It has been raining cats and dogs. And there are snails. Snails and slugs are everywhere. They creep around the garden at night, as expected. But they’re also shameless, flaunting themselves all throughout the day.
When I go out to smoke at night, there’s all too often the crunch underfoot, another escargot falls to the Croc, crushed to paste in his little home. I usually feel pretty bad about that.
Indeed, there’s a veritable snail plague underway over here in England. I guess one should expect it, with rain every day for a quarter-year straight. I’m alright with it, to be honest, they don’t bother me much. Except when I accidentally crunch them, that is. Then it kind of gets to me, makes me feel bad and clumsy.
But the little lady, she’s a gardener, and sees things a bit differently. Gardeners tend to have that ruthless, detached streak in them that you only otherwise see in serial killers and cattle farmers. If some creature might get in the way of their ultimate goal, be that a coat made of women’s skins or a milk quota, well, God help whatever that creature might be. Measures will be taken.
A couple of days ago, she decided it was time to spruce up the edges of the garden. Plants were bought, packed in little plastic grids, destined for a lifetime of loving care. For she’s a generous gardener. New homes were made for them, all along the boundaries, between the other flowers. There was just one problem: The snails would be coming, and everybody knew it. She knew it.
She brought more than tulips home from the garden shop that day. She brought snail pellets, little bright blue nuggets of horror that she could strew about the garden. They looked scary enough on their own, but there should have been a warning on the bottle. A warning to all, that it contained scenes of Armageddon, of the End Times.
Since that day, a week ago, the garden has become a charnel pit of loathing. A multitude of nails and slugs and gastropodes of all descriptions lie writhing in their own secretions outside my house at this very moment.
Whenever I dare venture outside, their blank little eyestalks stare up at me, quivering, begging my help yet hopeless of salvation, dying in a pool of slime that used to be their bodies. And they have lain there since the butchery began. Every day, there are new piles of empty shells scattered on the flagstones, settling down into the horrifying masses of goo, the remnants of dozens or even hundreds of the slugs and snails that were drawn to the Blue Death before them.
I hope her flowers survive, I really do. But I can’t help wonder: at what cost!