Did you know October is Kiss The Garden Gnome Month? It sure is. So go and find a garden gnome and kiss the lucky fucker.
Did you know October is Kiss The Garden Gnome Month? It sure is. So go and find a garden gnome and kiss the lucky fucker.
Every Monday, the garden gnomes will publish a meme as a reflection of their very soul. The meme will be a statement of the core of our garden gnome character. We hope you like these aphorisms, for they are for you as much for us.
Oh, who am I kidding?
We’re as self-centered as you are. The difference is, we submit. You should too. Send us your flash fiction. Send it now. Send it when it is ready. Just send it. Enter our monthly Flim-Flim games.
And enjoy the memes.
It’s Meme Monday. The garden gnomes are feeling sexy.
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.
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.
Choosing a winner of a contest can be difficult, especially for your first contest. I was a bit apprehensive going into this first contest because I wasn’t sure what I was looking for. I simply wanted to juice up the blog with some fast action – and, boy, did I get what I asked for.
My initial call for entries was vague. I put out a call on Facebook for some flash and said I’d pay a measly $5 for the first story I accepted.
One person was quick on the uptake. In just an hour I had my first submission. The submitter was proud of the fact that he wrote a story about a garden gnome. Since I didn’t put a deadline on the contest, I decided to initiate one, so I chose Friday, August 30, 2013.
I spread the word as far and wide as I could in such a short time – Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Craigslist. Then I sat back and watched the submissions come in.
I didn’t get as many as I’d liked, but the ones I got were quite good – most of them. I decided not to read any of them until the deadline, then I would read them all at once. The diversity of submissions was quite impressive. I wrote back to several of the non-winners and told them I’d like to publish their stories anyway. They all accepted.
But there was one submission that earned a spot in my heart even after I’d read all the others. It was the story about the garden gnome, the first submission received.
It’s a fair question to ask: “What criteria did you choose the winner based on?”
Luckily, no one has asked me that question – yet. But if they did, I’d have to say in this case it was very simple. I wanted something that was representative of what Garden Gnome Publications is all about. That could be an easy thing to find or quite difficult. In this case, the winner had a leg up on everyone else. He helped me create the look and feel of the website. In fact, he created my header.
That may seem unfair, but I didn’t know David Anderson was going to submit to the contest (and he didn’t know I was going to have one). Nevertheless, he hit me with a story I couldn’t resist.
There were other stories that were better written. From a craft standpoint, several stories were much more winner-worthy. But most of them weren’t creepy enough, or funny enough, or weird enough. One, I felt, was too short, though it was an extremely well thought out and written story. Another almost took the prize but in the end, the garden gnome represented the essence of Flim-Flam. I had my pick.
Congratulations to David Anderson, graphic artist and writer in the Bizarro fiction genre. You can read his story on the Flim-Flam Blog tomorrow.
If you’ve always wanted to be a garden gnome, now is your chance. Garden Gnome Publications are looking for volunteers to post Craigslist ads in your local town announcing a call for submissions. All you have to do is list us in your hometown. If interested, contact the chief garden gnome at gardengnome at allenleetaylor.com. Instructions will be on the way.
Gnomes and dwarfs have a lot in common. They’re both short … and … let’s see … I’m thinking … yeah … they’re both short.
I bet you’ve never heard of a garden dwarf, have you? Any question now about which one is superior?
Using “Biblical” as an adjective can get you into a lot of trouble. I suspect this might be one of those occasions.
The problem lies in how you interpret the adjective. The easy way out is to simply say that “Biblical” means literally interpreted. That is, if you call something Biblical, then you are implying that you are referring to the traditionally orthodox interpretation of the Bible. That’s not what the Garden Gnome is doing in this case.
“Biblical” simply means “based on the Bible.” Whatever that means.
The real bone of contention is, What do you make of speculative fiction? Garden gnomes almost always seek the broadest interpretation possible. In fiction and in real life.
Speculative fiction, for our purposes, is any fiction that encompasses a fantastical element. That could include – but isn’t limited to – science fiction, fantasy, horror, weird literature, supernatural tales, utopian or dystopian stories, alternative histories, Bizarro, and anything with a weird, surreal, or irreal element to it. Feel free to expand on that.
As a matter of principle, most garden gnomes like stories that cross genre definitions.
The Biblical Legends Spec Fic Anthology Series is an attempt to bring together short story and flash fiction writers from a variety of sub-genres within the speculative fiction category addressing particular Biblical-based themes or settings for each anthology. In other words, contributors have a lot of freedom to take their stories in any speculative direction as long as they stick with the theme.
The first anthology theme in the works is the Garden of Eden. We’re all familiar with the story, no doubt.
In case you haven’t heard about it, let me give you a quick synopsis.
God then created all the animals and sent them to Adam to receive names. Then he put Adam to sleep, took a rib, and created Eve.
A serpent came along and tempted Eve to eat of the fruit of the forbidden tree. Eve ate the fruit from the tree and tempted Adam to do the same. After doing so, they realized they were naked and covered themselves with fig leaves. God came looking for them, and when he found them he wasn’t happy. Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent. God punished them all.
God told Adam his punishment was work. The woman’s was pain during childbirth. And the serpent lost his legs. Then God sent Adam and Eve out of the garden and blocked the entrance with a flaming sword.
So what is the task of each writer who contributes a story to the Garden of Eden anthology?
The Garden of Eden is a strange place. Not much is known about it. There aren’t any historical records. Adam hadn’t invented papyrus yet.
We’ve deleted Adam, Eve, and the serpent as potential characters. That would be too easy. Instead, we want to know who else might have been in that garden. This is where you can get speculative. Use your imagination. Be broad in your thinking, and be creative. You don’t have to stick with the literal details of the Biblical text, but you should try to maintain the integrity of the legend. In other words, don’t make it a desert, because it wasn’t. That said, you can describe the garden as you wish.
The garden gnomes are giddy with excitement about the stories we’re expecting to receive. We’d like one of them to be yours. Get the submission details at
Garden gnomes are known for their sense of humor. They also notoriously have a big family. Sprites, elves, drows, nymphs, satyrs, leprechauns, and jubjub birds are all distant cousins. The last thing in the world you want to do is jack with a garden gnome.