It was late Wednesday night and Jack knew the time had finally come.
The market was always crowded Thursday mornings and O'Mealy would be there with his produce cart panting after every pretty girl who dared to come too close to him. Jack had spent half his life watching the old man and his late night limps to his garden. It wasn't until O'Mealy had turned his attention to Jack's kid sister, Emmy, that Jack began to wonder what the dirt bag was up to. When Emily disappeared, Jack had finally had enough.
The night was moonless and Jack, with a pocket light and a heap of suspicion, had garnered all of his wit and will and lay waiting in that midnight field for the geezer to answer his questions. He had quickly hid behind a pitted and wheel-less Plymouth Fury when he saw the shambling figure trudge toward the dark garden.
O'Mealy had begun to dig. Jack could hear the shovel pierce the dirt and waited for a steady rhythm before leaning out for a better view. What he saw confused and confounded him. At the base of the old man's feet the ground was aglow. Thinking it some kind of illusion, Jack crawled closer to the light and was immediately spell-bound. The vegetable rows were alive and writhing, twisting and curling in impossible contortions. Tiny faces turned in silent screams as leaves at once reached for the sky and beat upon the earth—pleading for mercy from the reaping. Mesmerized, Jack stood upright and walked with purpose toward the garden.
Then all went black.
O'Mealy lifted the shovel from the back of Jack's head and smiled at the blood streaming into the small irrigation trenches running through the garden rows.
"It'll be a better market day than I figg’rd." O'Mealy chuckled and threw Jack over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes.