Green Blades of Grass
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Author's Warning: This is a little gory.
It had happened so quickly.
My beautiful young bride and I were hiking through the woods on sunny spring day. Above us hung a canopy of green leaves and brown branches and between them we could see patches of the bright blue sky. The forest was alive with the chirping of birds, the buzzing of bees and the scurrying of little creatures, which we were gratefully enjoying until we came to the clearing.
The path had widened, and to our surprise, we had come upon a beautiful field of well-manicured grass. The short green blades all stood at an equal height as if they had just been mowed. In fact, the smell of freshly chopped grass still hung in the air.
That is when I made the awful suggestion to strip off our shoes and go for a short walk as this is supposedly one of life’s sweetest pleasures.
Barbara, though tempted, pointed out the little wooden sign that read, “KEEP OFF THE GRASS!”
I immediately argued, “We’re in the middle of the woods. Who the hell is gonna know. We’ll just skip across and work our way back.” I could see she was weakening and I continued with, “It’ll only take two minutes.”
“Two minutes. That’s all,” she responded and started to peel off her white sneakers, as did I.
We danced onto the plush field of green allowing the tiny plant fingers to massage the bottoms of our feet in the most glorious of ways and causing us to giggle with delight. For one brief moment, our lives were perfect.
Then we stopped long enough to engage in a deep kiss, and that is when I saw him. The old man stood on the edge of the field. His skin was so tight his skull was clearly pronounced even though it was partially hidden by the shadow of his wide-brimmed hat. He looked at us through his deep-set eyes as he raised a large purple plum to his mouth. When he took a bite, his vibrantly yellow teeth disappeared into the red flesh of the fruit, and a thick stream of red juice ran down his skeletal forearm.
I don’t know why, but instantly I was afraid. Then, I heard my wife yelp in pain. “Something bit me,” she said as she jumped and howled like she was standing on hot coals.
However, burning embers would be less horrifying then what we saw when she raised her foot. There were several large red holes where she had been bitten, but we didn’t have to question by what, because the little white beast still hung from one of her toes. The creature appeared to be a four-inch white worm, but I can’t be sure as it quickly burrowed beneath her flesh. I ignored her howls of pain as I watched the beast’s clearly defined movements through her skin.
Then something bit me and I was forced into action. I tried to block out the pain and drag my wife across the field to safety, but unfortunately I failed. Several sharp pains caused me to lose my balance and the grip I had on my wife. As I stumbled, I watched her fall face down into the grass, and when she raised her head, countless white worms hung from her cheeks, forehead and even her tongue. Again, they were only visible for a few short moments before they buried their bodies in her skin. Some of them must have worked their way to her stomach, because she began to vomit a mixture of red blood and wiggly white worms. Helplessly, I was forced to stare as these little monsters ate her from the inside out.
Finally, the pain became too severe for me to stand and I collapsed beside her convulsing body. I could feel them squirming within me as I glanced toward the old man. He was wiping the red plum juice from his face, and for the first time he spoke. His voice was cold and dry as he said, “Humans make the best fertilizer for the worms … and the grass.”
Then, he turned and disappeared back into the forest as his pets finished their meal.
If you have no questions or fears about your abilities, then you will learn nothing from your mistakes and know nothing about your limitations.