyeliner and took good physical care of herself, dieting wherever possible. She used the expensive perfume to add a charming fragrance to her presence.

Her husband on the other hand had given up on all personal appearances. He would drink a six pack of beer a night while watching the television, which was usually switched onto the sports channel. Samantha complained about him to her circle of friends, “All he does is sit and watch television and drink beer. It’s horrible. We used to have something, Glenn and I. We used to be a shining couple. He used to take care of himself, take care of his body, now he’s got a beer gut and bad breath.”

“You need to tell your man that things need to change. That he has to start going to the gym and taking care of himself or you’re out of there.” Suggested one of Samantha’s friends.

“Either that or get a new man,” One of her other friends made the sly remark.

That evening Samantha came home and as usual, Glenn was sitting in front of the television watching football and drinking beer. Samantha had just finished shopping for groceries and while she put away the different food items began talking to Glenn, “Glenn, I’m not happy that you’re always sitting and watching television and drinking beer. You need to do something.”

“Do something?” Glenn questioned as he watched television.

“Yes, you’re always drinking beer and it’s becoming worrying. I think you’re becoming an alcoholic.”

“Becoming an alcoholic?” Glenn quirked his eyebrows in response to the comment.

“Yes. I just want you to do something. Something other than sitting in front of the television and drinking beer.”

Glenn sat there and thought about it. He had just finished his beer. He went up and threw the can in the bin and grabbed another beer out of the fridge. He then kissed Samantha on the cheek and said, “Okay, honey.”

Samantha felt quite pleased with herself at the outcome of the conversation that had occurred. In a couple of weeks time, Glenn revealed what it was that he was going to do about it.

“I’m building a garden.” Glenn showed Samantha around the backyard to the wooden planks he had set up to start building garden beds.

“A garden?” Samantha was confused. This wasn’t what she had meant.

“Yes, a garden.” Glenn began showing Samantha around the garden in the making, “We’re going to have snow peas, lettuces, tomatoes. I’m even going to have a strawberry patch.”

“A strawberry patch?” Samantha didn’t know what to say. Anger was building up inside her because of the lack of communication that was occurring in their marriage.

“Yes, a strawberry patch.” Glenn smiled, thinking he was going to make his wife happy.

“This wasn’t what I meant. This wasn’t what I meant at all!” Samantha stormed back inside coming to the conclusion that her marriage was doomed. Glenn shrugged his shoulders and continued to work on the garden.

Samantha, having come to the conclusion that her marriage was doomed, decided to go for the second option that had been presented in the conversation within her circle of friends. Which was to find another man. She joined internet dating sites and started going on the prowl.

She was older woman and she found herself a younger man. A sweet young man by the name of Daniel. Samantha and Daniel enjoyed their time together and Glenn was totally oblivious to the events occurring around him as he took up the hobby of gardening.

Daniel would whisper sweet nothings into Samantha’s ear and Samantha, dating a younger man, Samantha was reinvigorated with the passion of youth. She felt cherished, she felt loved, she felt adored. This went on for some time.

Until one day when Samantha was going to meet Daniel at one of their regular meet-ups. Instead of Daniel being there, there was Glenn. He had an excited look on his face. “Hey darling.” Glenn called out.

“Uhh… Hey Glenn.” Samantha was apprehensive.

“Have you seen the garden lately, I just put some new fertilizer on it. Some young little shit, I mixed it up together, good ol’ blood and bone manure.” Glenn smiled.

“Okay Glenn…” Samantha didn’t know what he was talking about. But she couldn’t meet up with Daniel with Glenn here.

“Come on Sam, I’ll take you home and show you all the work I’ve done on the garden.”

“Okay… Glenn.”

So Glenn took Samantha home, they rode back in his car and Glenn talked wildly about his gardening project. About the manure that he had acquired. He was very electrified in his expressions.

Then they arrived home. Samantha had become rather shaky and nervous on the ride home. Glenn wasn’t usually like this, he was never like this, not even when they were younger. They went into the backyard of their home and Glenn continued in his animated movements. That’s when Glenn showed her the different areas of the garden. He had already planted some of the various vegetables.

A horrible thought entered Samantha’s head and she managed to ask the question, meekly, “Where’s Daniel?”

“Sorry, honey. Can’t hear you?” Glenn had a wicked smile on his face.

“Where’s Daniel!?!” Samantha screamed out.

“Daniel? Oh, you mean the little shit you’ve been seeing behind my back while I’ve been doing what you told me to do and getting outside, working on something.”

“Yes…” Samantha spoke meeker now, meeker than before.

“He’s in the strawberry patch.”

“The strawberry patch?” Samantha questioned, placing the events leading up to it altogether.

“The strawberry patch.”

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Arie de Bruyn Born in Sandringham, Melbourne, Victoria (Australia) on the 15th January 1987. Son of Alison and Dirk de Bruyn. Youngest sibling to Kees and Abram de Bruyn. Diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 22. Holds a bachelor degree from Deakin University in Arts (Media & Communication). Attended several high schools. Has lived and worked internationally in New Delhi, India; and Thailand. Currently resides in Geelong, Victoria, Australia. Written several books and self-published them (Check out products and downloads page). Works jobs to earn himself a livable wage. contact: firstofkin@hotmail.com twitter: @firstofkin

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