For the winner of the first Flim-Flam contest, I wanted something special. Chiquita the garden gnome is just the thing. This story by David Anderson has just the right amount of horror and the perfect tongue-in-cheek tone. It walks a fine balance between playful and weird. I fell in love with Chiquita at first sight. I think you will too.
By David Anderson
1. A Spicy Acquaintance
Chiquita wasn’t your average Garden Gnome. Most Gnomes almost have a Germanic look to them, but there is some Danish influence. Chiquita looked like the result of a very spicy encounter between what would be the ‘normal’ Gnome race and their ‘cousins’ from a distant land. Probably somewhere around Brazil.
Marcus had acquired the strange thing at HOME AND GARDEN DÉCOR SUPERCENTER off the I-10 Freeway. Chiquita was in the clearance bin. It was just after Cinco De Mayo and Marcus had guessed she was a seasonal item. On a whim, Marcus decided to give the Gnome a home. His neighbor, Mrs. Crabbody, was a furiously determined Garden Gnome collector and had a veritable fortress of ceramic guardians on patrol around her residence.
Marcus figured it would be a nice FUCK YOU to Mrs. Crabbody to have such a scandalous Gnome on display in his yard. The only decoration Marcus currently had was a plastic donkey pulling a cart, textured to look like it was made of stone. It went well with the stone steps in his gravel yard. In the Nevada desert, it was hard and time consuming, let alone expensive, to maintain a grass lawn. His sassy female Gnome fit right at home next to the cactus and the donkey. That bitch next door was going to be pissed.
“Marcus, what is that foolish thing?” croned Mrs. Crabbody as she hobbled over to the yard of one Marcus T. Wilbur. She had her eyes set on the Southwestern Gnome, taking in its desert-inspired details.
The Gnome had beautiful tan skin, raven dark black hair, and definite Latino influences while still maintaining a decidedly Dutch look. It was a visual conundrum, and an atrocity, in the eyes of Mrs. Crabbody, to be sure.
The Gnome was draped in clothes one would find a woman wearing in Mexico City, complete with a satin sash that had cactus flowers embroidered on it. She looked to be carrying a wooden bucket full of mature and reddened Jalapeño peppers. Marcus did a little bit of gardening, so he knew enough to take a guess at the type they were.
He thought they were a dead ringer for Señorita Jalapeños, a type of pepper Marcus thoroughly enjoyed. That particular type of Jalapeño was known to be mild, flavorful. Enough kick to know it was a pepper but something you could cozy up too. Just like the soft lips of the sassy Gnome carrying the basket. No wonder Mrs. Crabbody hated the thing; it represented sin and lust. Well, in the Gnome world at least.
2. Garden of the Forbidden Monkey
Marcus was tied to the wooden plank, a section of wood raised up on both ends by rocks, levitating him off the ground. He looked to his left at the sick carving again, some kind of Monkey God was replacing the people of the Earth with… Gnomes. It was carved in sick detail into a brown and shiny rock. A rock that was strangely alien, it didn’t look like any type of terrestrial stone, anything that Marcus had seen during his travels.
If only he had just given the Gnomes what they wanted, given them Chiquita. But he had grown to love her, regardless of the fact that she stirred some kind of dark hunger within the hearts and loins of those devilish Gnomes.
Mrs. Crabbody – or should I call her Mr. Crabbody? – had been a widow for years. She’d been cashing pension checks in his name while the Gnomes killed anyone who happened to stop by to check up on Old Bob Crabbody. But no time for those thoughts then; it was time to think about escape.
Since they couldn’t have Chiquita, they planned to EAT Marcus in some kind of sick Gnome death feast ritual. They would dine on his flesh in the name of the Forbidden Monkey.
3. Whiskey Dreams
“Chiquita!” he yelled as he shoved her out of the way of the Gnome horde. She had grabbed her miniature bags and made it to the mail truck just as it started to roll away, having delivered its daily packages. Chiquita was safe, but the Gnomes swarmed all over him like rabid squirrels. That’s when Marcus awoke, sweating and gagging.
The dream was over. He reached for a bottle of whiskey and took a long pull. Seconds later, a smoke was lit up and he was on the little makeshift porch of his aluminum trailer.
Chiquita, he said in his mind, silently mourning that special Gnome.
Chiquita was, as he put it, especial. She was one of a kind, able to walk outside of grassy areas; unlike others of her ‘kind’, she could walk on virtually any type of terrain. Meanwhile, normal ‘garden variety’ Gnomes were confined to grassy areas. They would permanently become plaster/stone forever, unable to manifest their sentience, if they left a grassy area for a prolonged period of time.
Swirls of smoke curled around Marcus as he mentally recalled his escape from that horrid place, from the Crabbody residence. From the Crabbody GARDEN. He had broken free from his binds and grabbed a garden hoe, immediately swinging it with a hard force and planting it directly atop the skull of that Demon Gnome-harboring skank. Poor fucking Bob, too, eaten alive by those sick porcelain Devils.
He killed that bitch and ran, never looking back. Now he lived out in the desert where no grass grew. Chiquita was special. That’s why the other Gnomes wanted her. They wanted to be able to walk the Earth freely like she did, wander this blue Globe of ours without any restraints. But luckily, those little fucks didn’t get her, he was safe.
4. And the Herald Angels sing
Marcus’ head oozed a pink grayish substance when they caved it in. Chiquita had to watch as the horde opened him up, ripping out his organs and preparing them for the feasting. They had to grow in their power, for their task was large; they were to devour all of mankind. They were to establish a new race, a new beginning. In his dying breaths, Marcus cried out for her, for Chiquita. Before she could answer, they took her back to the breeding chamber. She was to continue her new task – mothering the great Gnome Army.
David Anderson lives in Mesa, Arizona and dabbles in editing, art, writing, and other random things. David is considered an expert on PERFECT STRANGERS and CHARLES IN CHARGE and is often consulted by writers on his expertise on those subjects.
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