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THE GARDEN THAT SMELLED OF ‘DEATH’

Editor: Mrinali Jadhav

Photo by Piotr Kurczynski on Pexels.com

It was that time of the year when the city wrapped itself in its ‘orange blanket’.

Autumn. It was time for the annual maintenance tradition of the City garden too. And it surely was a grand society event. With people from all walks of life participating in this once in six months clean up activity, it surely was a treat to the eyes. 

The City garden was a hang-out place for people of most age groups. If you ask me, the garden has seen it all – gossips, laughter, tears, first kisses, first fights and lots, lots more. Little did we know that today, this very place would soon open up a Pandora’s Box of something we least expected.As a part of the ‘go organic’ initiative by the City council, a certain spot in the garden was used to harvest vegetables, fruits and flowers. Everyone in the neighborhood did their part to upkeep the harvest.

It was the most awaited event in the town and everyone in the neighborhood made sure to be there come what may.Today was one such day. This year the harvest had been good compared to last couple of years. The garden was able to produce a generous outcome for the whole neighborhood. Garden-fresh, juicy and fleshy vegetables and fruits and brightly colored and fragrant flowers for the local florists. It was time to get the many-hued comestibles under the soil again. Everyone had their own set of tools – wheel barrows, garden gloves, garden knives, hand trowels etc.

All set out to work in the areas assigned to them. For the next few hours, it was a cocktail of excited talks, humming, singing and bird chirpings. All of a sudden, Margaret, a housewife, let out a shriek which had everyone run towards her. Her fear almost unmanned her and she sat down next to the hole she had been digging.

Fear almost choked her as she pointed her finger to the hole. The crowd that gathered around her peaked into the hole to see what it was. No wonder! There was no mistaking it. I looked at Margaret. I don’t blame you. I thought. Who would not freak out seeing a skeleton smiling at you with empty sockets from a hole in the public garden? It sure was strange.

But, it was only going to get stranger. As the hours sped by, a couple of more skeletons were dug out which further added to the anxiety. I couldn’t help wondering. No surprises as to why the vegetables and fruits had been fresh! It had been freshly fertilized all the time.That evening, ‘the mystery bones’ where the talk of the town.

And it had triggered a chain of subsequent events. The City council had called forth an emergency meeting to discuss the same. Questions like

To whom did they belong?

Who put them there? Was it some serial killing episode?

Do we have a psychopath amongst us? did several rounds in the neighborhood. A sort of fear had gripped the city. Everyone looked at one another with a raised brow. Is it you? Were the unspoken words most of the time. It served as kick-start for a detailed investigation by the local police station. The city had become famous too with all the media coverage and viral videos.

Meanwhile, somewhere in the town, a shrewd pair of eyes celebrated all the chaos. A smirk escaped his face. This town had never been nice to me. The payback… was inevitable


Unverbalise Horror is here as the most spooky seasons awaits us. Follow Unverbalise for more such stories this season. Also do share this story if you loved it.


Dear readers, I am Pooja Warrier, at least thats what my birth certificate says ! Since I failed miserably in finding a magical gemstone, I am an HR Generalist who works to earn a dime .

As a creative writer, I have published a couple of articles on The ArmChair Journal and also coauthored some anthologies.

Roles I juggle on the personal front : an unruly daughter, a pestering wife, a nagging mother and an overprotective elder sister. I admit having a somewhat unhealthy obsession with dancing, sketching and drawing.

Would that be enough?Or, do you want to know more?

If yes, do drop me a line anytime : poojaes@gmail.com

Whatsapp me on : 8891438234

Facebook – Pooja Warrier

LinkedIn- Pooja Warrier

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