Debacle on Rose Ct.

Amelia's roses were lavender.

All the houses on Rose Ct. were small and quaint and contained roses in their yard. The flowers were a silent agreement between all of the residents. Every year the color of said roses changed. This year they were buttercream yellow. This year Amelia didn't listen.

Now, Amelia and Jimena were new residents. This was only their second year, so we cut them a bit of slack. George and I headed over to their place one sunny afternoon to inform them of their slight to the neighborhood decor.

"Every year, all of Rose Ct. matches their roses. When you moved in the roses were a pale pink. This year the color is buttercream, perhaps you missed the memo?"

Jimena had looked us over.

 "We saw the memo. No offense, but yellow is Amelia's least favorite color. In fact, she hates it. Therefore, we made the executive decision to not cause her to cringe every time she stepped into the yard. A little happy respite from the yellow on the entire block, if you know what I mean."

I placed my hand across my chest in astonishment, "excuse me, but that is what backyards are for. The front yards are to be uniform."

Amelia leaned on Jimena, who was much shorter than her, and raised an eyebrow at us.

"Last I checked, there was no homeowner’s association for this cul-de-sac, so no, uniformity is required."

With that, she stole the brownies George was holding as a peace offering and slammed the door in his face.

And that is why we're meeting this evening, like thieves in the night, to right the grave wrongs done to our beautiful court. My life partner George, Raymond and Jason from next door, Nan and Jeremiah on the other side of them, Jane and Veronica, and myself all convened outside their yard, clad in the only black items we owned—which for Veronica meant a dress and heels—and whispered about the best way to rip roses out of a yard undetected.

"I have some extra roses in my backyard, we could replace them with the proper color," Nan said.

Bless her heart she was too kind for these heathens.

"I say we just shovel them out. Gaping holes are better than garishly miscolored roses," Jason said.

But we all knew he was a brute so we ignored him.

"Oh, I know! We could paint them yellow. Then we wouldn't have to mess up the yard at all." Veronica said.

No one ever claimed she was very bright, however, so we continued to ponder.

"How about sod! I have some in the garage I was going to put in the backyard. I'll just replace it," Jeremiah said.

We all nodded at this one, brilliant. They would have a beautifully green yard, sans roses. Not exactly ideal, but an acceptable second option.

Everyone but Raymond and Jeremiah (who went to get the sod) crept into the yard, shovels in tow. Veronica yelped as she nearly toppled over, her heels stuck in the soil.

"Just take them off," everyone stage whispered in unison.

Once we got to the roses, the flood lights kicked in and we all froze, lit up like we were on display at a department store. After a moment, the lights dimmed out and we slowly began to shovel dirt. The progress was painfully slow because if we moved just a second too fast, the lights flared back up and we returned to our mannequin poses.

About 20 minutes later, Veronica began to giggle and Jane had to elbow her so hard the lights came back on in order to get her to stop.

"This is no laughing matter," I said.

Right after the lights dimmed again, a low rumble permeated the silent night.

"Do you hear that?" asked Jane.

"What is it?" asked Veronica.

We all looked around, to no avail, as it was too dark to see a thing. Then, a disembodied voice floated through the air.

"You might want to run now."

The rumbling grew louder, became a distinct growl, and graduated into a bark. Everyone scattered. I don't even know if Veronica remembered her black heels. What I do know is this: some giant beast of a dog found me, of all people.

In conclusion, I lay here in the street, bleeding out from a bite wound to the ankle, screaming for George to call 911. Those nasty women have not seen the last of me, though. As soon as I am healed, I will be plucking those roses out with my bare hands if I have to. I will leave nothing behind but thorns.



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