Eva Wingate’s garden
The summer sun beat down relentlessly on Eva Wingate’s vegetable garden. She’d never seen the peppers and tomatoes so robust, it was the best crop ever. The soil was black and rich with the addition of a special fertilizer. Her mouth watered at thought of the fresh salsa and pasta sauce she’d be making in the next month.
A sense of calm and well-being washed over her. She pushed an errant strand of gray hair out of her eyes. The next item on her to do list was a trip to the salon. Eva was going to start fresh with a new cut and color. Maybe something spiky and blond! Max didn’t allow her to color her hair or wear make up. Without him in the picture she was free to do as she pleased, and she wanted a makeover.
She didn’t mean to do it, but a person can only take criticism for so long. He stood there yelling and screaming at her, the vein on his bald head pulsed with anger, and his face was red like a tomato. Eva couldn’t even remember what had sparked his fury, it didn’t matter. It was always something ridiculous. Max was a bully, and she had grown tired of being his punching bag.
When he closed in on her and grabbed her neck she stuck him in the belly like a pig with the trowel she’d hidden behind her back. His brown eyes bulged in shock and he fell to his knees. Twenty years of pent-up rage boiled over and she lost control. Again and again she plunged the metal trowel into his bloated gut. When she came back to herself she saw him laying there in the dirt covered in stab wounds and blood, his pasty skin broiling in the noonday sun.
There were advantages to living in the country. No one heard their confrontation, there were no calls to the police, and no sirens. No one watched her dig a hole deep enough to push him into. It was surprising to her how strong she’d become. Perhaps she had been strong all along, but Max made her forget. She remembered it now.
When she’d finished she planted half a dozen tomato starts on top of him. At least he would be good for something. Eva didn’t have to put up with his viciousness, and violence any more, and this year’s garden would yield prize-winning tomatoes.