Thursday, October 27, 2016

Story 158: Oblivia’s Scary Story

            Once upon a time, there was a perfectly ordinary family who led perfectly ordinary lives as peasant farmers in the perfectly ordinary Middle Ages somewhere in perfectly ordinary Europe.  Unfortunately for them, they chose to set up farm at the edge of an extremely haunted forest that did not appreciate a human family unit coming along, clear-cutting the woods and introducing their domesticated animals into the previously balanced environment, decreasing property values everywhere.  So naturally, the haunted forest swore revenge upon the perfectly ordinary family and decided to drive them insane as its method.
            The haunted forest started off slowly to prolong the suspense: disappearing linens here, cow’s milk going sour there, sudden blights upon the crops, random screams in the night, and not a single witch in the area to blame it on.  However, to the haunted forest’s chagrin, the perfectly ordinary family was also a perfectly optimistic family, constantly turning to their faith that things would get better if they just kept at it and did not despair.  This type of thinking only drove the haunted forest bonkers, so it decided to kick things up a notch.  Soon there were blood-red moon sightings, birds acting all kinds of crazy, the 10 perfectly ordinary children walking into the haunted forest and back out again without gathering a single stick of firewood, and Poppa having an unheard-of-for-its-era mid-life crisis.  Momma prayed for deliverance as Poppa neglected the fields yet again for something he called, when he was speaking in tongues, “a round of golf,” but her prayers seemed unanswered, as they always seem to be in these situations.  So, Momma decided to get proactive.
            Grinding her teeth as the morning gruel sprouted weeds for the fifth time, she herded her 10 children into the main room of their one-room abode and locked them in: she did not care what they or any possible poltergeists destroyed, as long as nobody went wandering off to be taken by the haunted forest.  Next, she tracked down Poppa lounging in a cloth that he had tied to two trees and called what sounded like “ham uck,” and she debated leaving him there but eventually could not, in good conscience.  Instead, she lured him back to the house with promises of something he called “the big game” and she locked him in there with the perfectly ordinary children and the possible poltergeists so they could all stare at each other with nothing to do.
            Momma then entered the haunted forest, but since there was no official trail head or even human-made trails she used a scythe to cut her way through the brush, knowing that she was angering the haunted forest even more and that she could not care any less than she did at that moment.  She had no idea where to go or what to do when she got there, but she assumed that the haunted forest would be in touch with her shortly.
            Sure enough, she reached a clearing that seemed the perfect place for her to state her case.
            She opened with: “Leave me and my perfectly ordinary family alone, you gits!”
            An ethereal voice answered: “Leave… first…and… you’ve got… yourself… a deal....”
          “Never!”  She retorted.  “Lord ---- gave us that land to farm for him, and we are farming it, will ye or nill ye!”
            “Lord ----… is… a dastard....” the haunted forest stated.  “We… do not recognize… his authority....”
            Momma was working on a months-long headache, so she offered: “All right, if we ask him to move our farm farther away from you – not that far, mind, but far enough – would you then cease all the curses and wicked behavior and whatever else on my family?”
            Momma had to wait a few moments for a response: “That… sounds reasonable....”
           “Done!  We move over a bit, you leave us alone forever, `tis a deal, binding for eternity, I will tell the others, farewell!”  Momma yelled over her shoulder as she ran out of the confused haunted forest.
         Over the next several weeks, the perfectly ordinary family’s farm was relocated from the haunted forest’s edge and reassembled in the middle of a meadow: not ideal, but they no longer suffered the ongoing torments of talking chickens and Poppa racing his horse and plow at all hours of the night.  The haunted forest slowly regrew the woods that had been lost, and all was well – that is, until Lord ---- decided on a whim to build a new castle in the middle of the haunted forest.  But that’s another story....

          Oblivia looked at her watch: “Would you look at the time, it’s 7:30 in the morning, I completely talked the night away, I’m sorry guys!”  She felt a big guilty for monopolizing the party.
            “7:30 a.m.?”  One of the vampires said, then opened the window shades and screamed at the early morning sunlight peeking through.  He and his compatriots transformed into bats and flapped away.
            “Wait, what happened to Lord ----?”  Dr. Frankenstein asked; he was sitting cross-legged on the floor and was clutching one of his skeletons as he leaned forward.
            “That’d have to be told at another time, I’m afraid,” Oblivia said as she stood to stretch out the kinks; the remaining listeners groaned in disappointment.  “Maybe next year?”  She suggested.
            A mummy stood.  “Seeing as we were going to destroy you for crashing our party last night, it’d be great if you came here next year, we’d love to have you again!”
            “Aw, thanks!”  Oblivia was touched by their acceptance of her, and gladly took the goodie bag they gave her on the way out.
           She emerged into the dawn of the First of November and skipped all the way home, still wearing her Creepy Clown With Creepy Child costume and freaking out only some of her neighbors.  She thought back on all the new friends she had made last night and the meaningful connection that they had shared.
            Halloween’s the best, she thought.  It’s the one day in the year you can be anybody you want to be, and have a great time with some awesome ghouls.

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