Ep1. A Shovel in Pleasant Place
Spring time was about and the skies were much warmer than previous weeks. The Birds chirped the new rhythms of the season down in Pleasant Place. Some people call it the hood. Carl called it home. The red brick roads were still freshly crumbled from the snows of the winter that might actually still be here. The weather is so unpredictable, unless you are writing the Farmer’s Almanac. Carl felt it would be the perfect day to get some gardening gear stored up. The frost might still be here so he thought he might start to turn over some dirt for pre-planting. The store was within walking distance right down the street. On his walk to the local convenience store Carl saw two young petite teenage girls running down the street and screaming for help. Police cars sped by in a hurry, and paid no mind to the girls.
Carl asked the teenagers what they were running and screaming for and they said, “This creepy guy was tryin’ to grab us. We don’t see him no more though. That was crazy!” They continued talking to each other down the street huffing for air.
Carl walked to the corner that the girls had just came sprinting from. He thought he might see some rough looking man there, but he saw nothing and continued on to the store. On the way over he picked a leaf off of a tree and rolled it between his fingers and sniffed them. His finger was died chlorophyll green leaf oil.
Carl wasn’t sure if they would have what he needed at the corner store, but it was the nearest place so why not try. The store had nothing for gardening except a few seeds and a pointed construction shovel. Carl thought no need to waste a trip so he bought the seeds and the shovel. When asked if he wanted a receipt he said no and put the seeds in his pocket. The shovel was slightly heavy so he adjusted his grip and held the shovel at a point closer to its center of gravity.
Carl walked out of the store. He clinked the head of the shovel on the cement. The shovel left a tiny divet in the walkway, but who would care. There was a large group of guys blocking the path he would be heading — nobody paid Carl any mind though. The air was filled with a skunky pine smell.
A plain clothed police officer drove by in a hurry and almost ran over Mrs. Beverly a matriarch of the community. A teenage boy told the cop to watch out. The officer responded by threating to arrest the teenage boy Lester by taser. Carl pulled out his phone and recorded it. Eventually the officer let Lester go after several older gentlemen asked the cop to forget about it.
Carl walked again upon the corner the petite teenage girls were running from. He wondered if the police knew or even cared about the creepy guy in the neighborhood. The shovel in his hand gave Carl a sense of invincibility. People moved out of the way as he passed by them. The head of the shovel shined, and the tip was very sharp. The shaft was sturdy. The only drawback was that the handle was plastic. This shovel was meant to dig through things with Carl and turn over the earth. Shield and spear all in one.
“I hope nobody thinks I’m taking out the garbage for a hit squad,” Carl thought to himself.
Carl returned home with his shovel and seeds. He put the seeds away in the house to be germinated, and then went to work outside.
Crunch, Crunch, Crunch, Ding, Ding, Crunch. Carl was stepping on that shovel and turning over that dirt and rock. The more he cracked rocks and turned over dirt he started to feel some sort of way about how the police could threaten to arrest a teenage boy but do nothing about the creepy grabber. He thought, “Maybe the police aren’t out here to protect our neighborhood. What are they out here for! A lot of girls have gone missing in Pleasant Place already. Something has to be done.”
Carl dug one more time and from nowhere the ground split and gave him the biggest jolt of electricity he had ever felt.
He lied there on the ground while breathing the oxidized Spring air. An opalescent figure waves and looks Carl straight in the eye, points at the shovel. Carl received the words “Let’s turn over this land.” Every square inch of Pleasant Place flashes before his eyes for the tiniest largest bit of a moment.
Carl listened to the rhythms of the birds, as he walked down the brick roads of his home town Pleasant Place with shovel in hand.