Fruitarians Ate My Baby by Lord Thunder.
I am an avid gardener and I have a warning for anyone who gardens unawares of the Fruitarian menace! I enjoy spending many a long hour hunched over my beds, caring for all of my plants as you would your own children. Being generally trusting towards my fellow humans, I have made the following mistake. See, even though I am protective of my plants and worry about them constantly as you always have to worry about dogs, cats, wind, hail and people who take samples home for bouquet's, my garden is relatively unprotected. I have decided to "show-off" my hard work to those who use the walkway that goes along the back of my property and have until recently, decided not used a fence, hedge or any other means of putting a "line" up that designates that this is "my garden - Keep Out". I carelessly assumed that nobody would be so low as to violate my general trust and goodwill. That all changed about a month ago. I woke up early on a Saturday morning to go out and check on my now-flourishing garden. I worked my way through my plants towards the back of my yard as I always do, when I noticed something odd. My strawberry, raspberry and other fruit plants are at the back of my yard as it is the place that gets the most sun and my vegetables are also mixed into this area. I was going to get some strawberries for my cereal and to my astonishment, not a single ripe berry was found. I heard some squawks and chirps, noticing the large amount of birds in the area and dismissed it as I was just too late and the birds had gotten them. I would just have to wait until next week by the look of the undeveloped strawberries that remained. Heck, the raspberries might be ripe by then as well.
The next Saturday I got up earlier than I had the previous week and went out for my berries. I don't mind sharing some with the wildlife, but I'd like a few berries for my cereal. I went out as I normally do, but this time barely spending anytime to look at the rest of my garden on the way to the back where my cereal garnish awaited me. I arrived at the back and was distracted by the vegetables that were growing at an astonishing rate. Squash, carrots, beets, radishes, spinach, lettuce, beans, peas and others were near bursting with ripened goodness. I'll have to harvest after breakfast I thought to myself. But first the berries.
For the first time I noticed the fruit bearing plants, once again it didn't seem like I was going to get anything. I looked high and low, under and over. The strawberries were bare again except for the undeveloped ones. I looked to the raspberries and other fruit plants next to them and found nothing. It was, at this point I began to suspect human intervention. Who would do such a thing? I had to find out "what" or "who" was at the bottom of this.
Last Saturday I was up at an unwholesome hour. The sun wasn't up and the birds hadn't even started chirping. It had been raining during the night and by the looks of it, only stopped within the last hour. I dressed, put on my coat which would be good camouflage in the grey, foggy morning. I made my way outside, and was working my way to the back of the garden when I heard something. Voices? I thought I could hear voices! I slowed my pace and picked my way a little more slowly so as to make as little sound as possible. To my shock it looked like something out of "Return of the living dead". There over in the strawberry patch were six people, chattering and chuckling. They looked wrong, malnourished and pale. I couldn't speak as I watched in horror as the ghastly mob ravaged their way through the strawberries and raspberries. The red juice of "My Babies", glistening on their lips. I was just so overwhelmed, I couldn't move and there were too many of them anyway. After what seemed like a gut-wrenching eternity, they seemed to finish. They still hadn't touched any of the ripe vegetables around them and started to leave. The sickly looking group bumbled their way out of the strawberry patch and continued down the path. The last one in the line had a T-shirt that had in bold text "Fruitarian IS a Life Choice" on it.
I ran to my babies and the chilling laughter finally fell into the distance. It was no surprise what I found; not a single baby had survived. The parent plants may go on for a while but what about the next generation? Imagine eating someone's baby in front of the parent! Disgusting! My fear turned to rage as I stormed back to the house. Onto the Internet I went - these monsters must be stopped. I was appalled at the information popping up in front of me. These people actually condone the murder of babies! On the screen I saw pictures of their favourite victims. Strawberries and Raspberries were definitely up there, and horrified I read on. The next few pages were more of the same. Eating babies as a way of life. "These people shouldn't be allowed to reproduce! My poor BABIES!" I shouted at no one in particular.
