03 August, 2010

the bestetht

I want to wite the very bestetht for my kind weaders. But. It ith haad to wite vewy weww when one ith been wuthed (wuthed not watthed). Tho. I wiww take thith vewy thwowy tho that it wiww be good. I hope. Thowwy about the thtaating withp.

'Twas one of those nights. A lesser evening than others where nothing was happening and you just lounge by the warm fire - or heater if you had one of those instead, reading a book or watching television. The evening breeze was still somehow finding its way through chinks in the wall and beneath the closed doors, sending chill air that wrapped occasional icy fingers around me. I have a fire. Therefore, I was reading a book by its warm glow. If I had a heater, I would watch TV instead - if I had a TV. Modern tasks with modern objects, traditional tasks with more traditional objects. That's how it is.

What was I reading? Let me see... It was... it was Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Yes. That was the one. A trifling detail. Not remotely important in this story, but I am sure that there will be people out there who will ask me at some inopportune time, hence I give you this minor detail. I was nearing the end, you know, the part where Elizabeth's father tells her which of his girls' husbands he likes most; when I heard a distinct thump. From my bedroom.

Forgive my oversight. I forgot to mention that I was alone that night. Alone in my big three-story brick house and in the sitting room on the main (that is the middle) floor. Jackson had gone to have dinner with friends and it was Millie's night off, so she was out at a party. Glenda's 21st, I think.

Although startled, upon listening further, I heard no more and assumed it was the cat who had somehow gotten himself locked in my room. I couldn't think how it was possible. Certainly when I had left my room before dinner I had not seen him. Perhaps he had been hunting mice and had ironically been as quiet as a mouse. Who knows?

Grumbling to myself under my breath about stupid cats who get themselves locked into bedrooms and muttering that he had better not have dirtied my nice carpet or clean bed or he would get the wallop of his life, I stalked off to investigate and were it the cat, let him out. However, as I neared the room, I heard the muffled tapping of the clock gone wrong coming from within my bedroom. At least, that's what it sounded like. It could have been foot steps.

"Mintzy!" I had called, still disgruntled, "You had better not be playing with my clock or I will put you in a pot and boil you alive!" For I had on occasion caught my playful cat batting at the painted birds on the hands of the open faced clock in my room. Open, because the face had been missing to start with when Jackson had decided to buy it from a garage sale for me.

Flinging the door open, I gave a start. The window was open. I seldom opened the window, even in summer, because it had no fly or mosquito screen on it... and I never opened it during the winter... but it was a loose window with a broken latch that I had not yet gotten around to replacing. Thinking that the wind had somehow knocked it loose, I reached out to close it and took a pen from my table to use as a bolt. By the way, dear reader, this was performed without me turning on the light, for I knew where everything in my house lay and could walk about it in the dark as easily as if it were day; and it was a very dark night with an overcast sky and nothing but the tiniest sliver of moon lost behind the opaque clouds.

Then something brushed by me. I am not easily a-frightened, but I will tell you that that gave me a shock. Literally. A static shock and I'm sure the thing brushing by me felt it too, for there was a sudden movement. Also, it's shadow was much too large to be Mintzy. Turning back to get out of the room, I heard the door slam and the lock click. There being no key to the door, I knew that the person in the room had locked themselves in with me. I wondered how they had climbed up the wall. There was no old ivy and there was no tree. Only one rusty old... drain pipe. Who climbed drain pipes these days, anyway?

Moving swiftly, I ensconced myself within my wardrobe, but of course, my movement gave me away and I was pulled out roughly. However, while within the wardrobe, I had managed to catch hold of my old broken curtain rod that had snapped when Jackson had used it as an impromptu fishing pole, after he had lost his the previous week to a giant fish. With the rod I hit my assailant and brought it down upon his head. How dare he trespass upon my property and then lock me up in my room! He shouted and groaned, snatching at my foot to bring me crashing onto the floor. I dropped the rod. Up, I sprang after giving a sharp kick that crunched something - his nose, most likely and flicked the light switch.

