24 October 2015

Eerie & Scary October: The Bark of Ethel


As in a made up story as I type here because I wrote other things this week, forgetting about the weekly scary story for October. Here I rush to fill you in on this shiver making past experience...

     Walking in the woods alone was all right when my companion neighbor friends have appointments. I'm not a wimp. I bring along a sturdy walking stick, bear spray, whistle, cell phone, and, the neighbor's dogs Ethel, Bourbon, and Merry. I don't have one of my own because I'm allergic to dogs. Ethel is definitely a gold lab. Bourbon looks like a spaniel Rhodesian ridge back poodle mix (weird markings and hair). Merry is full mixed breed I suspect likes her beagle ancestry the most as she's very vocal, and loves to run everywhere without needing a reason. Ethel is the oldest and the boss of the other two. When she barks they freeze and stare at her. I sense there may be times she does it for fun because there's nothing around to bark about.

     I write "was all right" until last week when everyone but me is gone every morning when the dogs have their first long walk of the day. The light that hour is wonderful. In the fall I take many photos to paint from during the winter now that I'm retired. A week during peak foliage walking the dogs, and me, is wonderful  except until that third day when my "all right" ends.
    Far into the woods the neighbors and I built a rope and gathered wood crude pavilion shelter to rest under before returning home. We're all retired elderly folks that can get around well. There is where I gave an art class last summer for painting. Edna teaches us about photography, her specialty. Elwyn reads his poetry. Leticia brings food. Stuart lifts the heavy stuff. Michael tells stories. Bart laughs the loudest, and designed the structure. Twila built a fire pit. Ema forces us to sing. And Tinker is the survivalist nature person that knows the woods better than the squirrels and birds.
     I visually know the area well. I have photographs. I have sketches. I have a painting. There is concentration poured into those woods. Yet, there I stand one frosty October morning taking in the crisp and invigorating air when I notice a rock I don't remember. I go over for a look, and discover what appears to be part of a foundation or stone wall, or pile, round lichen covered stones embedded in the ground. The dogs sniff and walk away with their mimicking cat nothing of interest attitude. I hear a thump on the ground, a very heavy thump coming from a grove of hemlock trees to the northwest of us. I do not bother to investigate. I'm gone! The dogs follow, me at the center of the pack, and they all jolly like they  think I'm playing. At a safe distance I stop to look back. Not only is nothing there, the dogs behave as if nothing happened.
    When I tell the others, nobody has a clue why the dogs don't pick up on who or whatever made the sound. Tinker suggests we look at recent photos to see if we missed something. He plugs in my laptop to his television. 
     Twila notices something and edits the photo to highlight the area. Sure enough, there in a big old hemlock tree is a shape indistinguishable from human or wild animal. Chills. Crunching nachos and more chills. Other photos are the same only with the shape in different positions. Clearly whatever it is, it moves. Tinker says he'll look at the area for signs in case somebody is in the hut when we hear a scream in kitchen from Edna. 
     "I saw it in the trees. It jumped from the stacked wood, and ran across the yard right, right!" Edna cries hysterically, "Right through the fence, rails and all! Its not a living being! And its not a wild animal!"
     Ethel trots over to the back door hallway, and stands there wagging her tail. She barks like she does when Edna and Tinker return home. 
Edna and Tinker are home.



  1. LOVED this!!! MORE, please!

    1. Hi Tanya,
      Thank you! I rather like this group of people. I have another story about them in mind.
      Have a great week-end.

  2. Oh Maywyn - you got me reading...hope you will continue writing. I think it is just great. Hope you are having a delightful day. Hugs

    1. Hi Debbie,
      Thank you. I finished next week's first draft when Tinker goes to investigate.
      A wonderful week-end to you and yours!


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