PET PEEVE – Chapter 8: PAYBACK

Haley was so busy with her pet-vigilante activities that she wasn’t aware of the black car that had been across the street from their house the last two nights, its occupant glaring at her, dark thoughts brewing. The driver was livid at the home owners because it was their responsibility to keep their yard healthy, the man considered the exterior even more important than the interior because it was what made the first impression and Haley’s grotesque yard was unkempt, uncared for, and neglected. A monstrous hedge shrouded the dilapidated home, a lone pine tree unmistakably dead or dying as evident from the brown needles around its base, not a flower to be seen, nothing alive at all in the dirt bowl this home-owner called her yard. The stranger had seen this scourge a couple months ago while on the job at the old cat women’s crime scene and although it played in his mind like a repeating nightmare it wasn’t until now that he had time to do something about this blight. Buck took the potted Atropa Belladonna also known as Deadly Night Shade, beautiful but poisonous that he got from the dead trucker and put it on their door step knowing they would pick it up and touch it spreading the poison through their veins. It was unfathomable that he and this person had anything in common, but they did unbeknownst to either party. Haley loved animals so much she killed for them and now Detective Buck Dale was about to commit his first crime, murder due to his love of flowers, foliage, and its surrounding landscape, the tables had turned on Haley, it was all a matter of perspective how ironic!

Illustrated by: Jason Hendrickson

Buck & his car