Sunday, September 23, 2012
once upon a time... but only once
Once upon a time a wicked ______ lived in the graveyard. I had to pass the graveyard every day, twice, to get to school. In fact I had to go that way, all twelve years of my educated days. But whatever it was, I only saw it once... upon a time.
My mode of transportation was always via bicycle. My first was a shiny black with big silver accessories. Every bike I saw I wanted. It became an obsession. At twelve years of age I had a plan; delivering newspapers to all the neighbors. Every new subscription won me a bonus. Every neighbor I saw I wanted, but I could only sign them up once... upon a time.
The graveyard had a little door. I stood there knocking on it, calculating the costs for daily delivery; dollar signs ($$) in my eyes. A raspy voice answered my knock, "What do you want little boy?" Immediately in my mind, appeared hundreds of bikes I'd coveted over the last few years of my young life. "I'm selling subscriptions for the daily newspaper. I can start delivering tomorrow. Would you be interested?"
'Raspy' answered, "You're talking about paper, but you want bikes?" I began to shake a bit; how did the voice know that? "By the way," Raspy asked, "are you the one who's been hitting my door with a newspaper? You have no idea how much that echoes through the cemetery; enough to wake the dead I tell ya!"
"I apologize. It won't happen again." Won't happen again; what an idiot! Yes, I did say that once... upon a time. Raspy took the paper after she/he made me peek at her/his form for two seconds. (Silent scream)
Until the day I was in a hurry to celebrate Halloween. I rushed my route to get home and change into a scary costume. It was going to be great. And my Dad was bringing home my new bike!! (I felt like howling at the moon.) Simply forgetting that I was on the last leg of my route I began slinging out newspapers and hitting porches, pooches, and doors... doors... uh-oh...once.... upon a time. Pedalling as fast I could from the cemetery... oh no... I was home and safe. I hadn't been turned into a toad or something worse.
OH Halloween, here I come. Home to the new bike! It was fabulous. I rode to the party, doing 'wheelies' and 'burn outs'; basically showing off. At midnight the bike disappeared from under me. One minute I was riding and the next minute, I was laid out on the ground. It was the same thing every year after that. Every Halloween, no matter what bike I rode to a party, collecting treats, or playing tricks, the bike I was on would disappear!!
I'm just an old man now and I met a former mate; we chatted about childhood days. He used to travel the neighborhood every Christmas and sell candy. The most popular choice were the fiery hot balls that you suck on. Your mouth explodes into pain! He told the tale of knocking at the cemetery door. A hideous creature answered, ordered the fire balls and lost it's voice. Since then every Christmas is devoid of candy in his stocking. It just disappears. (That got me to thinking about all the Christmas candy, over the years, which had shown up in my Halloween bag of treats!? However I kept my mouth shut; surely it wasn't that once... upon a time thingy?
I told him about my luck and the many, many bicycles. He cocked his head a bit to the left and asked, "You met Raspy?" So there it was out... I felt relieved knowing someone I knew knew about that creature. "Yes," I replied, "Why do you ask?"
"I've got your bicycles!" Sure enough, on the backside of the hotel he inherited from his Grandfather, were lots of bicycles. I knew them all. But there was one missing, hm? My mate and I decided to take a ride to the cemetery.... just once... for old time sake. And there found the last bike I ever owned... once... upon a time!
I now own a candy store right next to my friend's bike shop. And Raspy... what happened to she/he? I don't know. Besides that was once upon a time... but only once.
The end. Thanks for reading this true tale, made up entirely by myself.