Tales from Kilgour Forest

Part 3

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“There is a man who says he came out of a tree on my lawn.”

 

Daniel could not fully comprehend what this woman said or why she called him. For the second morning in a row, Daniel found himself jolted from sleep. 

 

His job. He now had a job. This woman must believe the removal of people off her property was a part of that job. 

 

Cool morning air pressed against his skin.  Sleep stuck in the crook of his elbows to drag him back under the covers. The grey first light of morning made its tepid way through the curtains. 

“Sorry, who is this?”

 

“Belinda Granville. I live in one of the houses that borders the forest.”

 

“If you have a strange man on your lawn, that seems a matter for the police….”

 

This enraged the woman. “We deal with people compassionately in the Kilgour Meadows community. Not to mention we are an incredibly private community. You will take down my address and deal with this promptly.”

 

And so, in the gloom of his bedroom Daniel foraged for a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. 

As the clouds lifted off their dewy beds and the grey light gave way to gold Daniel pedaled down to the address he hastily jotted down on an old receipt. The house he came to was crisp white and trimmed in the Colonial style. Beds of brightly colored flowers stood at attention in orderly rows. 

 

He had no time to ponder whether he had come to the right location, for a most impolite scream echoed from the backyard, the ripples of which were seen in the neighbors’ lights as they flickered on across the neighborhood.

 

“Witchcraft! Witchcraft and Devilry!” 

 

He walked around to the back. There stood a man in breeches and a frock coat who stabbed at a robotic lawn mower with a pool skimmer. 

 

A plump woman with robe and slippers, who he assumed was Belinda, looked on in fascinated horror. 

The robotic lawn mower sheepishly tweeted, “Unidentified Object detected! Unidentified object detected!”

 

Daniel pulled out his phone to call the cops. 

 

Belinda saw him out of the corner of her eye and turned full towards him. She pointed at the scene, “Well, dosomething!” 

 

He had never before in his life known less what to do. 

 

“Um…” he gingerly walked towards the man. “Sir, what you are attacking is a robot. It’s trying to mow the lawn. It’s…It’s not something you want to attack.”

“Are you the manservant of this household? I beseech you to get hold of your foul silver beast. I request an audience with the head of the house.”

 

Daniel inched closer to the robot, which still diligently tried to move past Colonial man like a dutiful soldier. He reached out and pressed Stop. 

 

The machine gave a last beep and lay silent on the partially mown battlefield of the lawn. 

 

Colonial man tentatively lowered the pool skimmer. 

 

“I’m not a manservant, but if you want to talk to the woman that owns the house…” he gestured at Belinda. 

Colonial man looked at Belinda and blinked. He laughed, the kind of chuckle that starts at the pit of one’s stomach and takes hold of the whole body until it exits as a roar.

 

Belinda turned red as her bathrobe. 

 

Colonial man sidestepped the robot and strode to the house door. Belinda, more agile than she appeared, got to the door first and blocked his entrance with her outstretched body. 

 

“Yeah I’m calling the police,” Daniel said to the morning air, for that seemed to be the only one that listened.