It was war.
The last leaf of fall broke off and danced in the breeze. It drifted down the driveway and into the garage until it appeared right beneath John’s foot, making a loud crunch as he stepped forward.
And like how a rock tossed into a pond makes ripples, that crunch made ripples in John’s mind.
For the first time in what felt like ages, he was suddenly alive.
He then moved like a mad scientist experiencing the seeds of an idea grow from fantasy to reality; eager to capture the moment, he hastily threw on his dusty old flannel and immediately pulled the ripcord of his leaf blower.
Its whiny, high-pitched squeal echoed across the cul-de-sac, officially lighting the wick of war.
John had decided to do his lawn, and it sent a clear message to the neighborhood. It was fucking on.
Across the street, the blinds snapped shut as Jeff turned his judgmental gaze from his newfound, neighborly annoyance and into his coffee mug.
His reflection, although silent, seemed to scream sadness.
He was disappointed; that constant feeling of being in second place had grown all too familiar, and the bellow of John’s blower seemed to be another reminder that he was behind yet again.
And that’s when an idea sprouted quicker than a weed in a neglected parking lot.
“If that cocksucker across the street is going to do his leaves, then fuck him. I’ll one-up him by cutting my grass.“
With a boyish grin, Jeff downed his coffee, threw on his shoes, and was off racing to the garage. He hadn’t been that excited in years.
Next door, the roar of Jeff’s mower broke Tim’s trance with the TV. He was halfway sucked in, stomach deep into a baking show when he felt a sudden and unexpected urge coming on.
It had just occurred to him hey, I haven’t done my yard in a few weeks.
And yeah… I guess it did rain, didn’t it?
He reasoned that would make the grass grow.
Then to his chagrin, Tim felt motivation – like he hadn’t felt in years.
He decided he was going to cut the ever-sweet-living-fuck out of his grass. And it was going to be glorious.
His feet marched forward like a mummified sleepwalker, one foot in front of the other into the garage.
It was a foreknown conclusion his yard would be the envy of the neighborhood.
On the far end of the cul-de-sac, Frank paced in a cold sweat.
His wife thought he was ripe for a heart attack between the shallow breathing, the clamminess, and the growing pain in his chest.
But today was not a good day for a heart attack, as the family had plans. Big plans.
Nearly dressed to the nines, Frank was supposed to be getting ready for his son’s Bat Mitzvah. But that’s when he heard the call of duty. The sound of Tim’s loud fucking mower came rushing through the window and fanned the flames of war.
And even if Frank wanted to refuse the call, it was impossible. The sound of the mower was like an ancient Greek siren calling sailors to their shipwreck.
“That’s it! If they’re cutting their fucking grass, I won’t be left behind!” Frank yelled at his wife, “And on the day of my Son’s Bat Mitzvah!“” Fucking bastards!”
Frank raced to the closet and undressed with enough fire to be confused for a volcano.
And when he made it outside, he raised the weed-Wacker and screamed.
It was fucking on. Really on.
The idiots went to work and for a while, the cul-de-sac moved like a well-trained MLB grounds crew. Gorgeous stripes of green grass appeared on all lawns.
It was poetic, like synchronized swimmers performing for a crowd. This continued on, and slowly but surely, the idiots were beginning to win the war against mother nature.
But each man was not happy with his neighbor. In fact, they were silently cursing them.
They all had the same thought.
“What a fucking asshole! Look at them cutting their grass! Who do they think they are?! ” Oblivious to the fact that this shared enthusiasm could be a unifier instead of a divider.
30 minutes later, the hums of the mowers fell to a whisper. The lawns, now immaculate, stood still.
John returned to his garage. There were tools that needed to be tidied.
Jeff returned to his window. The world still needed to be watched.
Tim returned to the TV, happy for a WW2 show to be on and that damn baking show to be off.
And Frank returned to his son, ready to give him a new lesson on what it means to be a man.
The cul-de-sac drifted back to sleep until the call of war cried out again.
This is my first short story! Please like, share, comment and tell me what you think. What do you think is funny about your neighborhood?