Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Springtime In The City
By Tony Rauch

I awake to find my plants growing all over my apartment - vines and leaves cover the walls, they creep across the ceiling and down around the corners to the floor. I have been really tired, but I didn’t realize I slept that long. It’s as if I have been asleep for weeks, maybe even months.

The leaves of the plants are big and ripe, the stems and vines thick, solid and green. I shake my head and make my way down the hall to the living room. The hallway and living room are encased in leaves and vines too - the walls and ceilings covered from my overflowing plants. The ceiling and floor and windows are also covered with grass and moss and weeds. Long grass sticks up through the floor boards. Vines poke through cracks and holes in the plaster of the walls and ceiling. My entire couch is a planter - leaves and vines and grass sprouting from it to curl onto the floor in long, thick waves. A bird hovers in the corner and a small butterfly flutters past my legs, meandering a crooked flight. A cloud of strange flies is buzzing near the floor.

The sun is rising, but the room is dark and spotted with odd shadows from the sun filtering its way in through all the leaves. Shafts of grainy light penetrate in all directions, a dusty haze in an eerie yellow glow due to the growth covering the windows.

I exhale in disbelief. I shake my head and step out of my vine-covered door. The hall is a jungle too - also carpeted in a tangle of grass and moss with small plants growing from cracks in the floor, walls and ceiling. I step carefully to the outside door, open it and step out. The entire neighborhood is covered. I walk out to the street, my head darting in awe. The entire block is overgrown. Green is all around, mother nature at full throttle. Vines, trees, bushes, plants, shrubs, leaves, flowers, long grass and weeds have grown to cover the block in a thick blanket of green, berming houses and cars in rolling mounds - covering them completely as if living deep in a dense forest.

A cat the size of a car peeks around the corner of a house a few doors down. Startled, I jump back. I freeze for a long moment, then dash back to the safety of my doorway to peep out in fear. Luckily the cat didn’t notice me. I scan the block, clutching the door jamb, but no one is around, the flowing leaves and vines growing over my neighbor’s windows and doors, the cat purring menacingly . . .

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Tony Rauch has three books of short stories published – “I’m right here” (spout press), “Laredo” (Eraserhead Press), “Eyeballs growing all over me . . . again” (Eraserhead Press). He has additional titles forthcoming in the next few months.


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