The lilac had come into bloom so we slept with the window open, enjoying the fragrance as it filled our bedroom. It was through the open window that we heard them. They were small but sharp, not unlike the sound of ice cubes exploding in a water glass from across a room.
I got up to see what was going on, thinking, perhaps, that a spring shower was moving in and the drops of rain were falling on the leaves.
I saw instead the moon, full and high in the sky. It illuminated the first buds of the roses and the petunias that had yet to establish themselves. Still the popping continued and I peered into the night to see what was the source.
That was when I saw the gnomes. The ones she had bought in bulk from the garden center. I watched as they all began to move, trembling really, the small concrete bodies crackled and popped as they did.
It was slight at first, then the rock facade crumbled and the gnomes moved more freely until they were running about, ransacking the garden and taking joy in pulling the petals from the flowers one by one. They stomped them into the dirt as they walked on small hoof-like prints that cut through the hard soil.
I said nothing but felt my wife come up beside me. We watched as they upended the fairy statue I had given her, the one with the bouquet of lilies in her arms, and buried it in the compost pile we had started the year before. The leftovers from the night before were still fresh on top and even in the dull light of the moon I could see rotting potatoes and eggshells.
We gasped as they took a brick that edged the walk path and threw it. It smashed into the fairy and shattered her into a thousand bits of ceramic and dust. They laughed a coarse laugh as we watched it disintegrate. I couldn't help but notice that some of them were eying the birdbath in a most conspicuous manner.
It was the gasp that got us. They must have heard it through the thin walls and the open window. They turned their attention from the broken fairy and the birdbath and looked at us.
Hundreds of little eyes looked at us with ill intent and fresh bricks, torn from the earth as they came our way.
The only thing in their way was the window.
We both eyed the door and I almost opened it when she grasped my arm and I realized it opened into the garden. The first brick hit the window and a crack spirals across the glass.
Jamie Eyberg is a full time father and a part time writer. He has a few stories out in publication land and you can see where in the right hand side of his blog at http://acontinuityofparks.blogspot.com/. He doesn't like to garden.