This piece was written for the Six Sentence Challenge, with the prompt word of ‘verge’.
Explanatory note: In Australia, a suburban garden verge is the strip of land between the footpath (sidewalk, pavement) and the street. Technically this land is owned by the relevant local government authority and some maintain them (e.g. mow the grass) but many require that residents maintain the section in front of their house, which has in turn led to the street verge gardening movement.
Never a keen gardener in the past, Geoffrey in retirement had become obsessed with growing useful things, with an emphasis on orderliness and strict boundaries for his raised beds of vegetables and fruit trees in large pots.
Of course he could not eat even a small proportion of the seasonal harvests, so he gave most of it away to initially grateful (and then later inwardly groaning and discreetly binning) neighbours.
Having used every square inch of arable land he owned, he took advantage of the street gardening movement to colonise the verge in front of his home, growing mostly herbs that he imagined passers-by would gratefully snip off (with the scissors he had thoughtfully provided, hanging on a string) to add to their evening meal, having failed to observe that most of his neighbours still worked, rarely cooked and never walked anywhere.
One morning, as he was doing his rounds, inspecting his crops, he stood gazing in horror at the carnage in his herb bed on the verge, clearly created by vehicles owned by social miscreants, and then walked briskly back inside and began to coldly map out his dish of revenge, followed by world domination (or at least that part of the world that comprised the street on which he lived).
Over the next few years, Geoffrey leveraged his savings to buy up his less desirable neighbours one by one, including Cactus Man (his front garden resembled the Mojave Desert) and, shortly afterwards, the home of the young people next door, who believed the perfect garden involved red tanbark and gravel and a ‘classic car’ parked on it while it awaited restoration that never seemed to commence.
With each acquisition, he transformed its garden into the orderly and productive space it should always have been, engaged agents to let the properties to people screened for their green fingers and, a decade on, he had created a miniature green solar system, with highly desirable moons orbiting around his virtuous Sun.
PS – Shameless self-promotion of my ridiculously cheap books (including one with ‘Verge’ in the title) to use as stocking stuffers for the festive season.
On The Verge Of Extinction https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B7L4JYJY
Raving and Wryting – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09NXMXB3W