This is a story about a man named Mr. Willows, with no troubles. But not for long. One night after a party, he wakes up after too much wine. And that’s when the troubles begin. What would you do if a mysterious creepy lump appeared under your rug and scurried around as if searching for something? Turn the page for a thrill!
“What a party!” Mr. Willows said to Marty. “If I dare say so myself.” Marty got up from his chair and reached across the table for the wine bottle. He poured himself a cup. “Want some?” he asked Mr. Willows. “Fill ‘er up!” Mr. Willows replied. Plish Plish. The wine sparkled as it was poured neatly into the crystal glass. “Let’s go ask Maruice to read our future.” Mr. Willows suddenly decided after a long sip of wine. “We’ll see what crazy thing she comes up with this time.”
“Okay.” Marty replied. “Let’s go.” The two got up from their spots at the table and trooped up to the attic, stairs creaking eerily beneath them. The attic was the only place in the house Mr. Willows had not had wired up for electricity. It was creepy to walk up the stairs in complete darkness to the musty attic. Mr. Willows could hear his partygoers talking five feet beneath him, yet they seemed a million miles away. Mr. Willows could have sworn he saw some thing white hop into a drain before they reached the attic door. Marty put his hand on the knob.
“Here we are.” Marty said. The door squeaked incessantly as Marty slowly opened it. Inside there was nothing except for a ring of candles. Inside sat a black woman in baggy purple robes, meditating.
“Hello, Maruice.” Mr. Willows said. The woman jumped.
“Arrrrghhh!” Maruice screamed. “I was just about to finish summoning the spirits!”
“Okay, you can get back to that, if you read our futures.” Mr. Willows stated.
“Oh, whatever.” Maruice said. “Get over here.” Marty and Mr. Willows stepped into the circle.
“Youngest first. Give me your palm, Marty.” Marty stuck out his arm as Maruice grabbed a jar full of a scarlet powder. Maruice dumped some of the powder into Marty’s hand.
“Igusyeth, fortense egth.” Maruice said. “Shake your hand, Marty.” Marty shook his hand.
“I will now read your future.” Maruice explained. She examined the remaining red powder in Marty’s hand. “I see a pretty woman.” Maruice started. “You appear to be in a tropical land, and look quite happy together.”
“Anything else?” Marty asked, beaming.
“No, that is all.” Maruice said. “Now you come, Arthur.”
Mr. Willows approached as Marty left. A cold draft made the hair on his neck stand on end.
“Give me your palm.” Mr. Willows gave her his palm. Once again, Maruice got some of the powder. As Maruice sprinkled the powder onto his hand, Mr. Willows thought he heard someone- or something else in the attic.
Suddenly, he felt enormous pressure. The room swirled around him as he got dizzier and dizzier. He swayed through hyperspace, hearing “Oh no! Evil!” from a voice that sounded like Maruice’s. And then he woke up.
“What? Where am I?” Mr. Willows asked. He observed the blue velvet couch he was lying on, then saw the chair, the lamp, the fireplace, and then realized he was in his living room.
“You’re in your living room.” Marty explained. “You passed out when Maruice was about to read your fortune.”
“Ah. Where is everybody?”
“They all left.”
“You passed out.”
“I know, but why did they leave?”
“I just said.”
“You passed out.”
“What difference does that make?’
“They thought they should leave.”
“Their host passed out.
Mr. Willows observed the room and it looked quite dull.
“Well, if the party’s over, you don’t need to stay.” Mr. Willows concluded.
“Are you sure?” Marty asked. “You should take it easy.”
Mr. Willows then realized he had a bad headache. “I’ll make myself some pasta, then go to bed.” Mr. Willows explained. “I’ll be fine.”
“If you say so.” Marty agreed. “Well, bye.”
“See ya.” Marty walked out of the living room towards the door, and Mr. Willows heard a sharp click as it opened, then closed.
Mr. Willows observed his surroundings once again, and that’s when his troubles began. Mr. Willows felt a freezing chill run up his spine as a lump appeared to rise up from inside the floor, into his living room rug. Mr. Willows froze. The lump did too. Mr. Willows could almost feel cold black eyes staring into his from under the layer of crocheted rug. And then he charged.
He ran out of fright faster than he ever did. But the lump didn’t budge. Mr. Willows decided in a millisecond that he would stomp the lump if he got to it. He was gaining on it, only an inch away, and then bam! It was at the other side of the rug. Mr. Willows was furious, stupefied, but overall, scared. Mr. Willows gathered his courage, and then charged again. It got away. “Get out of my house you dirty beast!” Mr. Willows screamed as he went after it again. “I’ll have lump pie for dinner if you ever come back!” he yelled, even though he was terrified of it. He chased the lump around his living room, cursing as it ran in circles. Then it was gone. Mr. Willow stood in place, panting, sweating. He was positive he had seen an eerie black and white shape as the (Or at least appeared to) lump hopped out the emergency drain pipe.
Mr. Willows staggered over to the kitchen to get a glass of water. As he sipped it he thought, I must be dreaming. Calm Down. Fall asleep .You’ll wake up to the real world. Mr. Willows did not pinch himself, because he knew that it would hurt, and he would know he was in the real world. Mr. Willows tried to force the fact out of his head that this really did happen to him, but he couldn’t. I went through all this trouble and I am in for more. Mr. Willows galumphed off to bed.
Two weeks passed then it happened again. Mr. Willows was lounging on his couch, reading Great Expectations. And there it was. Once again, the lump grew from the floor. Mr. Willows almost jumped. I’ll pretend I don’t see it. Mr. Willows thought. Then I’ll charge. That lump will be flat before it knows what hit it. Mr. Willows sat still for another few minutes. The lump didn’t budge. Finally, he went. He ran all across the room, grabbed the chair from the coffee table, and started frantically smacking at the lump.
“Die, lump!” he shouted. “Shrivel up and wither away bump!”
For the second time, the lump started to make its way to the emergency drain pipe. This is my only chance. Mr. Willows realized. He took two steps forward- then dived. Time seemed to slow down to a second per minute before Mr. Willows caught the lump at the end of the rug, six inches from the emergency drain pipe. The lump did not struggle. It almost seemed to tremble as Mr. Willows hesitantly lifted the corner of the rug. He saw the mask of the lump. The mask of a bandit. The mask of a killer. The mask of a criminal- the mask of a raccoon.
“Why, hello there.” Mr. Willows said astonished and relieved. The raccoon still trembled. The lump had just been a raccoon. Mr. Willows thought. It all makes sense. The white thing in the attic. The black and white shape. What Maruice said was utter nonsense, but uninvited guests could be considered evil, I guess.
“Now, how did you get in here?” Mr. Willows asked. He then noticed the raccoon was very skinny, and could have easily fit through the emergency drain.
The raccoon seemed strange, even unnaturally affectionate. Seemed as gracious and loving as a cat. A pet raccoon. Mr. Willows chuckled at the thought. Then, he thought, why not?
“Well, I think you could use a little food.” Mr. Willows said. And with that he was off to the kitchen. The raccoon followed, and they headed away together.