Vicar/pastor, rural parish, crime
The Reverend Hartley Scroop bent slowly and stroked his marrow. ‘Come on beauty. Just give me a little more.’
Over the fence his neighbour listened to the blandishments with scorn. Rupert Penfold had won best marrow and supreme vegetable for the last umpteen years and he wasn’t about to lose to some Jonny-come-lately like the Vicar, especially if the best he could offer were words.
Rupert returned to his own chosen specimen, turned up the drip feeder and headed indoors.
Doris Penfold peered down the garden. ‘So, how’s he doing? You got a rival, Rup?’
‘Pa! He’ll be lucky to be an also ran.’
She put his dinner in front of him. ‘Now have some charity. That awful wife of his gave him hell for years and even though she’s left him he still talks about her. If he can gain some comfort from the simple act of growing veg, well I for one am pleased for him.’
‘I suppose, just so long as he doesn’t think he can beat me.’
‘Well, given the effort he’s put it, it’ll not be for want of trying.’
Three months later Rupert stood to one side of the stage, seething, as Hartley received the Cumbernauld Cup. He couldn’t believe that bloody man had won. ‘It’s a bloody fix, Doris. Sympathy vote for his loss. It’s a bloody crime, that’s what it is? He must have cheated. Injected with growth hormone, I’ll be bound.’
Hartley took the applause and said a few words of thanks. His audience thought him extraordinary that he thanked his wife after what she’d done. How Christian they thought. Hartley didn’t disabuse them. His wife would be feeding his vegetables for many years, her putrefying flesh a gift that just kept on giving.
This story comes from the latest Microcosms prompt here