On this very day, October sixth, several years ago, something happened in the garden. I couldn’t tell you how many years, or even a wild estimate? There’s a confusing, disorienting concept of time when you experience the death of a blood brother. It could have been three years ago, it could have been thirty? I’ve never done the math, and I’m okay with that.
The same glowing crimson ring around the moon I’m looking at tonight, appeared the night Lucifer’s most devoted bond servants were summoned after several lifetimes of waiting. I believe they call this ring, “blood around the moon.” It’s a sign of trouble on its way.
It was dark, it was late. Not another soul in sight. However, I still looked around to make sure no one was watching. I was embarrassed as I watched him chanting in the frost covered pumpkin patch. It could have been the ambien I took back at the house started kicking in, but his face was transforming. Not into anything monstrous or abstract, but different people. People I didn’t recognize. He hunched his back and lifted his willow branch arms high in the air as his ill fitted trousers sagged down his mid thigh. The same trousers he stole from the laundry room at the heights. The same trousers he wore daily. He squatted down and started jumping. His hiking boots with miss matched laces, coming untied, and stomping over rotting black tomatoes.
He raised his face to the sky and howled at the blood around the moon. Speaking in some kind of episclerities gibberish. Speaking in tongues if you will. Rotating between snake charmer worship and some kind of made up Native American chant. He removed every article of clothing excluding the hiking boots. I don’t recall him once taking any interest in hiking. I watched as the moon light up the edges of his protruding hip bones. His appendage swinging from side to side. Far too large for the rest of his body. Haven’t seen it since we were kids. He’d constantly complain of the less fortunate genes he inherited from my mothers side that I dodged. In this moment I thought to myself “Shut up. You have the bigger dick.”
Heyyyyyooooowaywayway heyooooowayway hexus boil bones and rubble! He yelled as he threw wet leaves over his head and stomped his hiking boot through my fathers most prized squash of the season. As he lost himself more in the spell, and moved onto destroying pumpkins next, I watched his face and imagined what he must be thinking. His reasoning. Suppressed rage from childhood. My father dragging us out of bed at dawn every summer morning to work in the garden. Meanwhile our friends playing night games, and sleep overs on the trampoline. My father had a sense of guilt around raising us too soft. He grew up on a farm with militant parents. The garden was his mini farm. He did his best to give us a small taste of what his childhood was like. We hated the garden. We hated our father every summer. I once collected buckets of frogs from a golf course, and released them in the corn patch. Hoping some damage would be done. Some inconvenience that wouldn’t tie back to me. It was hilarious watching him jump when a frog leapt. He was so confused and had no idea where they came from. The frogs only ended up disappointing me. They ate all of the bugs in the garden. We had the most fruitful season yet. My father was happy.
What’s happening here. Tonight. This is sabotage. This is clever. Suddenly I want in. There’s an inexplicable magic that travels through the wind in October. I feel it every year, and it does things to me. A gust of that magic wind went through my body. Possessing me. I felt awake. I removed my trousers. Unbuttoned my shirt. Removed my holy, white cloth of the covenant, and joined my brother in the seance. I mirrored his chanting and his movements until I became comfortable enough to lose myself in the sorcery. I felt the frozen, rotten tomatoes ooze through my bare toes.
As we were walking home, my brother insisted we hold hands. We laced our hands together. Boyfriend, girlfriend style. Cackling as we looked back at the cursed crops.
My brother perished some time ago. I couldn’t tell you when? It could have been three years, it could have been thirty? My sense of time has never been the same. The story of the cursing of the crops became a dinner table favorite amongst the rest of my brothers and i. I’d always be summoned to tell the story of our long lost warlock, and the spell he cast over fathers garden.
Earlier this week a violent wind storm made its way through the small town I grew up in. A large pine tree snapped in half, destroying the majority of the corn crop. As well as a row of tomato cages. This storm was the largest, and most unexpected.
It took me three days after the storm had passed to notice something. I wandered to the garden to cut some gorgeous winter kale for my morning smoothie. It was almost as if some higher power placed their hands on each side of my temples. Gently rotating my head toward the beheaded pine tree on top of all of my fathers Morgan County fair, award winning produce. In this moment I knew. He had cursed the crops.