By D.T. Robbins
Harry pulls up the weeds in his garden. The weeds keep suffocating the lavender flowers Harry has been trying to grow for the past few months. Harry pulls at the weeds with his good arm, the only one he has left, the one his ex-wife didn’t take in the divorce settlement. His right arm.
The weeds pull back. Harry goes underground. Harry screams, scared shitless. AAAGHHGHHARERLKARGAA*@$%*!!!!
Welcome to your new home. It isn’t much different from the world above except all the colors are inverted and capitalism is dead. Harry doesn’t mind at all. Harry tried capitalism, tried opening a convenience store in his previous world. It left him bankrupt and bored and divorced. Ugh. Bummsville, right? Yeah, Bummsville. That’s what he calls his old world. He doesn’t have a name for the new world yet. It’ll come in time, Harry thinks.
Harry finds an apartment cheap, much cheaper than he would have found back in Bummsville. Yay! This apartment has carpet that sways and tickles your toes. Spiders come at night and sing you to sleep if you want them to. The fridge is always stocked with Miller Lite and the bread never goes stale.
Harry finds a job as a taxidermist. They stuff everything here: wolves, cats, chickens, couches, pinecones, dead uncles, people in comas. Harry is good at stuffing things. It reminds him of how he dealt with his divorce back in Bummsville.
Harry’s neighbors smoke crystal meth and yell at each other all day. Uh oh. Harry’s neighbors put a roll of aluminum foil in their microwave, set the apartment complex on fire. Everyone runs out screaming and crying and dancing dances of mourning and sorrow. Harry straps his fridge to his back, barely makes it out alive. Worth it, he says. Free beer forever!
Harry has to move into a trailer park. None of these neighbors smoke crystal meth or scream at each other throughout the night. These neighbors are all part of a cult. They mostly keep to themselves, though they invite Harry to their weekly meetings. Harry says no thanks, he’s not religious. Is this what all those coexist bumper stickers were talking about back in Bummsville?
A tornado hits the park. It’s beautiful, made of glitter and laughter. Harry always wanted children. Harry cries as he watches all the trailers get destroyed. All except Harry’s.
Everyone moves in with Harry. All 350 cult members. Harry doesn’t mind so long as they stay the hell out of his beer and bread. No exceptions! Harry charges the cult ten pies a month to stay with him in his trailer. The cult calls him a slumlord, shits on his couch, moves out.
The cult secretary, Daphne, stays behind. Daphne bakes as many pies as Harry wants. Harry and Daphne fall madly in love. Daphne proposes to Harry with a diamond arm to replace the arm his ex-wife in Bummsville took from him in their divorce settlement. Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes!
Daphne gets pregnant, gives birth to a fiddle leaf. The fiddle leaf becomes mayor of the trailer park. Crime goes down. Yay!
Harry and Daphne move to New Orleans, live in the French Quarter, eat beignets all day every day, hell fucking yes! Harry keeps taxiderming because he likes the quiet and now he has his diamond arm and can do the work doubletime. Harry becomes a world famous taxidermist, even gets his own television show. Congrats, Harry!
Daphne dies at the age of 256. Harry hasn’t aged a day. At Daphne’s funeral, Harry buries the diamond arm that she gave him when she proposed.
Harry retires, becomes a carpenter. He knows nothing about carpentry. Harry builds his first house with his one good arm, the only one he has left. His right arm. The house is beautiful, made of sunshine and oak.
A thousand years go by. Harry sleeps through most of them. The fiddle leaf becomes president. The USA burns to the ground, killing everyone and everything, including Harry. All Americans return as ghosts. The USA is the only 100% ghost-occupied country in the world. Harry travels cross-country to see if he can find Daphne’s ghost. But she’s gone. Gone forever. Farewell, again, my love. Kiss kiss.
Harry comes home from his road trip, goes out into the yard, sees all the weeds that killed his lavender. Harry pulls up the weeds. The weeds pull back.
Hi, Harry! Welcome to the after-afterlife.
Harry transforms into a mountain. He’s covered in lavender. The wind sounds like Daphne’s voice. Harry watches the sun hang in suspended animation, almost and never setting for all eternity.
Author Bio: D.T. Robbins writes a whole bunch of shit. Find more at dtrobbins.com.