The weeds were like vines choking out the grass in the back lawn. They were partially underground and, to an extent, above ground. Where the leaves should have been there were what looked like beige mushrooms.
A haggard man with an unshaven face and long hair stared out at the weeds in dismay. He wasn't wearing gardening gloves, but dug down with his hands anyway to bag the bizarre invaders. A green cloud of vapors emitted from the strange weeds. He coughed and dropped his hoe. He staggered around for several moments, gasping for breath.
The neighbors up the street from him were playing in their backyard. Two children were tossing around a ball and a couple sat on the porch sipping iced tea. The weeds were all along their fence and near their back gate. He looked into the other yard down the street from his. The weeds were in their lawn too. That home belonged to a man in his forties with mental problems and his retired mother.
The man doing the gardening started to regain his strength after that foul gas from the weeds filled his nostrils. He went back inside his home and sat down. He drank a glass of water. He lived alone with no pets and spent most of his time at the radio station where he worked in the mornings. He turned on his television set.
There was a crime documentary on. One of those brutal ones where the crime is so hideous you regret watching it. He heard a noise coming from the kitchen. He was startled. He went to investigate and his grandfather was standing there. His grandfather had been shot down in Viet Nam many decades ago.
"You need to kill the family next door," his grandfather said.
"Are you a ghost? You died more than forty years ago," the haggard man said.
"Kill them," his grandfather said.
"But why?" the radio station worker asked.
"They're brother and sister. It's incest. They also molest children. All of them do," his grandfather said.
"Okay then." The tired and aging man reached for a kitchen knife and opened his door to go outside.
His grandfather was not inside his home. He walked to the next house over and tried the knob on the door to see if it was locked. It was not. It was sort of a nice neighborhood, he thought. It used to be, at least, he mused sardonically.
He walked through the vestibule and over to the door to the backyard. He opened it. The family immediately saw the knife and began to retreat to the safety of the back gate where they could run and get help. The husband and father of two was not fast enough and the first to fall from the insanity. The long-haired man raised the knife high over his head. The family man screamed and tried to reach out with his hand to deflect the blow. The knife entered his heart. The victim slumped down and died. The wife and mother had already gotten her two kids to the back gate, but was having trouble with the latch. The madman with the knife charged after them with the speed of a puma.
He raised the knife and slammed it into the woman's shoulder as she swiveled to dodge the blow to her heart instinctively. Blood spurted out of the wound and all over the lunatic's face and clothes.