Whatever Happens, It’s Your Responsibility!
Written February 6-7, 2006

George Plummer is an ordinary man, a hard working man, a man who has reached for the stars, and has fallen face first, flat into the mud! Women never liked him much, his family thought he was weird and left him alone, and the towns folk often made fun of him (behind his back mostly), so as you can tell, he kept his distance from those people in town. He only went there to pick up supplies, get newspapers and magazines and bring in his crops for sale. He tried his best at his farmin’, but wasn’t that good at it you see. The pitiful crops he produced were used for animal feed, and his payment for his produce was a paltry amount, compared to those farmers with great crops and magnificent farming skills to match. That was just fine by George, he could take all of the obstacles put before him, but couldn’t stand when someone directly challenged him, and won. There was one man in particular that rubbed George the wrong way, even he was not present or in the vicinity, and that man was Tran Gleiner.

Tran was rich, and had come from a rich family. Ever since his family moved her and took over everything, Tran thought that this was his own little playground, and that the people were his own little action figures. Tran got into lots of fights, but managed to come out smellin’ like a rose or something sweet (or he had his flunkies to clean up his mess, or blame it on others, or have others take the fall). He took particular delight in tormenting George to no end - which made George seem even more non-human because he didn’t beat Tran to a pulp for bothering him all the time. George wasn’t like that – he just wanted to be left alone, in his own little world, in his own little piece of the universe. George was taller than Tran, but education lacked the polishing of Tran’s, and he often showed him up at town functions and school events. George would lose, and then think that Tran would leave him alone; just to be met with another attack soon after the escalated victory. Ease came over the town when Tran went away to college, and for those four years George discovered that he indeed had a talent for growing a few vegetables very well, that of carrots and zucchini. He hid his growing talent, and when he was just ready to reveal it to the town, Tran came back – meaner, more merciless and smarter! He discovered the hidden talent of George from one of his cronies, and began to taunt George into showing all just how bad his vegetables were. But they were not bad, but very good! People began to buy George’s produce by the dozens, and he was in good money for some time – until all the carrot crops in the area went bad, and there were no seeds available for some years – taking the reliability of growing carrots out of the hands of the town’s people. A mystery you say – perhaps. Al in town thought that Tran had something to do with it, and his jealousy had cost them money and a livelihood that did not include carrots.

Every year the town and surrounding valley had contests to determine who the best growers were, and who produced the best crops around. They may sound not too interesting to the outsider, but these awards were very prestigious and quite rewarding, because the winner took home trophies and prize money. Just then, Tran openly challenged anyone from the area to beat him this year, and then turned his wrath on George. As mentioned before, George did not like to be challenged openly, and he broke under pressure from Tran (after all those years of taking the abuse, something was bound to give). George accepted the challenge, and said that if he won, that Tran had to give everyone a public apology for all the wicked things he did to them over the years. He was also to stop and never do these things again. Tran accepted the terms, and said that if George loses, that he would sell his property and leave the valley, never to return again. The deal was struck, and the bargain made. All George needed was a major miracle with his crops, and he would beat Tran at his own game, once and for all!

George initially wants to grow cucumbers as his crop, but is unable to do so in his neighboring climate. He then decides to grow his specialty zucchini, but wants the crops to be extra special. He begins to search at sun up, and he searches far and wide to find the fight fertilizer and manure to cultivate this special crop, but he doe not succeed in finding the correct one. He then hears of a special manure and fertilizer mixture that will do wonders for any crop, and so he goes to buy the mixture. It is 20 miles from his house, so he takes his pickup truck to load the mixture.

When he gets in the vicinity, it suddenly becomes dark, as if it is night time. Could a storm be brewing or heading that way? There is no evidence of a storm, and it is still early in the day. He travels up this steep, long hill to the old house, and he knocks on the door. It takes a long time for him to reach someone, but then an old lady greets him. “What do ya’ want here?” she asks, looking curiously at the stranger. “I saw your ad, and I’ve come fer the special mixture of fertilizer and manure. I hear that it’s great stuff, and can really work miracles, so how much do ya want for 5 bags worth?” She says “Ok, but let me warn you first – there is much power to this mixture, and if you use it, whatever happens is your responsibility.” He thought the old woman crazy, but he said that he would take full responsibility. She wheeled her chair back to a dark room, turned the light on, and revealed the mixture. There must have been thousands of bags there in that room, all waitin’ to be bought and used for crops and things. Those bags were mighty big, and it would take me a little time to load them all – but it was all worth it to grow the best crop this year. Imagine the look on old Gleiner’s face when I take home the trophy and the championship money – boy won’t that shut him and other loud mouth’s up! “You better be careful with this stuff young fella – it has been made in my family now for 15 generations, and I ain’t about to give it to you so you can let others steal the recipe. You have to make sure you are responsible with it, don’t use all of it, and when you use it, you take all the blame of what happens with it.” He thought to himself that this old coot was out of her mind, but he smiled, paid her the fee and struggled with the bags, down the long, steep hill, back to his truck. He was dog tired after loading those heavy bags, but smiled with the satisfaction of his accomplishments. He drove back towards his home, and as soon as he left the vicinity of the house on the hill, it brightened up as suddenly as it had darkened.

