The Hole in the Yard

by

Bard

Editor

Bleu Gato

 

The Hole in the Yard is copyrighted by the author and is not to be used or modified without permission. All rights reserved.

Contact: bard@xena2.com

Blog: www.xena2.com/blog

 


FADE IN:

EXT. SUBURB JEFFREY'S HOUSE EARLY MORNING

A large bay window gazes benevolently upon the perfection that is the green spread of grass in front of the cookie-cutter residence. Stamped in neat rows, sharing the same color and front yard arrangement, the homes stretch up and down the street of the subdivision.

Interestingly, among the feature-rich yet cloned blob, this residence stands out. It just looks better. The stucco is move vivid, the paint brighter, the driveway lighter, and the vegetation well, it's the real winner.

Clearly the occupant's pride and joy, the immaculate carpet screams issues. There is taking care of your lawn, there is obsessing, and then there is this. Fittingly, the sunny start of the day reveals a zit marring the beauty.

The hole is near the sidewalk, glaringly obvious among the manicured, golf-course quality plants. Not for its size, being only an inch in diameter. It's the additional one inch collar of exposed sand that seals the atrocity perpetrated on the uniform green. Now the only thing missing is the reaction.

In answer, a pale, white face appears when the curtains part and sweeps over the well-maintained domain. The brows furrow when the possible fault is spotted and the color drains from the visage. Just as soon JEFFREY vanishes.

CUT TO:

EXT. SUBURB JEFFREY'S HOUSE EARLY MORNING

The front door bangs open and a frantic, barefoot man rushes out, leaving the door ajar in his haste. A cry of lament is ripped from his throat as he visually confirms the damage wrought against his baby. In coincidental, yet funny fashion, his robe falls open.

The now open robe flapping over a pair of striped shorts and T-shirt losing a containment fight with a prominent belly, Jeffrey huffs back inside and comes back shortly with the water shutoff valve key.

Inserting the long, metal fork with a handle on the end, he aims to measure the depth of the offense. However, Jeffrey is clearly not prepared for the entire thing dropping down to the wide handle, the only thing stopping further descent. It appears the hole is substantial indeed.

Jeffrey, cursing angrily

JEFFREY

<BEEP>!

CUT TO:

EXT. SUBURB JEFFREY'S HOUSE EARLY MORNING

War is declared. Jeffrey, in full gardening regalia - including a ridiculous, super wide-brimmed sun hat attentively administers to the wounded patient. Surrounding him are the instruments of impromptu surgery: water hose, a precut, round patch of grass, various liquid and solid plant supplements in bags and containers, sand to fill the opening back up, and various metal tools.

Casting one last, accusing look at the neighbors, none of whom are present, Jeffrey sets to work.

CUT TO:

EXT. SUBURB JEFFREY'S HOUSE FOLLOWING DAY/DAWN

An OLD WOMAN walking the poodle stops and gazes curiously at the two inch opening in the ground, framed by the cleared circle matching it. The hole is back, doubling in size. Someone is not going to be happy.

CUT TO:

EXT. SUBURB JEFFREY'S HOUSE DAWN

The OLD WOMAN walks away, shaking her head. She does not see Jeffrey watching her depart through the bay window, suspicion in his eyes and expression.

CUT TO:

EXT. SUBURB JEFFREY'S HOUSE NEXT DAY/DAWN

The hole has taken its vitamins and returns triumphantly. Sprouting an eight inch diameter, it splits evenly between the dark emptiness and lighter collar.

The OLD LADY is back as well, scratching her head. She raises it on quick footsteps and observes Jeffrey cross over the lawn, water shutoff valve key in hand.

Jeffrey, fake cheerful

JEFFREY

Morning, neighbor.

OLD WOMAN, bluntly

OLD WOMAN

I think you got a hole in your lawn. Yep, you do.

Jeffrey, thru clenched teeth

JEFFREY

Yes.

OLD WOMAN, amiably

OLD WOMAN

I think it's getting bigger, dear.

Jeffrey, twitching, dropping any pretense of friendliness, spitting

JEFFREY

Yes.

OLD WOMAN, enjoying tormenting Jeffrey, sweetly

OLD WOMAN

I think you should do something about it, my dear.

Pause.

OLD WOMAN, walking away without looking back, to the dog, charming

OLD WOMAN

Come along, Charles, the nice dear is missing something.

Jeffrey raises the metal object as if to strike her, but thinks better of it and puts it down.

