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My name was Norman Babbage and i am currently residing four foot beneath the surface in my own backyard.

Th worms have been very busy today, I sense and feel them as they squirm and wriggle between my ribs, turning my rotting flesh into nutrient rich compost.

I have been down here in the dank damp earth for two weeks now ever since my wife Maureen split my head open with a hammer while i slept.

After committing the dastardly deed the murderous bitch wrapped me in the bed sheet, dragged me down the stairs and out into the backyard where under the cover of darkness she rolled me into a hole that i had dug a few weeks prior.

My killer told me that she was planning on buying a few magnolia trees to screen our house from the neighbors and silly me believed her.

Maureen and i had been married for only five years and in that time her love for me descended into a cesspool of hate.

We met at a local bowling alley where we got to talking and i soon forgot all about the game, it was love at first sight.

Maureen was big even back then and easily out weighed me by thirty pounds or more, she had long blonde hair and a pleasant smile.

Before i knew it we had convened to a motel room where we made love until the sun come up.

As the two of us drank our coffee the next morning Maureen called me ‘Stormin’ Norman’ and said i fucked like a love struck teenager.

Than she grabbed my hand in a vise like grip and uttered the words ‘You are mine now Norman, you can never leave me’

I should have walked out there and then but i didn’t think she was serious but she was, deadly serious.

Maureen was 23 years old and i had just turned 25.

Six months later we were married and moved into a house at 343 Hillside Drive Glendale California.

The first year of our union was fairly smooth sailing but i had noticed that Maureen was very clingy and would hardly let me out of the house unless i needed to use the bathroom or when i went to work at the post office.

When my shift was over Maureen would be waiting outside in her old Corolla and soon i began to feel like a prisoner in my own home.

If i said that i was thinking of going for a few beers with my work mates Maureen would tag along and make the situation very uncomfortable and soon my friends stopped asking me to go with them.

I grew increasingly anxious and that is when i first thought about leaving my wife and getting my life back.

Maureen must have sensed my unease because one night a week or so later i was in the bathroom shaving before i went to work when she sidled up behind me and at first i thought she was after some loving but i was sorely mistaken.

‘Don’t even think about leaving me Norman because if you do i will hunt you down and drag you home’

‘Have a good hard look in the mirror Norman, go on you ugly little excuse for a man, remember Norman you are mine and the only way you will leave me is in a pine box’

I look in the mirror and i don’t like what i see, Maureen is right i am a geeky looking man your typical nerd plus i am also a coward so i don’t say a word as i change into my work uniform and silently get in her car and she drives me to the post office. ‘See you after work Norman, remember i will be waiting’

For almost another two years i put up with her mental and physical abuse but my frustration was about to boil over , i couldn’t deal with her shit or stay silent any longer so the bitch came home from grocery shopping i was going to confront her and demand a divorce.

Maureen arrived home in a foul mood as usual ‘Norman can you get your finger out of your ass and give me a hand around here, i am tired of being your slave’

I now realize that i should have moved out while she was gone but i needed to confront her face to face ‘Maureen i am leaving today and i won’t be back,you have made my life a misery and i can’t take it anymore’

‘Sure thing Norman pack your bags and get the fuck out of here’

That wasn’t the reaction i was expecting but i quickly threw a few things into suitcase and headed towards the door when Maureen called from the kitchen ‘I can drive you to the bus station if you like but i forgot where i put the car keys’

I look at the hall table where she usually leaves her keys but they aren’t there maybe she left them on the coffee table.?

As i turn to have a look WHACK WHACK WHACK I didn’t feel any pain as the rolling pin cracked open my skull and i believe that i was dead before i hit the floor.

Nor did have any comprehension as my body was dragged out into the backyard and deposited into the hole that i had dug for Maureens Magnolia tree’s.

The Magnolia’s were delivered yesterday waiting to be planted into the ground and now that my body would provide them with essential nutrients i am sure Maureen will fill in the hole and i will disappear forever.

When i was covered by dirt and the moonlight was blotted out for the final time i didn’t bat an eyelid or shed a single tear.

For all intents and purposes i am dead.

The worms are having a fine old time feasting on my decaying flesh and every now and then i would get a drenching when Maureen watered the magnolia’s to make sure the tree established and my memory would stay buried for eternity.

But all of my wives efforts would soon come back and bite her on her huge oversized ass.

As i lay in the dank damp ground the roots of the magnolia weaved between my bones supporting me like an old friend.

For Maureen the situation will soon become very grave, very grave indeed.

Maureen Babbage is sitting out on the back porch enjoying a cup of coffee and a cigarette.

