A Tire Swing Story is a bite-sized "imagining" inspired by an object I discover while wandering. It could be a curbside trash gem or a message sprayed on a wall. A lost mitten, or an antique store find. Anything goes. I photograph the object and post them together, the story and its inspiration. There will be a new story every Monday and Wednesday. On Fridays, I'll discuss writing, life, love, and coffee. (In no particular order and maybe all at once.)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

All the lawn ornaments were afraid of the gnomes. Sure, they had chubby pink cheeks, round bellies, and curly grey beards. They looked friendly. But when Vincent arrived from Florida with the other flamingos, he quickly discovered the gnomes ruled the yard. And they were ruthless. 

One evening, Eddie, the ceramic rabbit got a little too vocal with his opinions about how he thought things should be run around the lawn. The next morning, they found poor Eddie facedown at the bottom of the pond. 

Don Long Beard, the gnome boss only laughed. "That loudmouth sleeps with the fishes," he said, his cruel blue eyes glittering. Vincent knew that any one of them: the plastic turtles and skunks, the the wooden frog with his windmill legs, the plywood penguins, or even the porcelain lawn jockey--any of them could be next. Something had to be done.

It wasn't long before he got his chance. The night was cool and stormy. When a gust of wind hit, Vincent used it to pitch himself forward. His beak bumped the backside of Murray, the next flamingo over. Just as he'd hoped, Murray tipped, knocking into Estelle in front of him. And down the line it went, each bird toppling into, and knocking over the next.

Don Long Beard didn't have a chance. The last flamingo's beak landed squarely on the tip of his pointed red cap. Over Long Beard went, onto the driveway, where the force of the fall and the frigid air made him shatter. A cheer went up throughout the yard.

"Must've been the wind," the old lady said to herself the next morning, as she collected the pieces of the broken gnome and righted her fallen flamingos.

What Vincent and the others couldn't have known, was that inside the old lady's house was a fresh tube of crazy glue. And a repaired, but very cracked Don Long Beard would soon return to the lawn to seek his revenge.

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