Thursday, June 9, 2011
Why, where have ya been stranger?
Cue scene: Old timer sits on his porch, rocking back and forth, as he smokes on his pipe and notices a familiar person strolling by. She's quite aged, stroking her silvery beard and clutching her purse tight. Old timer yells from his porch.
"You's been gone for a long 'whiles. Been a few months, and folks... they've been a-talking. Ya'll know all that regular nonsense, abductions, inheritance sent ya'll packing, or perhaps ya'll all turned into that momma with the strange child mess'in with folks down yonder at them Bates Motel."
The old timer takes another puff and blows the smoke out slowly. "So, where'n ya'll been?"
I hurry over and take a seat, declining the glass of lemonade. "Them young whippersnappers, they've played a mighty mean trick-some on me a few weeks back."
"Ya'll mean those kids that's always a-hanging 'rounds ya'll property?"
I nod. "A-yup. Dennis, Lucy, Opie and that lil Orphan Annie."
"Where was Timmy?" The old timer asked.
I clear my throat nervously. "Him's the reason I've been a-hidey in my house. Them darn kids. All's they's got to do but stay off'm my yard. But no. They's nevah lissen to us elders."
From my purse, I pull out a hanky and wipe at my sweating silvery beard. "I's got sick of them always trampling across my yard, harming those poor shoots of grass. So I's did somethin' to keep them off. I said they had to wear these special collars--magic collars-- for them to see leprechauns durin' the summer rain and shine when the rainbows pop out."
The old timer chuckles, "I played that same trick on my niece. How high you turn on the juice?"
"Not high." I grumble. "Only a wee bit of electricity where a doggie get them shakes in surprise when crossin' the buried line. Hollered myself hoarse in laughter when they's go all twitchin' on the ground whenever they's tried runnin' across my lawn. Told them I'd teach them a lesson. But they's gave me a mean look, likey the devil invaded them, and stormed off, all four of them."
"Then what happen?"
I grump. "I's woke up the next morn'in, watering my lawn and tending the plastic flowers. Patted my giant ceramic gnome on the head. I laid the hose down to pull some weeds. All of the sudden, I's feel a mighty cold splash running up my spine from the hose. Figured them kids came back to do a squirty-squirt in revenge. I's turn 'round and sees my gnome holding the hose and rockin' 'round."
The old timer leans over. He places one hand on my shoulder. "Miss Michelle, you's suren it just wasn't yous medication mess'n with yous head? A ceramic gnome movin' like he possessed?"
I sigh, "I's know it sounds weird. But lettem me finish the story. I nearly jumped out my slippers in fright see'in that gnome dancin' 'bout doing the devil's jig. I grabs my shovel and started beaten it to pieces. That's when I's realized them kids played a dirty mean trick. They hollowed out the bottom of the gnome and Timmy gone crawling up inside. He laid there, bumps all over, rightly light-pale like the spirit had said its last hurrah and gone flying to them pearly gates."
"I's see." The old timer leaned back. He scratched at his head, pondering. "Yous go dump the body in that well, right? Make it look like his pooch Lassie pushed him in."
"Course I's did. Then after he was done there, he goes all wiggling. Realized he just unconscious. Had to grabs me rope and pull him out. Bandaged him up and sent him home."
The old timer shook his head. "But, that doesn't explain why yous been a sneaky-sneak all 'round town? Why's yous gone hidin in yous home?"
I pulled out the letter. "I receives this summons to appear in court."
"Fors shockin' them kids and beating up on Timmy?" the old timer asked.
"Nah's. There's this silly law on the town books 'bout beatin up on ceramic lawn gnomes. They's want me on assault and battery on lawn decorations..."