George spent the rest of the day planting the zucchini seeds all over his fields, and then he applied one bag of the strange mixture. It was a little stubborn, and did not blend in well with the soil, so he added two – then three, and eventually al five bags were added to the soil with his crops pf zucchini. “Oh what does that old lady know anyhow,” he said with a grin, “she sold me this strange stuff, and I bet you all the snow and ice in Russia that she knew it would take all the bags to plant with.” He worked until sundown on the planting, and when finished ate a hearty meal and laid down for a long and well deserved good night’s rest. That is not what he received, I’m afraid.

Not too long after he settles into sleep, he hears a rumbling on his property – from where he has no clue. George jumps up, throws on the lights and peers into the darkness of the night. He waits for a while, but sees nothing. He settles back into sleep, and a few hours later he hears a louder rumbling, this time coming from the field. He jumps up again, and peers out into the field – nothing again. “What is going on here – am I losing my marbles,” he thought, and with frustration he went back to sleep. The third time he was awakened by his dog, who was barking and howling wildly. He sprang to his feet, threw on some clothing, grabbed the shotgun and flashlight from the closet, and he and his dog took a walk around the grounds – mainly for curiosity, but partly as a safety measure. After 45 minutes of searching resulted in nothing found, he shook his head in disbelief, changed back into his night gear and went back to bed. He could not make it out, but this time he would not be disturbed. He took a sedative and plugged up his ears – just let anything try to bother him again tonight, and if something does awaken him again – heaven help the unfortunate soul!

The next time George was awakened, he heard a loud commotion outside his house, and it sounded like people this time? Oh no, was he really going nuts this time? His dog was also barking and howling wildly again, like last night. “Enough is enough,” he said, and after putting clothes on, he stormed out the door. To his amazement, the whole town was here, and the people were making so much noise that the commotion would surely wake the dead. “Hey what are you all doing hers? What’s all the fuss about? Can’t you see that a fella is tryin’ to get some sleep around here,” he said, as he looked at the people gathered on his porch. “Why are we so loud? We should ask you, why are you so silent? I don’t know how you did it George, but you sure have everyone beat this year,” Mayor Henrikson said, as he ran to George and gave him a big bear hug. “Have you been drinkin’ Mayor?” George asked? “No, but it seems like all of us have had a nip or two, that is, after seeing your huge crops out here!” George slowly walks out the front porch, past all the people, and into the field. What he saw thoroughly amazed him. From his property and as far as the eye could see, there were giant boulder sized zucchini growing up all over the place! All the seeds that George had planted grew large and tall, and broke through the ground, farm, barn, roads and anything that stood in their way. “Wow, look how big they are,” he said, as he marveled at his enormous crop. “How could I sleep through all this – you know what, that must have been what woke me up three times last night,” George thought, as he quickly walked around his property in utter amazement.

Most of the town’s people, and the neighbors from the surrounding area were happy and also amazed, but some of them were angry. They had a good right to be angry; the monstrous zucchini not only grew up and destroyed his property, but the neighboring fields and property as well. George tried to calm them down, but they would not hear of it. They demanded restitution for the mess that his giant plants made of their properties, their fields, their homes and livelihood. George then promised to help them as best he could, and gave the rights to have possession of any plant that grew on or in their property. This bargain calmed the angry neighbors down, as they tried to salvage what was left of their properties.

The judges then drove out to George’s place, and walked around with their mouth’s wide open. “George, did you grow these on purpose? How in the world did you do it – we have never seen plants so big before,” the judges said. “Yes I did grow them intentionally – and I did it to win this year. I meant no harm in what I did, and would do it again if I had to.” “In our humble opinions, you have no competition this year,” they all said with dazed looks on their faces, and hands to their heads.

George goes to the ceremony and receives all the awards and prize money, which makes Tran very bitter. When he comes back home after the ceremony, he is horrified to see that the giant zucchini has transformed into human, dismembered legs – thousands of them! George is soon arrested and taken into custody by the police, and the FBI come to question him about the legs on his property. It turns out that the legs are the remains of thousands of victims of a mass serial killer 15 years earlier – they never were able to find the legs of the people, but the bodies had been discovered years ago. The authorities never found out what had happened to the missing legs, and never found the killer. The FBI believes that now they have found their main suspect.

