With Silver Bells, and Cockle Shells

Something ate the tomatoes, small and green, and the flowers he’d planted along the edges of the yellow-spotted lawn were dying. Had died. Deer blamed the cold snap the weekend before, but knew he was the cause. Or the lack of him, really.

He drank. Swallowed mouthfuls of warm, near-flat beer, desperate to not let that particular revelation sprout.

A couple of kids rode by, on the other side of the fence, screaming as though it might propel them, might make their little legs pedal fast enough to pull themselves free from the earth and shoot into the darkening sky.

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