It has been a week since she buried her husband and she knows that sooner or later someone will come looking for him.

Yesterday she rang his boss at the post office and told that Norman had run off to New York with a girlfriend so don’t expect him back anytime soon.

Plus hopefully it will be a while before the cops come snooping around because Maureen has plans to move down to Mexico and start a new life.

Stubbing out her cigarette she wanders into the yard to do a spot of gardening’

The magnolia trees are settling in nicely and hopefully the roots are digging deep helping the worms to dispose of Normans carcass.

Grabbing the hose she gives the trees another good soaking ‘Sorry Norman but if anyone was to end our it would be me and not a spineless piece of shit like you’

‘Now be a good boy and give the bugs a good feed so my magnolia’s can grow big and strong, something that you never were and never will be.’

Four feet below the deceased Norman Babbage soaks up the water that flows past his half devoured tongue.

As the precious liquid permeates into his system his ears listens to the stinging words coming down from above.

Norman chews on a root and digests the protein with gusto because he knows that even though he is still dead one day that bitch will walking and breathing will be brought to justice.

A few days later Maureen is beginning to show some signs of stress.

The Magnolia trees are starting to look unhealthy particularly the one she planted above Norman’s corpse.

Surely Norman’s rotting flesh and the copious amounts of water it has received the trees should be thriving so why are they dropping leaves.?

As she smokes another cigarette Maureen sneaks glances out to her magnolia’s like a mother wolf eyeing her prey.

She knows that somehow her dead husband is responsible for her misery.

Even in death the asshole continues to curse her life ‘Why can’t the bastard just up and die already?’

Night after night Maureen goes out to the porch and every night her paranoia cloaks her in a thick black cloud.

The coffee has been replaced by a bottle of gin the customary cigarette glows like a firefly as she draws in the soothing smoke.

As she swallows a mouthful of gin she picks up a krispy kreme donut and the ever expanding Maureen inhales the sugar in one breath.

Through bloodshot eyes she scans the backyard for any signs of activity but for now the coast is clear.

Another donut is about to be dispatched when the voice of her long dead mother enters her alcohol soaked sugar laden brain ‘Maureen you know that you should never have done what you did, but drinking gin and eating donuts wont undo the deed’

In defiance Maureen empties the bottle in one gulp ‘Fuck you mother and the horse you rode in on’

Remember Maureen that you have always been a big girl but now you are fat and if you continue in your ways, well i am afraid for you Maureen’.

Cut back on the alcohol and sugar and don’t let the darkness infest your brain and everything will be ok’

Goodnight sweetheart don’t let the bed bugs bite’

Maureen shudders as the old bitches voice fades away ‘Thanks for the advice Mom but why don’t you just fuck off and stop interfering’

When no reply is forthcoming Maureen opens another bottle of gin and has a long swallow than she stumbles off to bed ‘It isn’t the bed bugs i am worried about mother it is what lays beneath the magnolia’

As the murderess sleeps she moans with a mixture of pain and pleasure but soon the noise transcends into a snore that causes all of the dogs in the neighborhood to scurry away and hide.

Out in the backyard the leaves from the magnolia trees continue to drop and beneath the surface the roots have evolved , now instead of soaking up the water and nutrients and feeding the tree they now direct all the life giving goodness into the blood and bones of the slain human.

Soon the decaying flesh will renew and his tormented mind will mend and seek vengeance.

The following days continue to be a bane of misery for Maureen.

She now enjoys a liquid breakfast lunch and dinner and the donuts and cigarettes are constant companions by her side.

Deep down she knows that Norman is still to blame for all the wrongness in her life, so tomorrow she will go and buy herself a spade ‘OK motherfucker so you want to play? Now it is my turn’

Next morning Norman is enjoying a bit of peace and quiet relaxing as his body continues to heal when he feels a disturbance in the soil.

A glint of metal catches a dead fish eye and a smile of sorts forms on his face ‘Good god the stupid bitch is digging me up to make sure i am still down here’

When the sun hits his body Norman he doesn’t react ( because he is still technically dead) ‘Jesus Maureen you have really let yourself go, now go away and eat another donut but leave some room in that ample stomach because soon i will be force feeding you a shit load of trouble’

Maureen looks down at her still dead husband and a smile cracks her face as she refills the hole ‘How could i have been so stupid to believe that Norman had somehow come back to life and was responsible for my misery’

Satisfied that her husband is down in the hole where he belongs Maureen heads inside for a well earned drink.

The fog thickens outside the Babbage household, winter is almost here but Maureen is sleeping nice and cozy in her bed.

