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...that this was going to be a strange one. Gingerly stepping over the corpses of flora, sunburnt until mostly carbon remained as tiny tubes poking out of their pots like Japanese grave markers, I knocked on the front door with the textbook three sharp raps.

Nothing.

I knocked again, turning to admire the bare soil covered with remnants of either bluestone or chips of marble. The seasonal monsoonal storms had beaten them to generic rocks plastered with the ever-present reddish splotches.

I spray painted a large white N for "no response" on the front door, but something seemed to be a little off. I was told I had a gift, and it was tingling in the back of my skull. I pulled out an old piece of some kind of jerky or shoe leather. Didn't matter, it tasted the same. My stomach argued with me to take a bite but my hand flicked it out along the shadow of the house by the side garden gate.

The ground roiled instantly, roots and green tendrils erupting upwards, searching for the tiny vibrations and the slight scent of meat. I took a moment to spray paint a red X next to the dripping white letter to indicate there were living plants in the basement, safe from the opressive Arizona heat. The five-pointed leaf meant it was probably an illegal marijuana farm before the fungus spread to this area, making the house a giant trap for fauna. I'd bet even the hippie's bones were digested by now, and chuckled as I realized they were probably vegan. What comes around...

I made the leaps back along the concrete path and repeated the red X on the sidewalk, then moved on to the next house. Hopefully this one was occupied by an old veteran who did nothing but complain about the hippies and their grass.

Iron Noder 2017

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