Smith sat contently in his small allotment and poured himself another
cup of steaming tea from his flask and admired the site in front
of him. His tiny council garden was full of the most beautiful vegetables
you could ever wish to see; Carrots, onions, radishes, cucumbers-they
were all there vibrant, healthy and peculiarly large. He
smiled to himself satisfied as he examined his favorite- a giant
cucumber resting beautifully in the middle of his plot.
is going to be my first place victory at the county fair' he reflected
as he sipped on his tea. 'See if Alfred Jones can beat that one!'
was a typical Yorkshire Spring morning and the rain was gently drizzling
from the sky. Harry slowly got up from his garden chair and ambled
over to his trusted garden shed. He fumbled with his keys for a
few moments before managing to disengage the rusty old lock.
get myself a new one," he grumbled to himself. "Everyman
must have a private secure place."
proceeded to turn on the dusty forty watt light bulb and glance
about. There were seven caps hung neatly on hooks by the door, all
in various shades of gray. He picked up one that was obviously very
well worn and placed it on his balding head.
keep me 'ead warm," he chirped as he continued looking about
and performed a quick inventory: A sack of compost, half bag of
fertilizer , his old axe, two well used watering cans, his trusted
wood chipper, a water hose, and his collection of spades and shuffles
up, shears, clippers, his battered tool box and his old trusted
everything is still there, you can't be too careful.'
turned the old radio on and was happy to hear Terry Wogan's familiar
voice, his favorite radio personality. He sat there contently for
about thirty minutes sipping on his tea and listening to Wogan's
did he know he was not alone on that rainy April morning as just
two allotments down Alfred Jones was also drinking his tea, listening
to his radio and also planning...
won't beat me this year' Alfred pondered to himself. 'No
looked at his allotment 'fine vegetables' he thought methodically
"Very fine indeed in fact they could be described as quite
magnificent even. But they were no match for bloody Harry Smith's.'
He shook his head in disgust.
Alfred Jones was a mild mannered man, in fact a more gentle and
easy-going man you would be hard pressed to find. Yet deep inside
this kind faced chap was a fierce rage burning. He had retired nearly
five years ago after 37 years at the civil service. 37 years of
saying "Yes sir" and mundanely going through the tedious
motions that is work in the British civil service. When he was not
working he had got to spend all the days' hours in his little council
house, with his wife Hilda. That is when he had decided to take
Not for flowers or anything like that, but to
grow vegetables and to escape Hilda's constant nagging! He had become
quite an expert on the subject now having spent hours pouring over
books from the library. Every year he proudly took his prize beauties
to the county show and every year he left clasping onto a silver
Alfred in his entire life had never once lost his temper. Yet, as
he was sitting there, hatred started to fester inside him. The rage
was slowly transforming him, finally he could stand it no longer
and he suddenly jumped up
flippin' show him!" He cried, "I'll fix that Harry Smith
once and for bloody all!" Alfred quickly walked to his shed,
surprised by the sudden extra bounce in his stride. He quickly undid
his rusty lock, and excitedly went inside and switched on the light.
As the bulb rocked back and forth on its chain, he scanned about
for the perfect tool for the planned brutal task at hand.
was exciting' he thought as his attention was suddenly drawn to
a rusty old chopper hanging amongst the cob webs in the rear corner.
he pondered to himself 'Absolutely bloody perfect. I will finally
show that Harry Smith once and for all.'
grabbed the weapon and proceeded to march deliberately towards his
neighbors plot. As he marched he proudly whistled to himself "Colonel
Bogey" and as his pace quickened even further still the whistling
haven't felt this bloody good in years!' He pondered as he reached
his destination. 'This is grand I should have done thus ages ago!'
Alfred got close to Harry's plot his pace slowed down and the whistling
stopped. He stealthily examined Harry's lot as sweat starting to
glisten on his brow. Then his old grey eyes opened wide in delight
as he spied his target. He took a deep breath and began to creep
closer -silent and deadly. As he was finally upon it he raised his
blade high above his head. He was feeling completely and strangely
unconcerned about the consequences of his wicked actions and was
now grinning from ear to ear.
just before the axe demolished the giant cucumber he felt an abrupt
and sudden thud on the back of his head then Alfred Smith fell to
the damp ground with a thump.
Tch' Harry Smith muttered sadistically under his breath as he gawked
back and forth at the bloody hammer in his hand and the body of
Alfred lying at his feet.
moments Harry had dragged Alfred's limp lifeless body into his shed
and closed the door. He affectionately removed Alfred's cap, straightened
it out and placed it securely next to the rest of his collection.
keepsake' he mused grinning to himself frenziedly.
he started up the trusted old chipper and he rubbed his hands together
gleefully as it shook and groaned into action. From one of the tied
bags he pulled out several black plastic sheets and meticulously
and efficiently covered every inch of his beloved shed. Finally
when he was satisfied that the shed was dutifully prepared he reached
down to his tattered tool box, opened the lid and removed a rusty
examined the well used saw and squinted his eyes -'One of these
days I must get myself an electric one' he moaned. Then he cheerfully
set about his grisly task.
* * *
weeks later the county fair arrived.
Smith glowed with pride as he is once more presented his first prize
the judge placed the gold medal about Harry's neck he looked at
him in appreciation.
year in a row!" He exclaimed gleaming at Harry." So is
there any chance that you might divulge the key to your success?"
The judge inquired hopefully.
grinned wickedly, leaned in and whispered into his inquisitive ear.