Lock your doors. Turn up the lights. Don’t answer that knock. The season of terror has come.
The garden produce is ready.
As Halloween approaches and the publishing industry flings its fall line of vampires into the reading metropolises of the world, we small towners know the difference between urban fantasy fear and the truly terrifying realities of rural life.
The gardeners–those quiet neighbors with the unnatural interest in what’s in the ground behind their house–are walking the Earth at night. Nobody knows them very well, but they’re easy to spot in straw hats that hide their glowing red eyes. Like zombies of the apocalypse, they stagger along sidewalks, dripping red tomato blood from shopping bags hung on door handles, leaving butternut squash the size of baseball bats in unlocked cars, pushing piles of pickling cucumbers through a broken shed window.
Unlike zombies, the gardeners can run fast. Sea water won’t melt them, silver bullets can’t bring them down. Stake a tomato and it grows faster. This is the Unstoppable Invasion that horror fans have secretly feared for so long.
True terror is this: Soylent Green is zucchini.
So lock your doors. Don’t go out at night. The bad harvest moon is rising, tugging at the blood of every home-grown vegetable to rise and incite the sinking of fangs–or dentures, or whatever–into its flesh. Resistance is futile.
(Caption Contest V closes tomorrow! Visit August 14 to leave entry and view others.)