It was a dark and stormy night and I was sitting all alone. The cold porch ground lay beneath me, poking me. I was lonely, with no one to talk to, and only myself to listen to. I remembered the day when I was brought home. I was gently laid in the back of a fire engine red Toyota. Also in the car were a young girl and her parents. They were discussing names for me: Peter (Peter Pumpkin Eater), Jack (Jump Over the Candlestick), Mary (Mary Quite Contrary), and many, many more. When we got home, the girl, delighted to be able to carry me, gently picked me up and took me inside. That is when I fell asleep and awoke to find myself here, on the porch. I wasn't sure how I got there, or why I had been put there. All I knew was that I was there.
Next, strange shapes started floating by me, some coming up the steps towards me, others along the street away from me. Some shapes had triangular objects on their heads. Others were monsters, with slimy, green goop dripping down their faces. All were scary, and none were ordinary. Shrieks of joy and laughter came from small children and monsters after objects of all shapes and sizes were carelessly tossed in containers that were held in their hands. The containers were all shapes; some buckets, some bags, some boxes. Some were obviously heavy; the monsters dragging them were having obvious problems lugging them along the road. Occasionally there would be a ripping noise and thousands of the small objects would come flooding out of the bag. After a brief crying period, the monster would trudge home, only to return with a new bag.
Strangely, the objects and monsters that came to my house rang a bell, but when at other houses people would answer it, nothing happened at my house. The monsters would just walk back down the steps, to try the house next to us. I wondered where the girl and her parents were, and why they weren't making the monsters happy by putting objects in their bags.
Soon the shapes disappeared, and again there was no one to talk to, or look at. I wanted the girl to come home, take me inside and wrap me in a nice, warm blanket. Only then would I ever fall asleep again. So I sat and I sat. My eyes were fixed on a strange man standing in the middle of a yard. There was a stick driven up through the middle of his back, and pieces of yellow grass were falling out of his arms and legs. I would go over to help him, but I wasn't sure if he wanted me to come, all he did was stand there and shake slightly when a cool breeze blew bye.
Many hours passed before anything new happened. There were two hours left of nighttime when a strange woman came swooping down out of the sky on a broomstick. I recognized her hat from what children had been wearing the previous night, but none of the children rode around on broomsticks. She landed softly next to me on the porch and sat down.
"I lost my beautiful black cat," she cried to me, "and now I am very lonely. But what is worse is I need a new cat before all the witches come to my cave tomorrow morning. If I don't have a black cat, I will be laughed out of the Witches Association. I know! Can I take you and turn you into a cat? Oh, silly me, you, can't talk, I'll have to put a talking spell on you, I hope you don't mind!"
A million questions flooded into my mind just as the woman put a spell on me. I wanted to know why I couldn't talk. How did she know that I couldn't? Suddenly, a bright flash of sparks shot around me and, POOF! I could talk! "I really want to come with you and turn into a cat, I am lonely too!" I said.
"Wonderful!!" she said.
After telling her my life story, she told me hers. She was something called a witch. A witch is someone that can put spells on things to make them do things, like talk. She immediately became my best friend ever, and I hers. She even turned me into a cat, right there on the porch. We vowed to each other that we would live happily ever after together (literally EVER after because she had already put a live forever spell on both of us).
"I'm glad you're my friend, and a cat." She concluded, "after all, cats are much more fun to be than a pumpkin, like you were before."
Yeah, I’m borrowing the title from Snoopy. He said I could. We’re close friends. Snoopy borrowed it from Sir Edward George Earle Bulwer-Lytton, and now there is a contest every year called
The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest
The contest uses the infamous phrase to showcase the worst extremes of this “purple prose”. It only uses one sentence, where I thought it would be fun to write a story with that title. I kind of doubt it will be scary, but in honor of Halloween, one of my favorite holidays, I thought I would borrow the phrase and see what happens.
I was home alone with my little dog Sam. The wind was howling through the trees, it almost sounded like moaning. Of course, that was just my imagination. Usually, storms don’t bother me. In fact, I love them. But this one seemed different. There was a feeling in the air, it was heavy, like a wet, wool blanket covering the whole house. We had lost the electricity an hour ago. But I had plenty of candles lit. I hate the dark, things happen in the dark that doesn’t happen in the light.
It wasn’t raining, not yet anyway. But the wind was blowing and the trees outside were hitting the side of the house. A steady bang, bang, bang. It was driving me crazy. I made a mental note to have the trees next to the house trimmed, soon. The thunder could be heard rumbling over the wind. Every now and then the lightning would light up the house. Between that and the candles there were odd shadows flickering on the walls and ceilings. It would be a great night for Halloween. But that holiday was still a few weeks away.
