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Keyboard Hyacinths

by Nathanael Hood

Sweat beads my forehead as my steel trowel slices through the copper roots of the newest infestation of keyboard hyacinths. Little Bs, Cs, and Gs pepper the linoleum as I rip and sever the plastic bulbs creeping up through the bathroom tiles. An hour earlier the sounds of screeching water lily soundboards from the top of the kitchen sink and shrieking daffodil modems in the linen closet jolted us awake. My husband rocks back and forth with his shears, panting as he struggles to sever the head of the LCD redbud snaking its way up through the toilet bowl, its branches shimmering static as its pink flowers shoot a million tiny advertisements for cat food and hair tonic on the walls and shower curtain.

Spring had arrived much earlier than expected. The winter had been warm and dry with the hellebores crumpling under the weight of their own blossoms, their HDMI stems withered and sickly. The witch hazel had fared even worse, their putrid stalks disintegrating, spraying the countryside with a fine silicon mist. But now the plants returned with vigor, catching us unawares. In the garage, USB vines squeeze the car while a spyware Venus Fly Trap munches a squirrel on the back patio.

With one last grunt, my husband slices the redbud, its flowers erupting in a cascade of pollinate sparks. He turns to me triumphantly and grins. Wiping his hands on his pants, he kisses my cheek and heads to the broom closet.

Grabbing the chainsaw, he hobbles toward the garage. And still, I dig, one scoop at a time, little Ds, Es, and Ts peppering the linoleum.

Nathanael Hood is a full-time film critic for and, and an aspiring comic book writer. In his spare time, he likes to drink whole pots of coffee and smash his face into his keyboard for hours at a time. If he’s lucky, enough of the ensuing gibberish will auto-correct into coherent words which he then submits to flash fiction sites.

Lead image: “electrical macro #3” (via Flickr user lorZ)


  1. I love the idea of this, too, it’s playful and scary St the same time

    • Nathanael Hood Nathanael Hood

      Glad you think so! I love stories that work on multiple levels; that make you feel wildly different emotions at the same time. It’s what I aim for in my fiction.

  2. Wow, what a crazy idea, and what fascinating imagery — interesting read!

    • Nathanael Hood Nathanael Hood

      Thanks, Joy! I’m glad you liked it!

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