She doesn’t feel the cold snap approaching or see the magnolia roots creeping around the backyard whilst they wait for their master to give the order to strike.

As she dreams evil thoughts Maureen is oblivious that her life is about to turn into a living hell.

When dawn arrives the birds are chirping feverishly as the eat all the fruits and berries they can manage before they fly south for the winter.

As they fly from tree to tree the birds give the magnolia trees a wide berth because they know that death is lurking below.

Maureen wakes to the sound of the birds eating a little too loud for her liking ‘Shut the fuck up you feathered assholes can’t a person get any sleep around here?’

Knowing that she wont get back to sleep Maureen sticks a foot out from beneath the blankets and once satisfied that it isn’t too cold she climbs out and waddles towards the bathroom.

Out beneath the magnolia Norman is waving his arms around conducting the roots into a well orchestrated frenzy.

He knows that despite his recent rejuvenation his time is limited because once the ground the ground freezes the magnolia will become dormant and he will die again.

Now Maureen has to join him in his grave before it is too late so he plucks one thick root with a bony finger and the root slides up the stairs seeking its victim like a mamba stalking its prey.

Maureen rubs the sleep from her eyes as she on the toilet doing her business.

Then she lets out a strangled scream as a magnolia root appears beneath the bathroom door ‘What in the fuck?’ Maureen whispers as she tries to push herself away from the intruder but there is nowhere to go.

Maureen nervously tinkles every last drop of urine from her body as she stares at the crack beneath the door and for a minute it looks like the root has gone and Maureen prays to the heavens vowing never to drink another drop of gin ever again.

She stands to adjust her clothing when the root one inch round shoots through the narrow opening and wraps itself around her left ankle in a death grip and pulls her off her feet.

There is no way the Maureen is going to fit but the root really couldn’t give a shit and it yanks with all its might and both of Maureens legs snap with a wicked snap that sends all of the birds outside to wing and they take off towards Mexico at break neck speed.

Th bathroom door splinters and Maureen explodes out into her bedroom where she desperately tries to grab something to stop herself being dragged to her doom but the root is having none of that and pulls her across the carpet like a dog pulling a sled up in Alaska.

Maureen becomes aware that her sweat pants and undergarments are wrapped around her knees ‘Please at least let me pull up my pants so if i am to die at least i can leave this world with some dignity’

From out in the garden there comes a muffled reply ‘You haven’t got a dignified bone in your body Maureen, all you have ever done is look out for yourself and treat other people like shit’

‘And if there is a God Maureen you will never get to meet him because you are going to hell where you will burn for eternity’

Maureen sobs in terror at the sound of her dead husbands voice but even with two broken legs and a tree root wrapped an ankle her meanness surfaces ‘Well if it isn’t stormin’ Norman back from the grave, see you soon and when i get my hands on you i will kill you again motherfucker’

The root tightens its grip and Maureen gets the message and clamps her mouth shut for the first time in her life.

But it doesn’t last for long because when she starts to descend the stairs in screams in pain and total terror.

BIONK BIONK BIONK

The back of Maureen’s head strikes the first three steps and she bites her tongue and blood clouds her vision, only twenty two steps to go.

BIONK BIONK BIONK

Upon reaching the bottom step the voice from beyond decides that this is the perfect time for another chat ‘Sorry about that Maureen that last step was a doozy’

‘Soon we will be together once again but i am sorry to tell you that it will be a brief reunion.

Maureen’s tongue is bloody and swollen but she still manages ‘FOOK YOU NORMAN’

As she is dragged past the vegetable that Norman planted a couple of years ago Maureen grimaces in pain but remembers that the pumpkin’s were plentiful and made excellent soup plus the tomatoes were plump and tasty.

She offers no resistance as she is pulled along the well manicured lawn.

Her fingers and thumbs leave ten shallow furrows in the grass that would be ideal to plant cucumber and maybe some radish and chives.

Maureen sigh’s in frustration ‘If only i was a better person then Norman would still be alive and i wouldn’t be in this this predicament’

In his crypt beneath the magnolia Norman gets little comfort from his wives torment as the root delivers her faster then the post office ever could.

He sits at the entrance propped up by a tangle of roots, his decaying body now resembles a bloated spider waiting to devour its next meal.

Hello Maureen sorry to drag you away from your beauty sleep bur it wasn’t working anyway’

‘Come join me, I promise to make to quick and painless;

Maureen doesn’t argue or complain as her husbands bony hand grips her wrist and guides her over the threshold.

The couples flesh and memories seep down into the earth where they blend together in a mixture of oil of water, damned to rest together in turmoil.

THE END.