“Five Trees” by B F Jones

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The neighbours aggravated him a couple of years ago, implying he wasn’t the sharpest tool in the box. He had put barbed wire on top of his chicken wire fence to prevent wildlife from getting into his garden and they had mocked him. Completely unacceptable.

So he’s been getting his revenge, in installments, one sporadic act of vandalism at a time.

This month, the trees are taking it.

There are five small trees at the front of their house, screening it from the road.

He takes the first one down on a Friday evening. The house is empty, he’s seen the neighbours walk out with another couple, all dolled up.

He waits till night falls and then, under the light of the full moon, starts sawing, excitement spreading through his limbs, pumping him up to all extremities, including the tip of his very small penis. An erected man, dealing with an erected tree. Hard wood and hard wood. Oh yeah. It takes under 3 minutes to saw it, snap it and ditch it into the ravine across the road.

He rushes back home and tears off his Y fronts. He’s feeling so tough; Marcia is about to get it real nice. She might not be in the mood but hey ho, who’s the boss.

She’s not looking her best under this pale moonlight and he doesn’t care for her chin, or absence there off, or the slight oniony smell coming out with each of her sleepy exhalations.

He flips her over. Much better.

He comes back for the second tree a few days later, much later in the night, after having made sure the neighbours are asleep. He’s looking forward to the noise of the saw as it bites into the wood, the poking of his penis against his trousers, and doing Marcia again. 


Saw, snap, ditch, boink.

The third tree doesn’t provide as much excitement as the first two, mainly mild irritation to have to wake up in the middle of the night again, and painful arms from dragging the tree across the road. And Marcia is away for a few days. She hasn’t bothered calling to say what her plan was and he hasn’t checked on her. Not his job. He wanks thinking of anyone but her and goes to bed.


He decides to come back for the fourth tree the following night as he’s seen the neighbours taking pictures and hovering over their front lawn. They might be onto him so he needs to act quick and finish the job before they have time to do anything else.

When he gets to the fourth tree, it’s already gone. Neatly chopped at the base, just like he’s been operating. A thick cloak of confusion wraps around him. What is happening? This is in no way fun. He walks across the road and inspects the ditch. The fourth tree is there, nestled with the others in their open grave. He comes back home aghast. Did he take this tree down already? Is there a copycat in the neighbourhood? He wishes he could ask Marcia but she hasn’t come home yet and still hasn’t called. Bitch.

Better stay put for a week, looks like someone might be onto him. So he goes back to his writing of complain letters to various industries and hassling other neighbours, wishing he hadn’t punched Marcia the other day, wondering when she’d come back. She always did.

The Perkins have been watching their trees disappear with a mix of startlement and fascination. Retrospectively, they wish they hadn’t taken the fourth tree down. Though they enjoyed the idiot’s sheer confusion, they do regret the delay in his return. They wish he would come back already to find the note pinned to the fifth tree, reading: “We have your wife, replace the trees if you want to see her again.”


They’ve been stuck with the unpleasant lady wailing in the cellar for a couple of weeks now and that extra mouth to feed and that piss pot to empty have been nothing but a burden.

B F Jones lives in Surrey with her husband, 3 children, and cat. She has stories in (or soon in) STORGY magazine, The Cabinet of Heed, Soft Cartel, and Spelk Fiction.

 

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