It was an ordinary morning. A light breeze rustled through campus, carrying the fallen autumn leaves past the unsuspecting doorsteps of the Iberian Studies Center and Hammarskjold. The ten o’clock student class rush had come and gone, and those who were awake were now busy trying to stay awake in class. Only moments ago they had strolled beneath the lush bulging canopy behind their houses, taking the dangling treasures above for granted, not even taking a second to glance upward.
Needless to say, the time was ripe.
A cloud poured over the sun and darkness fell over the Iberian Studies Center and Hammarskjold. A cold fog quietly flooded the block, enshrouding the houses in mystery and filling the spaces between the branches and trees.
From no particular source, silent figures began to appear from every which way, hunched shapes little more than shadows. They carried with them sharp hooked claws on extended stakes and empty sacks hung from their shoulders. They wasted no time.
Arms groped through the fog into the canopy, only reaching back to their source when their clammy fingers firmly groped the squishy golden and red sweetness above. The only sounds were the continuous snaps from above as persimmons and pomegranates were extracted from their nestled homes in the trees, the occasional cackle that wisped from beneath the downturned head of a mysterious gleaner, and the drip-drop of the thick pomegranate blood as it ran down their faces and arms and splashed on the pavement with jubilant gore.
The trees spilled their riches and the sacks claimed what was lost until they bulged with fruity dankness. But not even the many fruits could satisfy the gleaners’ righteous greed. They crawled horribly to the front of the houses that stripped the branches of the rosemary growing there.
With nothing left but sullen lonely bushes and trees, the Iberian Studies Center and Hammarskjold began to notice something treacherous afoot. A nameless face was seen at one of the windows and its mouth dropped in horror, realizing what had been done, what had been stolen.
“Why?” it gasped.
The fog began to recede and the shadows with it. It was too late for the folk of the Iberian Studies Center and Hammarskjold. One gleaner turned in her retreat to answer, nothing more than a hunched silhouette.
“We are the gleaners of the greedy, and the givers to the poor! What’s grown but unenjoyed we shall purge!”