CUT TO:

EXT. SUBURB JEFFREY'S HOUSE FOLLOWING DAY/LATE MORNING

The MAILMAN rings the bell insistently and after a few attempts meets death. Well, not right away. Soon.

A bleary eyed and disheveled Jeffrey answers the summons, wearing his trademark bathroom robe (thankfully, it's closed).

Jeffrey, snapping

JEFFREY

What?!

MAILMAN, not knowing when to shut it, officiously

MAILMAN

Sir, are you aware that there is a hole on your property?

Jeffrey, evenly

JEFFREY

You don't say. You shouldn't, but you did.

Pause.

Jeffrey, quietly

JEFFREY

I thought I took care of that problem last night. Oh, well.

Jeffrey reaches back as the MAILMAN drones on, searching for something by the door.

MAILMAN

I have to report this potential safety hazard to the city. Think about the children!

JEFFREY

Yes, poor children and me caring. Show me.

The MAILMAN turns around as Jeffrey brings forth a water shutoff valve key.

CUT TO:

EXT. SUBURB JEFFREY'S HOUSE NEXT DAY/DAWN

Jeffrey slowly and cautiously circles the nearly three foot hole. Each day it relentlessly doubles in size, with no end in sight.

Jeffrey, sweeping the glare over the neighbors' houses, darkly

JEFFREY

Stronger measures have to be taken.

CUT TO:

EXT. SUBURB JEFFREY'S HOUSE FOLLOWING DAY/MORNING

The hole passes five feet; always the same distance from the sidewalk, but swallowing more and more of the grass. Conquest of the entire lawn is definitely on the agenda and in sight.

Jeffrey is a broken man. Unshaved, unwashed, and dead tired, he stumbles to the edge and fall onto his knees, crying in defeat.

Jeffrey, hanging his head, pitifully lamenting

JEFFREY

Why?

There are footsteps and two people in coveralls stop on the other side.

MAN #1, concerned

MAN #1

Wow, Gene, this is bad.

MAN #2

You right, Mark. Build on the ancient Indian burial ground and watch man's hard work and pride perish completely.

Jeffrey, worried

JEFFREY

Perish?

Mark, with great sorrow

MARK

Shame that.

Jeffrey, panicking now

JEFFREY

Completely?

Gene, illustrating with his hands, dramatically

GENE

Poof!

Jeffrey, shouting in despair

JEFFREY

NO!!!

Mark, starting to state something that just occurred to him and then dismissing it

MARK

Course there is nah, wouldn't work.

Gene, thoughtfully

GENE

What about, you know: that other thing?

MARK

Hmm, that could work.

Gene, apprehensively

GENE

Expensive

Jeffrey, seizing the chance to save his lawn, happily exclaiming

JEFFREY

I got money!

CUT TO:

EXT. SUBURB JEFFREY'S HOUSE FEW DAYS LATER/AFTERNOON

Two uniformed POLICEMEN walk past the mostly repaired lawn. The hole had been vanquished and where the replacement plants are missing, new blades sprout shyly.

The senior officer takes the lead at the door. He rings the bell and adds his knuckles on the wood for a good measure.

Jeffrey, opening the door, politely

JEFFREY

How can I help you?

SENIOR OFFICER

Sir, we are investigating a case in the neighborhood. May we enter?

Jeffrey, proudly

JEFFREY

The lawn is safe.

SENIOR OFFICER, exchanging silent understanding with his partner, humoring Jeffrey

SENIOR OFFICER

Yes, it's very nice. What happened to it?

Jeffrey, cryptically

JEFFREY

Previous owners.

CUT TO:

INT. INTERSTATE REST STOP PARKING LOT - VAN - AFTERNOON

Gene and Mark sit in the front, counting stacks of hundred dollar bills. Their vehicle is far from the others and there is nobody close.

Mark, guiltily

MARK

The Jeffrey dude killed the old lady and the dog, neighbors up and down the street, at least one mailman, and the gas meter reader. I feel kind of bad.

Gene, indifferent

GENE

Fifty thousand reasons to not care.

Mark, sad

MARK

So many lives bludgeoned

Gene, waving cash under Mark's nose, meaningfully

GENE

That's fifty each.

Mark, sighing

MARK

Okay, Gene, you win. Next time thou, let's not pick a slightly homicidal lunatic. How about that?

Gene, eagerly considering the next score, musing aloud

GENE

I hear a guy in Beverly Hills really loves his 65 Shelby GT350

FADE OUT:

THE END

 

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