With the help of a few of townspeople, George gets away from the FBI, and hastens to the area where this whole nightmare started, 20 miles away from him, where the sky turns black like night. He makes his way up the long, steep hill, to the house where the old woman lived, and banged loudly on the door. It again took the woman a long time to answer it, but she eventually came. She inquires what he wants this time, and he says that he is in big trouble with the law for something that he didn’t do. He informed the old woman that he planted the zucchini as planned, but that he had to use all five bags of the mixture for it to be affective. He told her that the zucchini grew to giant sizes, and that he won many awards for his accomplishments. “So,” she said, that’s what you wanted wasn’t it? Why are you back here to me?” she asked. George then told her about the thousands of dismembered legs that replaced the giant zucchini, and that the police and FBI had arrested him and wanted to blame him for killing thousands of people. This is something that he did not bargain for, and was not part of their deal. He wanted top know what was going on, and why the crops turned from vegetables to human legs. The old lady snickered and shook her head. “I warned you twice I did about the consequences of using that special mixture. I said, that you will be responsible for anything that happens to you, if you use it. This is now out of my hands” “Out of your hands – are you crazy or something, it is not out of your hands. The police and FBI are hunting me down as we speak, and I am innocent of all of this. You are the only one that knows about the power of that mixture – you sold it to me, and you will help clear my name!” George goes to the back room, grabs a bag of the mixture for evidence, then grabs the arm of the old woman. “I will take this stuff in for evidence, and maybe they can make out just what is in it. You’re coming with me, you old hag!” George pulls the old woman towards him, and they struggle. George almost gets the old woman out the door, but she pulls back and locks her wheelchair. She grabs the blanket that she wrapped around her legs and pulls it off of her. George is shocked by what he sees – no, he must be dreaming, it can’t be! But oh yes, it is – the old woman then stands up upon large, thick zucchini legs! How is this possible you ask? The old woman began to explain to the dazed and confused George; “so, you had to be a pest

George flees the scene quickly, as if his life depended on it, and in a way it did. He had no witness, because the old woman had run away, and he had no evidence because the bag of the fertilizer and manure mixture had broken and spilled out as he tumbled down that long and steep hill. He must tell the authorities his story and clear his name, but would they believe such a tall tale? Regardless of the consequences, George would reach them and clear his name! He had just driven past the dark area into the daylight, when he was startled and surrounded by dozens of police officers and S.W.A.T. units. They grabbed him out of his truck, pushed him to the ground and handcuffed and shackled him. He tried to speak, but no one would listen, or could hear any conversation straight over all the ruckus that ensued. George was soon taken back into custody, and was assigned armed guards for the rest of his incarceration.

George is tried and convicted. He is sentenced to death by hanging, and many guests would be there to see the spectacle. George just couldn’t believe that all this was happening to him. Tran came with his friends to see him, and to sneer, jeer and steal what dignity he had left. He yelled and screamed at his uninvited guests, but this did little to deter them. Tran said to George, in a calm and steady voice, “you know George, you really had it made there for a short while, you actually beat me and had everyone behind you. Well all that has changed now, hasn’t it.” “Now it seems that you have fallen into my rather large man-trap, and there is nothing you can do about it. What you don’t understand about the whole scheme of things, is that we control this land, and all the people, places and activities on it. You never had a chance bright boy, and you will soon pay for trying to beat us.” “What are you talking about,” George asked? “Oh you still don’t get it – you are as stupid as you look,” said Tran, as the light in the holding cells turned to darkness, Tran and the others soon revealed their secret to George. He was then as shocked and dumbfounded as he was earlier, when the old woman revealed her secret to him. Tran and his companions were walking on large, thick zucchini legs, just as the old woman had done days before, and as they came closer, George began to tremble and yell for the guards. There was no use in doing this, because you see, the guards had disappeared. “The old woman you went to, bought the special fertilizer mixture from, and attacked is my great, great, great grandmother, and as I said – we have owned this land and others like it for centuries. So it is fitting that you meet your end this way, and I and the family will be laughing and celebrating as your neck breaks, and we are finally rid of your nuisance of an existence forever.” Tran turns to leave the cell, but not before he turns around, grabs George by the shoulders, lifts him up and flings him into the unyielding cell wall. “That is for daring to hurt my great, great, great grandmother,” he said, as he leaves the area. George comes to after an hour, and things have resumed to normal – with no one knowing what had just happened, or realizing that he was hurt in any way. He was given a last meal, and settled down to his final night of rest before tomorrow’s execution.

