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Tell Me A Story, Desdmona
illustration by garv

The Joy of Gardening

By Desdmona

This story contains sexually explicit scenes.

Despising sun and loam, Teddy Jergens was dressed like a baker’s confection: summer white suit, pastel blue shirt, and matching tie. His skin’s pallor copied his clothes. His eyes rivaled the tie. Yet his words were anything but sweet.

“Gardening? How absurd,” said Teddy.

His wife, Chloe, peered out through an oversized window in their solarium to their yard beyond. “You wouldn’t understand.”

“What’s to understand? It’s filthy work, and it ruins a good manicure.” Teddy held up his fingers, wiggled them like worms, and admired his perfectly buffed nail beds. “It’s why we hire Joseph.”

“It’s satisfying,” said Chloe. “Sweating and working with your hands.”

Teddy followed her dreamy gaze to where salvia, purple loosestrife, and a host of other blooming perennials threatened their lawn. Kneeling between the coralbells and the hydrangea, with hair and shoulders bronzed by the sun, was their gardener. Joseph’s hands were deep in the earth’s muck. Roots, ripe as old bait. Pulpy stems, lime, leaf mold, and manure.

Teddy grunted and turned from the window. “I bet he leaves a trail of grime on everything he touches.”

With dirt-filled fingernails, Chloe caressed from her breast to between her legs where Teddy couldn’t see.

“There’s something rough and tumbled about planting, Teddy. It’s like exploring a new world when you reach into the darkness of the soil.”

“Poppycock! It’s digging in dirt and making a mess. I hate messes.”

Chloe need only recall their try at intercourse the night before—the towels close at hand for spillage, his insistence she bathe before and after, and the sweet deodorizer he sprayed upon completion—to remember Teddy hated messes.

“Yes, Teddy, I know.” Chloe touched her hand to her nose, smelling earth and flowers and man. “It’s why I do my gardening when you’re not at home.”

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