Nothing happened. Before I could reach the door knob to unlock it, my vision suddenly sported stars and I stumbled, as the sound of the crack on my head came belatedly to my ears. That made me mad and though I reeled with dizziness, I gave a most awesome roar that swelled throughout the empty house and made the ceiling ring. My assailant paused and then I heard scrabbling at the window, the clean 'snap' of my pen in the latch as he pulled open the windows and a scrambling over at the drain pipe. There was a wail and a slight thump.

Good riddance, I thought to myself, making my way over the window and looking down. In the shadows, I saw the figure of a man stumbling away in the dark, holding his nose with one hand and clutching the broken curtain rod with the other. I laughed to myself, making a mental note to ensure that I got a new lock for my window the next day. Feeling that that was enough excitement for the day, I re-bolted my window with a much thicker pen this time and went to bed. As for the lights, Jackson could deal with it when he got home.

The next day, while Jackson and Millie lay a-bed, no doubt sleeping off the effects of their previous night's outings, I walked to town, wearing my usual green vest to stave off the cold. It was not as biting as it had been last night, but warm enough not to require the use of the jacket that I carried. Anyway, the brisk walk had warmed me up.

As I paid for my new window latch, Jill the shop girl asked if I knew of any bears currently residing within my home.

"None that I am aware of. Why please, Jill?"
"Mr Lambkin, you know, the sleazy one that's been sweet on you since, I don't know, forever, well, he came running into town with bruises of all sorts, a broken nose and a well cracked head, crying last night. He woke the town saying that he'd gone to visit your house and been attacked by a bear."
"Yes. He said that he'd knocked on the door and there had been no reply, so assuming that everyone was out, he made to leave when he was attacked. Fancy that!"
"I didn't know we had any bears hereabouts."
"Mr Lambkin must have had a few shots too many last night. I heard that he'd lost at cards with Jackson again."

I laughed and bid the girl farewell, stopping by the pub where the bruised man himself, covered with bandages was still regaling his story in a slurred speech.

"Excuse me, Mr Lambkin," I tapped his arm, having pushed my way through the crowd. "I just heard your story and thought that I'd stop by to express my regret that I missed you last night when you called. How any bear came to wander by last night is an astonishment, especially considering that this is Australia. I will, however, let Jackson know so that he can be sure the bear has gone for good before it tramples all my flowers into the ground again. I fancy that was the same animal that had climbed my drain pipe and invaded my bedroom last night. If I remember correctly, I gave him a good bloody nose and a good many bruises, much like yours today, so there is no need to be concerned about my safety. You see, I can look after myself fairly well. You must understand, I managed to scare him out the house, such that he fair fell out the window. Seeing as you are already acquainted with him, next time you meet him, Mr Lambkin, please do send him my regards and ask him to be so kind as to knock on the front door instead of climbing in through my bedroom window and Jackson and I will be glad to treat him to honey and bread, if he means no harm. I must also thank you, sir, for rescuing that broken curtain rod of mine; snatched from me by the bear. I'd very much like it back, if you please."

The man's face changed from a flushed red, to a sheepish yellow and then a satifying white as he glanced down at the broken rod he still held in his left hand. At this, the men roared with laughter and the constable, slapped him on the back as he led him off to the station, winking at me as he went.

Thowwy.The ending'th a bit wuthed becauthe I'm now wate and my thithta ith waiting fow me in the caah. If I had time, I would edit thith a bit mowe, but ath I have no mowe time weft at thith moment, thith wiww have to do. Hope you aah thatithfied with it. Hopefuwwy my teeth wiww not be tho thowe tomowwow, tho that I can tawk pwopewy again.

Btw, if you want a twanswathion of the withp, pweathe wet me know and I wiww twy to potht it heeaah. That ith if you can dethipher thith two thententhes ath weww.

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