TOO MANY IDEAS...NOT ENOUGH COFFEE...

Rants, raves, fiction, and laughs

Friday, December 3, 2010

Mr. Peterson's Tale

This Week's Friday Flash is brought to you by low oxygen levels and codeine.

The old man leaned into the grey light.

"Yes'm. I seen 'em. I seen 'em many a time before. Dark corners, trail of black dust, like soot from the furnaces of Hell. That's them alright. I've fought them buggers for nigh on fifty years now, seen em smaller than a pinhead, and big as a dinner roll. They're a scourge on humanity and foul everything they touch. I've carried my weapons of duty to fight the good fight against their blight.

"But there's one as yet, I haven't squared with. You hear tales on the long nights when the old men sip their Rob Roys and tell tall stories. They all ran against him and lived to tell the tale. They were the lucky ones, and they say that none have ever faced him and come away whole – not entirely whole anyway – in the soul, ye see, ma'am.

"I crossed his path myself, when I was too young and carefree. They call hims Bingodangogumfree which in the old Indian tongue means 'one-eyed bastard'. When the settlers came to this land he was given the name 'Blinky', but there's still some among us think that names don't mean nothing. They say that he's Old Nick himself, walkin' the earth.

"Now when I seen him, it was dusk, I was in the old Mason house – don't look for it now, they tore it down years ago. I remember walking the floors, armed with my poisons and I heard a scuttling sound. "Skutter-skutter" it went – "skutter-skutter" like something with more legs than good intentions. I could feel the foul musty air press against me and I was too terrified to move. I could only stand with my feet stuck to the floor like tree-roots as I saw the huge creature shamble across the floor.

"He was bigger'n my Great Dane, Rufus – coulda swallowed him whole, and the sickly yaller moon shone on his greasy brown carapace. He stood up on his spindly legs, his great rotten body turned towards me with his one beady eye and an unearthly "chitter-chitter" noise came from his monstrous head. How I survived, I don't know. I coudln't move for fainting and the beast had me to rights, but he let me live. He only looked at me and turned away as if to say, 'not yet, boy. Your time ain't come yet.' He and I knew it would only be a matter of time before we would tangle again and it would be a battle for the ages.

"I never saw him again, but I will. Someday I will meet Blinky again. He'll kill me, or I'll kill him and we'll shake the very heavens with our struggle. Count on it, ma'am."

"Yeah," I said, eventually. "We'll I think most of the roaches are under the washing machine. See what you can do okay?"

"I will, ma'am. It'll be safe to come back in the three hours. I'll mail the bill to you."

"Uh-huh." I picked up my purse in a daze and dragged my kids to the car. "This is the last time I let your dad pick the cheapest exterminator in the phone book," I told them.

24 comments:

mytressa said...

LOL!! I was NOT expecting THAT ending. At all. Brilliant, as usual. You sucked me in... almost forgot to breathe. And then? I totally LOL'ed. Thanks for the giggle and the great read! (^_-)

~Michelle

shannon said...

Can I first just say EWE! I hate roaches. LOL! Cheers to codeine, this was a blast to read! Great voice and made me chuckle.

Monica Marier said...

@mytressa I was sojourning into my bathroom for a drink of water at 3am when the whole thing popped into my head. It was crazy, but I thought it was worth writing out.

@Shannon. I ain't too fond of them either. (shudder)

Gracie said...

Hahaha! I love everything about this one, Monica. And yes, roaches are the devil. I wasn't expecting that end at all.

Great story. Codeine apparently rocks. :) Hope you feel better soon! <3

Trevor said...

Great Stuff. I think I've met Blinky but I was in Australia at the time...

Monica Marier said...

@Gracie It has it's good points. : )

@Trevor I ran into Blinky's cousin last night. Hence the story.

Raven Corinn Carluk said...

Awesome. Because I've met people like this. Just great.

Monica Marier said...

@Raven Have you? I've met yarn-spinners but they were more tangential. (Think Grandpa Simpson).

Raven Corinn Carluk said...

My brother-in-law has a pathological need to make everything grand. A trip to the corner store becomes an epic journey. It's usually pretty fun.

Monica Marier said...

@Raven I'm on my way there. have no doubt I will be a "Mr. Peterson" by the time I'm seventy.

Adam Byatt said...

This was very funny; that wizened ol' timer story. Great character voice.
Adam B @revhappiness

Susan Cross said...

My exterminator comes to inspect annually & he never stops talking. I can relate. They must be a lonely lot!

John Wiswell said...

Codeine? I hope you're okay, Monica. Keep those pests away! Gross little things.

minor typo: third paragraph, "hims" for "him"

Seleste said...

*snort* Hey, as long as he got rid of the roaches, what's wrong with a little extra entertainment along the way?? Fun piece

Steve Green said...

Oh god, cockroaches give me the shivers, I like spiders and most insects, but ugh! NOT roaches.

I like the story though, the line "like something with more legs than good intentions" ia a beaut. :D

Monica Marier said...

@Adam I always wanted to write an "old-timer" story. This guy popped up in my head and wouldn't leave.

@Susan Mebbe Mr. Peterson didn't use his respirator enough.

@John I think that typo was intentional "flavor"

@Seleste Glad you liked it. : )

@Steve That line gave me some trouble, I'm glad it panned out. Thanks.

Icy Sedgwick said...

Hahahahaha that's brilliant! I was really there with him, picturing this horrid beast...well, let's be honest, cockroaches are pretty horrid anyway. But excellent stuff. Wonderful tone.

Monica Marier said...

@ICY Thanks luv. : )

Harry said...

Hahaha! I love this! Felt like I was on one of Jodi's pirate ships listening to a yarn about sea serpents. "like something with more legs than good intentions" She's a Beauty!

Eric J. Krause said...

She should choose him every time. I guarantee he's not going to let any of the roaches live; it's personal to him. Cheap and reliable? He'd be my exterminator of choice.

Well, until Blinky snuffed him out, anyway.

Good story!

Monica Marier said...

@Harry I've been reading a book with an old sailor in it, who spins yarns. Perhaps that was what was in my head at the time.

@Eric Yeah. I think I'd patronize Mr Peterson myself.

Deanna Schrayer said...

Ahahahaha! Monica, you need to take codiene more often! :) This was absolutely hilarious, from first sentence to last. I love this line: "...like something with more legs than good intentions." Brilliant - all of it!

Jax said...

Nothing like a good nemesis to give meaning to your life! LOL. Hilarious!

flyingscribbler said...

And the award for funniest fridayflash line of the week goes to............."They call hims Bingodangogumfree which in the old Indian tongue means 'one-eyed bastard'."

I'll be laughing at this one for weeks. Thank you.