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The Head Gardener

fantasy by Oonah V. Joslin

TurksEpalie the Cateoid, head gardener to the Regent Verona Cellid, put aside his platter of meat. He was not looking forward to this meeting but what had to be done had better be done sooner than later. He took the little bottle of Castor Bean cordial and made his way to the Palatial Gourd.

“SEpalie!” greeted the guards. “He’s in a good mood. You’ll be alright.”

TurksEpalie handed them the bottle and they thanked him. The guards looked forward to his home-made liquors.

“Well, you wanted to see me?” said the Regent dismissively.

He was devouring a plateful of warm lactucahaemoglobes, (a kind of fleshy, red lettuce with warm blood sacks) and the juice was dripping down his chin.

The gardener averted his gaze as was expected.

“The planting may disappoint this spring. We were unable to reach an agreement – alas.”

“Damn it all, TurksEpalie, they’re plants!”

“Sire, they are not just –”

“So bloody PLANT THEM!”

The regent sprayed saliva yellow with Celidicus juice as he yelled.

TurksEpalie bowed and stretched his arms in acquiescence. His tongue cleaved to the roof of his mouth. He needed time. “I have planted the usual array of Allia floriscoliae and mixed Angiospermatozoid elegantusrex.”

“So what’s yer problem, Cateoid slime?” The Regent discarded the skin of another fruit.

“Sire, the Lapidopterae trifolia T universalis refuse to take root.”


“They have that right, Sire.”

“Who says?”

“You says — said Sire. They sued for the right to float free across the surface of the land last autumn and your majesty ratified by signing the papers.”

“Why wasn’t I properly informed of this? You know I never read those damned documents. Are these Lapidoptethingamies that important? I mean you can plant something else right?”

“I can. Unfortunately my lord’s taste for their egg pods already exceeds national demand.” TurksEpalie indicated the discarded skins of more than a dozen Celidicus. “And the clamor for vegerights has since escalated. The Aspargalas liliiae and Triodis gnathostomatas have also refused to be planted.”

“Are those the ones with the big red jaws?”

That is correct sir. Now several edible and flowering varieties of Gumata mintolithia superbum have –”

“You mean the vegetables are joining in?”

“Yes lord. They are refusing to be eaten.”

“I’ve never heard of such a thing. GUARDS!”

But the guards did not respond.

TurksEpalie bowed and left. He’d had no doubt that half the plants capable of hearing, including Triodis gnathostomatas were now converging on the palatial gourd with big red jaws, whipping tendrils and spore canons loaded. Outside, the pale purple sky radiated with a lemon sundown glow that played across the underbellies of soft gray clouds out to the west. The head gardener swiftly passed beneath the free floating tendrils of Lapidopterae trifolia T universalis and stroked them with his fingers.

“The regent is alone,” he whispered.

Copyright 2010 by Oonah V. Joslin

Oonah V. Joslin lives in Great Britain. She is a three-time winner of the Micro Horror Contest and an honoree in the 2009 Binnacle Competition for First Love. Her stories are included in several anthologies including: Toe Tags and The Best of Every Day Fiction 2008 and 2009. She blogs about writing at Oonahverse and is Managing Editor of the e-zine, Every Day Poets.

[Return to the April 2010 stories]

6 Responses

  1. […] The Head Gardener […]

  2. Oh my! I will be treading very carefully in my own garden this spring…..Well done!

  3. Excellent. I too will be a bit wary in the garden.

  4. Triffic Triffids! John Wyndham eat your heart out, before the plants do it for you!



  5. Thank you 🙂

  6. Delicious!

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