I don't remember what happened next, but I had to do something. I went to the local gardening centre and headed to the edging section. I couldn't believe I was actually going against my nature by putting up a barricade to my garden! I stared at the multitude of choices before me... "Hmm too tall, too construction yard-ish, too fru fru... ah, there... got it!" With a devious grin I headed to the checkout stopping only to pick up a “must have”. I paid for my goods and left. The smile never left my face as I put the last piece in. I stepped back to view my efforts. With a gleeful smile and rubbing my hands together I nod my satisfaction. After putting the sprinkler on to feed my poor plants I went inside.
After a long week, Saturday finally came. It was early, even earlier than last week; I wasn't going to miss this for the world! I was ready. As the all too familiar shuffling and muttering voices neared, I ducked down beside the house by the rain barrel. They were in sight within moments. At first they seemed horrified at the change to their access to the "Baby Buffet", moaning and grumbling. It was a beautiful sight; the mob of baby killers looking defeated by the new defences. The foot high plastic border (I really liked how it looked like a miniature picket fence) and my secret weapon (which I was hoping I wouldn’t have to use) would hold them at bay. I was so proud of myself.
Then, just as I thought they would leave the worst happened. What looked like the leader shuffled up and started walking into the border? The plastic was both new and firmly staked in, it would hold. New life entered the defeated faces as the others joined in. I knew that in their malnourished state they couldn't step over the border, but it wasn't going to stop them from trying to go through it. I had to admit they had spunk. Within minutes sections of the border lay flat and the shuffling into the garden resumed. Now was time for the secret weapon. The first Fruitarian "The Baby Killers Leader" was the first to befall its trap. He seemed to be more confused than frightened by the rock painted like a lady bug holding up a "Keep Out!" sign (which is super cute by the way). Others came to investigate, they too seemed confused. Then it dawned on me, " these people can't read! " either by lack of education or by lack of nutrition causing bad vision, I didn't know which. To my absolute horror they still came on, shuffling by my stately sentry as if he wasn't there. They were only inches from my babies! What was I going to do? I was about ready to take them on. I was beyond caring. This after all was WAR! I was in the process of pulling myself from my hiding spot when I realised what I was pulling myself up with... I looked... "Yes!" I hissed.
Right in the middle of the Baby killing Fruitarians was the glint of a beautiful brass cannon. The fruitarians were starting to feed on their helpless prey. I watched in horror for a moment as if it was happening in slow motion, eating my babies alive! ALIVE! It was now or never. I did the unthinkable from a gardening perspective...I stood up and in one swift motion turned the water valve open to full pressure! I watched as the 100 feet of line filled quickly with sweet revenge. As the water filled 75% of the hose I shouted "BABY KILLERS!" in my most commanding and deepest voice. I was so lost in the moment the shout came out more like a banshee screeching, which had an even more satisfying effect on the now alerted Fruitarians. They had barely time to formulate any kind of idea what was about to befall them when the sprinkler started up. Full pressure machine gunning justice poured from the brass nozzle tucked beside a squash plant. The grunts and moans were music to my ears as they got what they had coming. The Fruitarian onslaught was now a less than distinguished retreat. Weakened bodies were flailing to get out and away. Having little to no strength left from their attack on the border they were helpless. Slowly one by one they got past the border and hobbled, tumbled and rolled onto the path. The shear weight of their clothes holding them down. Within minutes the Fruitarians were gone and the pressure to the hose turned off. I walked up beside my sentry (the ladybug) and had a moment of pleasure. Victory was mine.
I surveyed the battlefield, which ended up not being too worse for wear. Some of the plants near the blast were bent over and some had tattered leaves. The innocents always suffer the worst in War. No losses of life by the look of it. The bent plants would straighten themselves out in a few hours and I would be back later to amputate (prune) any leaf or limb too badly hurt in the attack. I set up the border again and moved the sprinkler beside the sentry. If the fruitarians came back, this time I would be ready.
All of that excitement for a tired mind makes one hungry. Time for some cereal. With my garnish (Strawberries and Raspberries) in hand I went inside.