Microfiction: Lawn maintenance

This one’s for Sacha Black’s very complicated and potentially impossible challenge. For exact details, go here. The upshot is, my story had to include these words:

introduced, the, our, disadvantageous.

As a prize for getting in that last one, I awarded myself the right to slip in a phrase I read just recently and have taken to my bosom. See if you can guess which it is.



“I’m sorry Mr Tibbs, but your proposal is really just too disadvantageous for us.”

“You wha’?”


“You mean like the odds is too short?”

The man in the suit got to his feet, his right hand stretched out in a gesture of dismissal. “If you like. I’m sorry, but…our image… You understand?”

Vic shook the hand as if he was being offered a bouquet of live wires. “I’ll take ’em back then.”

The suit held the door open. “If you would be so kind. The young lady at reception will show you where they are being…held.”

Vic stuffed his hands in his pockets and stomped back down the corridor. Pompous prick! He’d rather pay some flash business with fancy machinery. Well, stuff him. The girl at the desk looked at him as though he had a cowpat plastered over his head.

“If you’d like to follow me, please.”

She picked her way along a tarmac strip out the back of the main building to what looked like a large garage and produced a key. While she unlocked the doors, Vic gazed at the vast expanse of green that surrounded the commercial unit and sighed. The five of them could keep that trim, the bushes too, no problem. The girl pulled open the doors and stepped back.

Vic clicked his tongue. “Come on, girls, Pedro, home time.”

The receptionist moved quickly out of the way, but not quickly enough.

“Erk!” she shrieked. “It spat at me!”

“Sign of affection,’ Vic said and yanked on Pedro’s halter. “If ever your boss changes his mind, decides to go green—”

“He won’t.”

Vic shrugged. “Well, fuck me sideways, what a surprise. His loss. C’mon you lot.”

He headed off towards the road, the five llamas trotting after him.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

29 thoughts on “Microfiction: Lawn maintenance”

  1. Haha! Loved it! But did you miss one? Introduced? Or is it my eyes? Can’t see it. And I think the phrase ‘fuck me sideways’ might be the one you mean?

    1. I cheated. I used receptionist instead of introduced. Dammit I got disadvantageous in and I sweated blood with that one! Yup, you guessed. There’s a character in the book I’ve just finished who has ‘fuck me sideways till I cry’ as his favourite expression. Makes me laugh.

  2. pahahahahahahahahaha fuck me sideways made me snort juice out my nose!!!! I bloody love that phrase I use it too! Nothing better than a little swearing.

    Love this, love the llamas love the phrase! hard set of words too.

    1. There’s a character in Mélusine (just finished reading it) who uses that phrase and it cracks me up. If you haven’t read it, I think you’d like it. It’s really grim fantasy and the swearing is absolutely luscious. Mélusine by Sarah Monette. Loved it.

  3. Very well done on using (nearly) all the words, you’re allowed the one you missed for getting in
    disadvantageous. Sorry Jane but the phrase was fairly obvious. Even I’ve been known to use that one when I’m surprised.
    Love the story. I have a dear friend in Oz who has the smaller variety, Alpacas to keep her lawn in check. Big Lawn!
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    1. I know, I cheated—used receptionist for introduced. Same sort of idea. Sort of. The place I hope we’re moving to doesn’t have a lawn, but it does have almost two hectares of field. The children keep banging on about alpacas but the idea of having to fence in two hectares is daunting.

      1. I hear you on that. Cat’s is cool… (and this message in no way was influenced by the potential fact that my cats might be able to read this and use it as a means of justification for causing further physical harm to me… I don’t mean further, I mean any.. yes, that’s what I meant)

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