The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

Writers' Showcase

Green Street
by Eric Suhem

Lydia watched the leaves of shrubs and vegetables rustle and shake in the cool holiday air on Green Street. A bored passenger threw a cell phone out of a speeding car, and it tumbled along the pavement into the shrubs, which moved forward quickly to gobble it up. Soon somebody else threw his pager out into the street, and the shrub vines maneuvered from their sidewalk vicinity to snatch the pager with their green appendages, pulling it into their stem world. A force within the shrubbery began to manipulate the many discarded cell phones and electronic devices, creating a network of advocacy for the plants. Technology was truly being used in a Green way, and the plants liked it.

Lydia, who lived at 121 Green Street, was a true adherent to the tech industry, and she was impressed by how quickly the plants had managed to implant and integrate the discarded electronic communications devices into the ground’s fabric, putting a buzzing sound of technological progress into the soil, though she had concerns about how the plants would be using this new networking capability. A menacing, mechanized hiss was coming from some of the shrubs, a hiss that seemed to promise retribution.

However, there was no time to worry about that, as it was the holiday season, and Lydia embarked on her yearly tradition of passing out fruitcake to the neighbors. Her third stop was 535 Green Street, where she found Walter standing in a dirt hole, watering himself with a hose. “I’ve grown 4 inches in the last 2 hours!” Walter declared. “I want to become a plant!” “Is Wilma home?” asked Lydia. “Yes, yes, she’s inside attending to the lichen, said Walter distractedly, adjusting the hose nozzle. Wilma and Walter were both botanists. Upon answering the door, Wilma immediately whispered in Lydia’s ear, “The fern is very excited to see you, but the oleander is quite pensive about your motives!” Lydia looked inside to see an oleander in the corner, shaking violently, leaves flying into the air, electronic beeps emerging from its stems. Lydia soldiered on, pulling another fruitcake from her purse. “Happy holi,” she began, only to see the nearby Venus flytrap snatch the cake, engulfing it hungrily. The flytrap was focusing on the squirrel meat inside the fruitcake. Lydia considered the squirrel meat to be her secret ingredient, what made the fruitcake ‘a Lydia’. “You see,” hissed Wilma, “The plants will be taking over soon. Once they take over our house, they will move swiftly along Green Street, reclaiming what is theirs!”

Lydia left the house, passing by Walter, who was continuing to spray water on himself in the yard. She saw tangled vines growing in their garden, spreading into the street, reaching out to the neighborhood, amidst electronic beeps and clicks, sucking up economic sedans and SUVs in their tentacles. Lydia returned to her house at 121 Green Street and signed on to the plants’ new networking application ShrubBook, where the Venus flytrap had electronically spread word to the other plants about her enjoyable fruitcake. Lydia believed that this would allow her house to be spared, but the encroaching greenery had other ideas.