Feral Friday: Kudzu

Kudzu is a strange beastie that I find myself writing about with some regularity–and not just for my Feral Friday posts, although it’s almost always appropriate for those.

On one of the hottest afternoons of summer earlier this year–the kind of day when even the air conditioning starts to feel tired and discouraged–I stopped at a red light to wait my turn to go left across a crowded intersection. The straight-through lanes were still zipping along, so I knew I’d be there a while. Glancing around, I saw what looked like–just for a moment–some type of hulking, kudzu-covered thing ready to wrap its gnarled, leafy arms around me and…

The hideous, verdant shape lifted its leafy arms toward me, and then--

Quick-as-the-proverbial-flash (which I didn’t need, as it was still strong daylight), I whipped out my trusty Blackberry and snapped a pic of this virulent, violent vegetation as it advanced on me, trapped in the turn lane. It stopped in its muffled, root-bound tracks and looked a bit surprised, as if it wasn’t used to having its picture taken in mid-snarl.

Just then, the light turned green and the long line of cars in which I was stuck started moving through the intersection. I glanced back in the rearview mirror and I’m not sure, but I think the kudzu shape was waving at me, just a little.

Or maybe it was just a hint of a breeze, rustling through the secret spaces between those overly-lush tangles of leaves. Maybe…

P.S. Thank you, Karl Edward Wagner, for rendering kudzu even more creepy with the visceral thrills of your short story Where The Summer Ends.


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