Thursday July 11th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: thieves in the night.

I'll get to that in a second.

Sandwiched around spending time with Max and his cousin Natalie, I used a weed trimmer to clean up some of our sprinkler rows in the garden (they can't be tilled because the irrigation pipes run just under the surface) and pruned and tied tomatoes.

The temperatures have suddenly become quite comfortable after the heat wave we experienced last week. I think everyone is rather relieved, Max perhaps most of all.

Right, on to the prompt.

Mine:

This morning a rather unpleasant discovery was made in the orchard. Apparently someone (likely someones) came in the night and picked all the cherries off the lone Lapins tree. At a guess, there were probably a few hundred dollars worth of fruit on that guy.

No longer.

There have been fruit thefts before, but nothing quite like this. It's fairly common to have people stop their vehicles at the edge of the orchard and pick a few apples off the trees before driving off. It's almost expected when there isn't a fence around the property, though it still pisses me off.

But this? To steal all of the fruit off of a single tree? When that single tree isn't even visible from the road? In the middle of the night, which surely required flashlights?

Brazen doesn't even begin to describe it.

The thing that bothers me the most though, the aspect I find most unsettling, is the fact that the Lapins tree is nowhere near the road. It is three or four rows down from Kat's parents house, maybe fifteen rows up from our place, at the end of its row, facing the vineyard next door.

There is absolutely no way someone could find that tree at night if they didn't know exactly where it was.

I have always felt completely safe here. Totally secure, no concerns about trespassers. I feel like that feeling has been lost.

Tonight I sleep with one ear straining to hear movements in the night.

2 Comments:

Greg Bennett said...

Oh wow, that's not nice. And from what you say, it's likely someone you know since they knew where the tree was and had organised themselves to get the fruit. That kind of makes it all the worse really (though at least it means that you're probably not really getting any/many trespassers!) I do hope it's an isolated incident.
On a slightly more amusing note (I hope!) I looked at the page you've linked to and was rather astonished to see that it says that each cherry is 1' across. Yes, that's right. 1 foot across.
I'm amazed your thieves could carry such monsters away in silence :)

Thieves in the night
They come like spiders, skittering over things. Long, fragile legs reach up impossibly high, arch overhead, and then descend again, landing lightly. They make only a tiny amount of sound, almost an inaudible sussuration, when they move but when there are so many of them it's like the wind blowing through the trees, or a breaker collapsing at the shore's edge.
Arms stretch out around them, and eyeless heads tilt this way and that, blindly responding to heat or pressure or maybe other things. They reach in through windows, doors, holes that seem too small and long fingers with too many knuckles dance over everything they find.
And when they find a sleeper the dance pauses, the whole skittering stops and there's a moment when the world holds it breath.
They steal eyes and noses and mouths and tongues; they steal the fingerprints from your skin and the dreams from your head. In the blink of an eye the thieves in the night take your identity away from you and hoard it, guarding it jealously because they have none of their own.
And then in the morning... then in the morning... the crying begins.

Marc said...

Greg - so far no further mischief has occurred, so that's somewhat reassuring.

Though if the cherries were actually that large, I'd pretty much let them take whatever they wished as long as they promised not to eat anyone!

Oh god, these guys. To your credit, I knew exactly who you were writing about right from the start, despite the amount of time that has passed since I'd last read anything to do with them.

Still, they give me the creeps.