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The Creepy Crawly Hairy Scary Things in the Basement


Klaus Yurk

Copyright © 2001
All Rights Reserved

The things are quiet right now so I don't have to think about them.

I can play for a little while. Later Mommy yells out the back door. "Jimmy! Jimmy Penney, you come in to dinner right now!"

I know she is not so angry as she sounds so I yell, "I'm coming," and finish building my canal with my new Tonka Caterpillar. But she is a little angry so I hurry. I break the dam and watch the water running just fine from the puddle behind the garage to the ditch by the alley. It is really neat.

I have to take my Tonka Caterpillar into the house or Tommy next door might steal it. Last summer he took my Official Brett Favre football and never gave it back. I was awful mad but I did not hurt him. I guess what happened to King makes us sort of even-steven. I put my new Tonka on the porch and go wash my hands so Mommy won't get mad.

We are having Shake n' Bake chicken tonight and the smell makes me hungry. Mommy says. "Let me see your hands, young man," but she doesn't look at them very good. She is wondering where Dad is and if he is sleeping at a motel with his "secretary," whatever that is. I don't think a "secretary" is a very good thing because it worries Mommy and makes her very angry. She thinks about what she would do and how could she take care of me if she got a "divorce." It is all fuzzy and dark and cold. It scares her.

She sighs and lets go of my hands. She starts to eat like the chicken is not real good, but it is. I know Dad is not sleeping so I say, "Dad will be home soon, Mommy" but she thinks I am asking her a question and she answers quietly, "I think so, Jimmy." Then she says, "Don't talk with your mouthful." She is upset and does not eat very much. But the chicken is good and I eat lots.

After dinner Mommy does not say anything so I go to the living room and put one of my favorite "Star Trek" shows into the VCR. It is about an older boy named Charlie who can do things with his brain that other people cannot. Captain Kirk does not like Charlie so very much because he hurts people. I have seen the show many times. I always like it.

When I see Dad's car coming I go out on the front steps. Dad likes to see me there waiting for him when he comes home.

The things are moving again. I can see them. They are coming up closer to the hole in the basement. I bend a few of them and they stop moving. But most of them are not so weak anymore that I can make them dead. They are stronger now. And I think what I did with King was a "dammit!" mistake, like Dad says.

The old blue Chevy Nova comes around the corner and Dad waves at me as he drives up the driveway. "Hiya, Champ." (That is what he likes to call me.) "How was kindergarten today?"

"Fine." I jump off the steps. "I drew a picture of our house. Do you want to see it?"

But he doesn't want to. He is wondering if Mommy is mad and if she will believe the story he is going to tell her. It is just a make-believe story like on TV.

"Maybe later, Champ," he says quietly, going up the steps, but I know he does not mean it.

I kick a big leaf that is laying on the sidewalk. "Dad, the creepy things in the basement are coming up again." I say it fast because I know it will make him angry. He gets mad and comes down the steps in a hurry. He grabs my arm so hard it hurts.

"Jimmy, I have told you and told you not to talk such nonsense! Dammit! I don't want to hear this shit again. I don't know where you come up with this stuff. Now, one more time. Listen to me! Are you listening? There is nothing in the basement, and I don't want to tell you again!" He shakes me hard, but finally lets go of my arm.

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