Gardens of Eden
By Jay Dee
"Tell me that is not a hand," Grigsby said. "I grant you, the squash is growing around it, but see for yourself," he pointed. "Unless connected by the roots underground, those digits are a growing singularity."
A pestered look flashed over Mica Jackson's face. "A growing singularity?" she echoed his words in question.
Grigsby blushed, "Well, you know. Yeah."
Mica knelt down in the corner of the garden for a closer look. Sure enough out of the blackened topsoil sprouted four, stems, she thought, close-set, which indeed looked remarkably alike to a set of sunward extending fingers. The stems even had knuckles and fingernails. Each was grouped or connected at the base to what looked very much like the beginning crenels of the palm of a hand breaking through the soil line.
"And right there," Grigsby noted further, "is the thumb."
She did notice this, the tip only, but damn if that didn't look like a thumbnail. Standing erect, she glanced out at the rest of the garden. Rows of waist-high corn at their summertime best near the far fence, and closer the cabbage, kale, cauliflower, and here at the garden gate, the summer squash. She gave Grigsby a smirk. "Alert the news; we have a squash that looks like a hand. Maybe we got the Virgin Mary popping up out of our community garden."
"Mica," Grigsby said. He looked annoyed. "That ain't no squash." Looking away, he took a step out of the garden to the side path. "I told you as a courtesy. But, you being the naysayer you are, I'm reluctant to continue this further."
"Where are you going?" she asked.
He pivoted toward the gate without response.
Mica hop-stepped over the squash after him. "Where are you going?" she repeated.
"Explain that to me Mica," he demanded without turning.
She reached out grabbing his shoulder from behind and spun him back violently, "You cannot tell anyone."
Losing his balance momentarily, then righting himself, he faced her advance, his anger mounting, "You never did want to believe. Now here it is staring you in the face and still you are ignoring the fact that this life, our life, is now up for grabs."
Grigsby shoved her hand from his shoulder. She glared back at him, searching for words to respond, but finding none. He brushed a lock of hair out of his eyes. "This is only one of the thousands and thousands of gardens."
Her expression calmed, she let her eyes drain of the deluge of indignation that had engulfed them. She stood serene, collected, contemplative, almost circumspect.
Her eyes studied his.
Wait, his expression said to her. You seem suddenly too at ease, his eyes told her. Too late though; for she completed his realization as she slipped the blade of the garden trowel back out of his chest.
Grigsby slipped to his knees. He looked up at her muttering; his voice abandoning him.
"Because," she answered his unasked question, "I'm in charge and I'm not sharing. Thousands you say? No gain can come of them here. But, once we reach earth, imagine the market." She turned. The fingers had risen higher, now evident indeed attached to a palm positioned high over a sprouting wrist, and under the cluster of pale green leaves, appeared the crown of a head covered with a black carpet of hair.
"I will be…very…wealthy," she shrugged. Grigsby fell face forward with a thud. "Famous," she shrugged again." She scanned the garden, "And…" she added, "immortal."
She finished with a smirk that Grigsby did not see.
"Experiment my ass," she said.