The higher the carnivorous gnomes climbed upon one another, their snapped ceramic fingers scratching for the counter, the farther back Rosa and Calvin scrunched, until they were wedging themselves uncomfortably between the cabinets and the vinyl countertop.
A large, snarling lawn ornament was the first to pull its moss-covered frame onto the stove. Almost immediately it began limping toward Rosa, the remnants of a shattered boot trailing from its tiny leg. Rosa darted a hand past the monstrosity and turned the front burner to High, setting the gnome’s incredibly flammable paint job on fire. The decoration screamed, like a eunuch being kicked in the stitches, and then toppled, flailing, to the floor. The gnome ignited several of his friends.
Black smoke began to billow from the kitchen floor, as the undoubtedly lead-based paint of the garden gnomes burned away.
“And now they’re on fire,” Calvin coughed, swatting the acrid cloud away from his face.
“I don’t see you doing any better!” Rosa pulled her shirt up over her mouth and nose.
The pyre, however, was short-lived, extinguished as the unignited living lawn gnomes stomped their flaming comrades to pieces.
The miniature nightmares began climbing on one other again, tower after tower of stacked garden sprites clambering onto the countertop.
Calvin shoved the first round away and then, leaning awkwardly, reached up and pulled off a cabinet door.
“I told you there was a reason I didn’t fix this wh—”
“SHUT UP AND KILL SOMETHING!” his wife replied.
Doing as he was told, Calvin smacked several ravenous gnomes in the face with one swing, shattering their visages into a confetti of pointy blue and green shrapnel.
Immediately, more bloodthirsty lawn decorations took their place.
Four were latched onto his leg. Another was gnawing on the cuff of his track pants. Calvin kicked his leg out, shaking loose the quartet clinging to his calf and sending several more gnomes beyond them into the swarming mass below. The biter, though, dangled from his pants like a shark on a winch. Calvin thrashed his leg some more; the door was yanked from his hands.
“Crap,” he said. “I, uh, I think this might be it.”
“If you give up,” Rosa shouted, grabbing snarling gnomes off the countertop and hurling them into other snarling gnomes elsewhere in the kitchen, “so help me God I will NEVER stop harassing you about it in the afterlife.”
“I love you,” he said.
“Fat lot of good it does us now,” she added.
“The Beatles are a bunch of filthy liars.”
“’All You Need Is Love?’”
“This is not the time to be clever!” She ripped the head and neck from a mildew-riddled plastic flamingo and used it to beat at the advancing horde of man-eating lawn decorations.