HOW DOES ONE'S GARDEN GROW?
by LAUREN HASTY
Every time he moved, she could hear the grass dying, the beetles scurrying, the universe falling apart. This was what entropy looked like - like a vast beast, languid in its repose. Tigers look the same way.
"Where do you come from?" she asked, the thin, aristocratic line of her mouth sensual in its strictness - perhaps sensual because of that strictness.
One of his ears flicked. Overhead, a leaf separated from its branch, starting to fall to the ground. "You ask 'where', as if there were a particular place that I am from. If that is your mentality, we should stop this now. You will never learn."
Eyes as blue as deep holes in oceans ticked towards the leaf, then back to him. "You had to have come from somewhere," she observed, the pad of her thumb rubbing against the soft underside of her fingers. "Beings - even beings like you - don't just spring up out of nowhere."
Before her, he chuckled quietly; it was a rolling sound, avalanches and landslides giving way. Smoke poured from his mouth, little licks of fire teasing exposed teeth.
"Why not, girlchild? Why can beasts such as I not merely spring into existence? As a child, did you have a toy, an imaginary friend; something that you believed with all your being was real? As you grew older, did you not sweep childish things away from you?"
Her brows drew a moment, for what he suggested...well, yes. She had had a doll, but - "Are you saying someone thought you up?"
His sides heaved a moment, clawed fingers flexing in the rot-soft dirt. Hadn't they been hooves a moment ago? "Yes and no," he answered, infuriatingly enigmatic. "That is...someones thought me up."
For a second, his head tipped upwards; hundreds, thousands of razor sharp tines lifted towards the sky. To her eyes, it seemed as if he could cut it open with those antlers.
"Have you ever seen a shooting star?" he asked. "Have you ever briefly wondered what they are? Where they come from?" His body shifted, vast mass crawling upwards in unnatural fashion, like a beast with no legs, vipers to offer apples to the innocent. It was mesmerizing. She did not entirely realize that not only had he stood, but was crawling her way, belly low as the dog asking for trust; belying true nature.
"That is where I am from," he purred, the snakes and worms pouring out of the volcanic pit of his mouth. "I am from where the stars die, child."
As that vast maw yawned there before her eyes, lit with the hell fires in his belly, she heard the last words she'd ever hear. "I am from where the worlds end."
Lauren Hasty is a misplaced southerner of 30 years, currently residing too close to Baltimore, Maryland for her contentment. Having been in the business of writing as a hobby for over fifteen years, she's finally decided to look into this 'being published' business. So far, so good. Most of her inspiration comes from reading copious amounts of Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft, and listening to too much music when she should, in fact, be sleeping. Lauren’s micro, “How Does One’s Garden Grow?”, appears in the June 2013 issue of HelloHorror.
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