Discover more from BadFiction
VILLAGE — a fiction by ollie francis
The petunias are struggling again. I’ve looked all around for signs of slugs, mites, rodents, of course. Nothing so far.
There’s a gap between the planter and the wall. It’s not wide, only an inch or so, but I do worry. It just seems like an obvious hidey-hole for such things. Four years ago, I found a spider web there — horrible thing. The morning dew had caught it and it was all shaggy like a stretched out piece of cotton wool. I know what morning cobwebs are supposed to look like and let me tell you, this thing was nothing like what it should have been. I called it in and they came out straight away and dealt with it, but the gap is still there. I presume they caught the spider that made it; there would be no point is getting rid of the web and leaving the spider there, now would there? But why on Earth would you leave the gap there? That’s just asking for trouble, if you want my opinion on the matter.
Such a pretty little planter as well. It seems such a shame that the petunias aren’t living up to expectations. I thought I had chosen them so carefully. The lady I bought them from had been so lovely. Little market stall in the middle of Margate House driveway. Not a word of pity nor condescension in her voice. You tend to get that an awful lot when you leave the village. No, this girl was perfectly nice and she had such a lovely selection of young plants and seedlings. I really thought these ones would take.
A similar thing happened to Mrs. Cooper from Number 53. Big selection of Marigolds, one day fine and the next drooping all over the place, like something had cut them across the neck. Sorry little things they were. Of course, it just so happened that they day they started drooping was a Visiting day. I know, what are the chances! Poor Mrs. Cooper. She was out there, six in the morning trying to do something about it. The sun had only been up for a half hour or so and there she was, scrabbling around in the dirt, desperately trying to see what had gone wrong and if the little things could be saved. I saw it all happen. She even came over to me to see if I would lend her anything! Well, of course, she was desperate, I understand that, but… Well, there’s a proper way to do these things and that was not it. The scene she made when they came for her was, well, quite unseemly. All that huffing and puffing and shouting. Very unpleasant to watch. Not at all suitable for the Village.
The MacNeedles live there now. Nice couple, mid-fifties. Very proper.
But I do worry about those petunias. You have to be so careful with bringing things in from Outside and I was so hoping they would take. Still, it’s another two weeks until the next visit; plenty of time to get something else bedded in and established. Nothing to worry about.
Such a pretty little planter. We’re very lucky to live here, you know.
Originally published on Tumblr