The Uninvited Guest
Nothing could strike fear into my childhood heart like the unexpected and undesired visit from The Uninvited Guest – or as we liked to call it – The UG. We all acquired a sixth sense that alerted us to the approach of the UG. As we played our fun little innocent childhood games without a care in the world, something unseen would hit us. We would all stop at once as if in a trance and chant together in a whispered voice, “Hell – fire! will kill a bug, but nothing stops the bumply UG.” We all knew what that warning meant. My younger sister would start crying, so my oldest sister would swoop her up and run as we all scrambled to our favorite hiding places.
But it wasn’t just our family who responded in this way. The neighborhood kids would scatter in all directions as they ran home to their parents. Their moms would look out the window, spit out a silent curse in our direction, and withdraw while pulling the shades tight. It’s like there was a small dark cloud that settled down over our little section of the street.
Yet for some strange reason, the adults in our family were in thrall to this creature. They went so far as to even allow it to rub its slimy bumply lips on their vulnerable necks. It still makes me shudder when I picture it. Once this bizarre ritual had been completed, they would go inside and things would settle down a bit. Then one by one each of us kids would sneak back into the house to see what manner of evil was taking place. Many times the UG would be ordering my parents around and demanding what kind of feast they were to prepare for its dinnertime. Thankfully, none of us kids were on the menu for the whims of the vile creature.
Later on in the night as we tried to sleep, I would be overcome by a feeling of dread. I just knew that something was prowling around our bedroom, hoping to fulfill its desire for an innocent’s blood. As I lay in bed with my skin crawling with goose bumps – goose bumps, mind you, not bumply bumps, I felt a need to see what was going on. When I forced myself to pry open one eye, I would see this huge dark hand on the ceiling coming down to get me. I realized it was the shadow cast by the nightlight of a hand coming toward me. And not just any hand – it had the bumply bumps of the bumply arms of that bumpfully bumpedy bumply UG. As I stared in terror I heard it rasp in a gravelly whisper, “Hell – fire! will kill a bug, but nothing stops the bumply UG.” At that, it turned around and headed out the door snickering its evil little bumply UG snicker. The end.
I admit. This is quite a bit different than my usual Throwback Thursday, but I was inspired! When I say that all of my cousins on the Landry side will know what this story is about, I mean every single one of them! And probably most of the other relatives on that side of the family. This story was inspired by and dedicated to Therese Wynhoven Mouton, my dad’s first cousin on the Patureau side of the family. But everyone knew her by her nickname “Tez.”
She was quite the character, though she was not the detestable creature that I write about in my story. Like I said, she was just the inspiration. She did show up at our house unannounced and uninvited, we did run away from her when she showed up trying to kiss everyone, she did like to tell people what to prepare for dinner or what to watch on TV, and she told us scary stories at night. Oh, yeah, and she did have bumps all over her body.
The poor creature! She didn’t ask for those bumps and she probably didn’t have slimy lips. She was just a lonely single woman who was trying to connect with family. She was very independent too. She was a school teacher, she enjoyed writing stories and poems, and she liked to travel. But she also liked to scare little boys who probably gave her bumpy profile a hard stare. As she brought that shadowy hand down on me from the ceiling, she didn’t say anything about a bumply UG, she was reading a poem by James Whitcomb Riley, “…and the goblins gonna get you if you don’t watch out.” And that’s why I’ve been such a good boy ever since!