I sat on the couch with Sam as close to my side as he could get. I liked the company, even if it was in the shape of a small dog. At least we had each other, and I wasn’t completely alone. I felt foolish. A grown woman afraid of the dark, but I couldn’t help myself. It was just that kind of night.
I heard a creak in one of the rare silences of the storm. It sounded like it was in the house! Sam and I just froze for a second, I felt the poor little guy shiver in fright. I have to admit it scared me too. I gathered my courage together, picked up one of the candles and decided to take a look around the house. Yeah, stupid I know. I mean, in all the scary movies one sees, the girl always goes looking around the dark house on her own and meets up meeting with the boogie man!
But, this wasn’t a movie. And I would rather meet up with the boogie man on my terms then sit on the couch and await my doom. So off we went to search the house. Sam was close on my heels, I guess he wasn’t willing to be alone either. We did a quick survey of the main floor and saw nothing unusual. So I decided to take a look upstairs. I slowly started to climb the stairs, the candle flickering at each step. I tried to hear past the wind but it was howling too loud. So step by step I continued upwards. We got to the landing and I stopped to give another listen. Nothing. I took a step forward and immediately heard a creak. It sounded just like the one I heard earlier.
Someone had stepped right there to make that creak. I decided to keep moving forward. I had to find out if someone else was in the house with me. It was either that or go hide somewhere and wait for the boogie man to find me. Neither option was the greatest. So taking my courage in hand once more I continued forward. I slowly walked down the hall. The first room I came to was the bathroom. Taking a quick look inside I knew no one was there, and yes, I looked in the shower too.
Poor little Sam was with me every step of the way. I made myself a promise that I would give Sam some extra special dog cookies once we were over this night. He deserved them. Taking a deep breath I continued to the next room. My bedroom. The door was usually closed and it was closed now. I grabbed the door handle and slowly turned it. As I opened the bedroom door I heard it give a small screech, I never noticed that it needed oiling before. As I opened the door all the way and stepped inside, the wind decided to gust and push the outside tree against that side of the house. The bang that followed made my heart jump and my hand holding the candle shake.
Sam stayed inside the doorway where he could see me. I walked into the room and took a quick look around. I saw nothing out of the ordinary and even got enough courage to throw the closet door open and take a look. Nothing. Whew! My heart slowed down just a bit and I left to check the last room. An extra bedroom. That door too is usually closed but I noticed soon enough that it was open a crack. My heart started to beat fast once more. I stood just outside the door wondering if I shouldn’t just turn and run. I took a deep silent breath and put my hand against the door to push it open.
I pushed it open slowly and took a quick look. I didn’t see anything so I took a step inside. All hell broke loose! There was this awful screech then two gray and white bodies streaked past me out the door! Sam gave a loud bark and took after them. Sam was yapping excitedly and I ran into the hallway just in time to see my two devil cats running hell-bent down the hall with Sam nipping at their tails. Both cats slid towards the stairs and when the first one hit that one spot I heard it give that now familiar creak. Off they bounded down the stairs with the now brave Sam close on their butts.
I started running after Sam, I didn’t want the candle going out on me so I wasn’t running all that fast. I heard a loud crash downstairs and thought it sounded like the coffee table. Then I heard yapping and hissing and thought I better get down there as soon as I could. I ran down the stairs and just as I hit the living room the lights came back on. I stood in the middle of the room and surveyed the damage. I blew out my candle and yelled at Sam to hush. He had the two devil cats Notwen and Pouncer cornered on top of the TV stand. I just had to laugh. One, because I felt so relieved that there wasn’t a boogie man in the house. Two, because Sam was so much smaller than either cat and he acted so proud that he got them hissing and cornered.
It took me a few minutes to get the animals calmed. Afterwards, I just sat on my couch and laughed at myself. But, ever after that day, I make sure I always have plenty of candles in every room in the house. You know, just in case.
I enjoy reading, writing, and painting. I love animals and at present have one dog (Sam) and 2 cats (brother and sister, Notwen and Pouncer). I've lived in various places in the USA and now in Canada. I've always enjoyed watching life and people and have developed an appreciation for it all. My outlook is sometimes out of the normal.... but that's what makes things so interesting! I am always interested in the opinions of others. Everyone has their own outlook and it's always worthwhile to listen! http://tobreatheistowrite.com View All Posts