Carson Fletcher

Carson Fletcher

A Story by Charles Anthony Almanza

How far will Mr. Fletcher go to maintain his lawn?


Carson Fletcher had always been a man with an affinity for appearances. As a child, he always made sure to match his socks with his vest before he went off to school. As a teenager, he never left the house until every hair on his head was coated with pomade, and shined with radiant health. And now, as a husband and father of two, things were no different. He would rather freeze to death in the pouring rain without a raincoat if his raincoat was missing a button. He would rather say his son, Noah, was at Drama Camp in Tampa, Florida than to say the truth about his son’s deteriorating mental condition as his acute severe depression raged on in a mental institution two hours away. And if he was ever cornered in one of his lies, he would simply smile and change the conversation nonchalantly, as though he hadn’t lied at all.


 Yes, every single outward appearance, ranging from the color of his house to the scuff marks on his shoes to the dust above the mailbox was meticulously micromanaged by Carson Fletcher. Which is why, when a random jogger decided to have a heart attack and fall into his patch of freshly planted hydrangeas, he almost had a stroke himself.


He was standing at his kitchen sink, washing the last few dishes from breakfast earlier when he saw it: a tall, lanky sort of man with olive toned skin, sporting a fresh pair of stark white sneakers and a pair of orange running shorts, was jogging down the street when he stopped, holding his left arm while he stood in front of the home of the Franks, Carson’s next-door neighbors. The jogger looked as though he was having trouble breathing, and as Carson watched, it was as though he was watching a train wreck in slow motion. He saw it happen, but was powerless to stop it. The jogger took a few more steps forward, crossing the line where Carson’s lawn and the Frank’s lawn met, and after another few more steps, he leaned to the right and keeled over. Right into the hydrangeas that Carson had spent two hours planting the day before.


For a few seconds, Carson stood at his sink rigidly, with the tap still going and his hands still holding the sponge and the plate he was scrubbing away at, until it dawned onto him. And that’s when Carson Fletcher brought a hand to his mouth in horror. He turned off the tap, dropped the plate, ripped off the yellow, rubber gloves he was wearing and he ran outside only to stand over the body of the lifeless jogger’s body. There was a brief pause as he pushed the bridge of his thick, dark rimmed glasses up before he bent down and put two fingers to the man’s throat, and after feeling no pulse, he stood up, breathless.

            Unfortunately for Carson, this was not good. At all. He had just spent his entire Sunday mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges, weeding out the weeds, and planting new flowers, trying his best to outperform Jason Khatz down the street, who had every tree but the one Adam and Eve ate from on his lawn. When it came to who had the ultimate green thumb on Sparrow Drive, everyone knew it belonged to Jason. And it always was, ever since the day he decided to move into the neighborhood.

            Fortunately for Carson, the work on his lawn would not go to waste. Without another thought, Carson went into his shed before coming back with a wheelbarrow, and with a swift grunt, he managed to heave the jogger’s corpse into it before sprinting four houses down the street, his eyes scanning the area, before abruptly coming to a halt in front of Jason’s house. A heave later and the dead body was now lying face down in a patch of bright red roses.

            Carson looked around cautiously before bending down close to the man’s back.

            “Sorry, buddy,” he whispered. “But believe me. You have no idea how long I’ve waited for this moment.” And with that, Carson spun his wheelbarrow around and began walking back to his house.

            Normally, Carson never said anything to anyone that wasn’t listening. But, seeing as today was going to unfold to be a wonderful day, he felt that the moment deserved something to be said. Because half an hour later, when the ambulances and the police cars roared through Sparrow Drive, they tore Jason Khatz’s front lawn to bits, unearthing the majority of the rose bush, and leaving deep cuts in his freshly manicured lawn, effectively destroying his otherwise perfect garden.

            As Carson sat on his porch, watching the police talking to a frantic Jason while the neighbors appeared, one by one gathering in the middle of the street to watch like vultures, he couldn’t help but open a bottle of wine and relax. Compared to Jason’s lawn, Carson’s had finally gleamed in perfection. And even though he had to move a dead body, he didn’t feel the slightest bit of guilt. Because for Carson Fletcher, appearances were all that really mattered.

© 2017 Charles Anthony Almanza

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register


I would totally do that if someone smashed my flowers. Good story.

Posted 3 Years Ago

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


1 Review
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on June 21, 2017
Last Updated on June 21, 2017
Tags: dark humor, satire, suburbia, neighbors


Charles Anthony Almanza
Charles Anthony Almanza

Signal Hill, CA

Film buff. Writer. Gun for hire. Wellington, NZ bound. more..