Halloween story

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This is a cross post from the FRL, in honor of Unk's new forum. I know some of you don't visit us over there, but may still like a little nonsense once in a while.


Well, I was saving this for closer to Halloween, but I think the forum really needs to return to our nonsensical norm. I was in Texarkana last week, and saw a sign that inspired me to write this absolutely true (well, kinda) story. I warn you, read at your own risk, it may be too intense for fruitcake minds. But, whatever you do, read it aloud. And never, never, by an open window, when the moon is just rising, and the wind is damp off the bayou........


Texarkana Texas could be a city much like any other. The people there look like people anywhere; young, old, fat, beautiful; normal. The buildings look the same as any others in hundreds of places; schools, gas stations, homes, chain stores. Texarkana Texas could be a city much like any other, that is, it could, except for the secret. Except for the nightmares.

Wandering among the older buildings along the south edge of town, runs a small drainage canal, the relic of an old-time creek which once meandered through the city’s heart. In fact, the people still call it a creek, and the people speak softly down in Texarkana Texas, when they mention the name. Children here could be like any others, but they all know the story; they all know the fear. And when the night wind howls, it brings an old shiver - to the should-be happy children in their beds, in the would-be snug houses, in the could-be normal city, along the banks of........Swamp Poodle Creek.


Fifi could hardly remember those days. The lazy days of satin pillows and gourmet puppy food. Days spent in splendid decadence at the doggie spa; days of “pretty puppy”, and “nice doggie”, which had become a nagging haze on her memory. A memory of that time before. Before Fifi went bad.

It all started so innocently, as these things often do. A mischievous dash between the postman’s legs into the forbidden front lawn took on a new dimension that only a bizarre trick of fate could explain. The doggie gods laughed at Fifi that day. She knew in her heart that she had only wanted to be friendly, to touch noses, and maybe share a neighborly sniff of behinds with old Mrs. Dougan’s cat.

But the feline, who was relaxing by the daffodils where he had just chewed the three front-most blooms into ragged yellow tatters, wanted no part of the poodle’s slightly slavering salutations. The cat, unaccountably alarmed at the thought of buttsniff-swapping with the frilly French miss, ignored the scent of Chanel that wafted from the delicate coiffure of the prancing pooch, and made an ill-considered dash for the crepe myrtle tree across the road. Unfortunately, the cat’s hasty retreat and the scheduled delivery of Mrs. Dugan’s new chaise lounge crossed their respective paths of destiny under the front wheel of Lester Hardigan’s furniture truck.

Of course, it was an accident, there was nothing to be done, nothing to recall. But, as Fifi tremblingly sniffed the crushed and newly lifeless carcass, she felt a wakening of ancient memories, a timeless remembrance of feral blood lust. A churning of genetic compunctions which would lead the canine debutante down the one-way road leading to infamy, to legend, to the abomination known as .......the Swamp Poodle.

It was easy, after that. To slip out past the old woman, or past her maid on wash-day. It was easy to find smells to roll in, papers to chew, garbage to savage. Fifi found herself uncontrollably drawn down an ever-increasing path of degenerate doggitude. It’s not pretty when a good girl goes bad, but Fifi didn’t stop to look in the mirror. She found that by jerking her head at precisely the right time, her normally bouffant hair cut took on a decidedly Mohawk appearance. She was delighted to discover that one ear, dipped in the royal blue of tidy-bowl would hold the hue for days, and that only one roll of toilet paper could be shredded and fluffed to completely fill the formal dining room before company was expected.

All this could have ended as only girlish impetuousness, had not the old maid left the kitchen door ajar as she left for the night. As Fifi slipped into the darkness of a winter’s sliver of moon, she knew that she was crossing a threshold far more immense than that of the rear porch. She had entered the world of darkness, and it became hers. She spent her days snoozing in the shade of lilac bushes, but her nights were filled with spreading terror along the banks of the gentle creek. She ate what she found, and prowled where she would. Horrified inhabitants of the once-quiet neighborhood awoke to find muddy paw prints on the hood of the Oldsmobile. Clothes left on the line after nightfall became victory banners to be carried down muddy alleyways. Overnight, garden hoses became soaker hoses, perforated by jaws filled with tiny gleaming teeth. It was a city under siege, a city traumatized, a city in the clutches of ........the Swamp Poodle.

Some say those days have passed into memory. Some say that Fifi still prowls the darkness along the creek. Some say it’s a myth; some say it’s the gospel. But when the moon rises late, when the wind comes down from icy mountains of the Ouacita, when hoar frost settles along the banks lined with ancient magnolias, folks remember. And they lock their doors when they hear the howls......the howls down along... Swamp..... Poodle...... Creek.


-- Lon Frank (lgal@exp.net), October 13, 2001


Lon, you really should publish some of your stuff, you are a natural.

Thanks, I enjoyed that.

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeeD@yahoo.com), October 14, 2001.

Lon, you owe me a new keyboard.

-- Tarzan the Ape Man (tarzan@swingingthroughthejunglewithouta.net), October 16, 2001.

Unk, thanks for the comment, and Tarzan, this was a good thing, right? (I'm not real sure I want to know what happened to the keyboard, though)


-- Lon Frank (lgal@exp.net), October 21, 2001.

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