George wakes up in a very dark place, something that looks like a dungeon, and he smells a curious smell all around him. It is a very good smell, and was scented with vegetables, spices and flavoring. Someone was cooking food that smelled delicious! He then noticed that he was standing in water up to his stomach, and when he tried to move he was held down by chains on his legs. Where was he, and what type of madness was he experiencing this time? He saw large vegetables and meat floating around him, and when he went to grab onto the outside of the container he was in for leverage, he screamed in pain from the burns he received. George soon fell back down where he was, and thrust his hands and arms into the water to cool his burns. ‘Ain’t no use tryin’ to get out – there ain’t nowhere to go, and you won’t get far with the chains on your legs,” the old woman said, as she began to put more spices in the container, and cut up more vegetables and other ingredients. It was the old woman he tangled with before, but where did she come from, and why was he here. “I guess you’re confused right about now, so I’ll try to clear it up. Tran told me that he saw you in jail, but your head must be spinning around in al directions right about now.” She stood on her large, thick zucchini legs and came towards the container he was in. “Let me start by sayin’ that you were always irritating to me, even as a boy. I knew you would grow up to be trouble. You always tried to beat Tran, but never could” “There is irony in life, and it came when you came to me to use our mixture to beat Tran during the contests. I told you the mixture was trouble, but you didn’t listen to me. If you ask me, you deserve all that has happened to you.” She went out the room, then soon returned with a large wooden spoon in her hands. As she approached the container, she said with a grin, “this stew is simmerin’ right nicely, but it needs some stirrin’, and that’s what I’m about to do.” “What do you mean stew old woman,” George asked? “You really are loco, out of your ever loving mind!” “Oh am I,” she said. “Well, it’s not me in the pot, fixin’ to be cooked and et’, it’s you. I like to eat humans, they taste real good you know, but you have to cook and season them just right.” A look of terror comes over George’s face, as he tries to free himself, and again he burns himself on the top and sides of the large pot he is trapped in. “It won’t do you any good boy, you are fixin to be et’ by us,” she sneered, as she stirred the contents of the pot.

“So where was I – oh yes – before you rudely interrupted me twice – I was tellin’ you why the crop turned into legs. Well, you know that serial killer that killed all them people 15 years ago, that was me – and it went on longer than 15 years – I can tell you that. As I told you earlier, I like eatin’ humans – there ain’t nothin’ tastier than eatin’ the cooked flesh off a man or woman. Boys and girls are a little stringy, and take more cookin’ and preparin’.” “I must say, I was real slick though. And never got caught. It’s a strange thing, but you humans will believe anything, and forget the missing in an instant. That was great for me, because I could always fill my stomach with all those missing people.” “So I killed and killed, and I ate and ate, and boy this worried my family something fierce. Since the family has the power around here, we got away with murder – literally. When the authorities got closer and closer, I had to cut down on my fill of humans.” “I stopped and went into hiding for a hundred years or so, and I hid the legs in storage, to snack on. I thought that I would be in hiding in that old, rundown house on the hill forever, then you came along and gave me the most ingenious plan to eventually get out of that dreary place – and for that, I thank you.” “I still don’t understand all of this,” said George, who was sweating and beginning to become very uncomfortable, as the pot came to a rising boil. “Oh you will, just wait for the punch line,” said the old woman. “I devised this plan see, and you helped me do it. I knew you were into growing vegetables, and I knew that you would come lookin’ for the special mixture in which to grow them – so I took the legs out of storage and hid them in a safe place. After you grew the massive vegetables, all the attention was on you – what better person to pin the murders and missing body pieces on but you. Mind you, I didn’t give them all the body pieces – I still have some.” “And now we come here to you – I woulda” left you alone for execution, but you had to fight me, had to keep botherin’ me, had to get me mad – and when I get mad, I get even. So now, everyone on the outside will believe that you have been executed, but my family and I will know that you have been taken care of in my special way.”

The pot has now become unbearably hot, and George hops around in discomfort. The old woman continues to stir the pot, and when George can no longer stand the heat, he begins to scream with pain. “What did you have to do that fer’ – just shut up, why don’t you! Ok, if that’s the way you want to play, I can play with the best of um’, she scolded. As the screams got louder, the old woman grabbed the large iron lid, and put it on top of the pot. George was last heard screaming, “No, no, don’t do that – I’ll suffocate – please no, please, please,” as the lid was sealed shut over the large boiling pot. “Now then, that’s better,” she said. “I will see you after you are nice and done. Good-bye George Plummer.” The old woman turned the fire up all the way, then turned to attend to something more pressing in another room. As she left the room, darkness filled every section of the room, as if the daylight had been suddenly silenced by the night.


The morale of the story was given by the old woman to George, when she first interacted with and sold him the large bags of the strange mixture of fertilizer and manure, and that is this: You have to be responsible with the things that are yours. Whatever happens with them, good or bad, you will eventually take the blame or consequences for them.

 

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