He stands, hose in hand, thinking shit. Watching the fine spray silver yet another turd. Ever since the new neighbours replaced the fence between them, good and high, tall planks of fresh greenish pine, the local wildlife that used to roam eastward, westward, westward, eastward, yard to gappy yard littering everywhere in fair distribution’s been stopped in their full-bowelled tracks at his lawn. Faced with nowhere further to go, there they go. The al fresco restroom at the end of the line.
Up and down the length of the fence, the jewelling of flies, black, purple, emerald in the grass. The wind blows water back over him in a mist so he turns the hose toward the neighbours on the other side, making rainbows in the air between himself and their acacia frothing over the trellis, the bind-weed Crazy Stringed bushes bursting through the lurched slats. A lousy, porous gorgeous border. The ssssssssss of another hose firing up. The thwack thwack of automated sprinklers beyond that. If he built a fence as high and mighty on this side… but he knows he’s not going to do that. Add to the shade on both sides? Plus the money. The effort. He just needs the little shitters to keep on moving.
Later that evening as he sits by his back door, looking out at the furniture now positioned at the far end of the lawn, there by the new fence. His mother’s dressing table. An old kitchen chair against it. Sits and waits to see if the cats, the foxes’ll take to them, if they’ll help them over. The old one-two. Waits until the first pointy face peers out from the foliage to his right, tentatively slinks through. Fat ginger body low to the ground, pads over to the chair, looks up. Calculates. “Go climb,” wills his heart. “Go crap.”
Nick Black’s writing has been published in lit mags including Okay Donkey, Ellipsis Zine, Entropy, Bending Genres, Lost Balloon and Jellyfish Review, He tweets about things he likes as @fuzzynick.