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Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
Ross Murray
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is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at ross_murray@sympatico.ca
Posted 10.31.05
Stanstead, Quebec

ROSS MURRAY

Two twisted tales of terribleness

Children of the Creamed Corn

"What can I get ya?" the one-legged waitress asked Jim and Sue as they settled at the Midonowhere Truck Stop. "Our special today is Chef Stu's stew served with creamed corn."

"Just a coffee for me," said Jim. "We just got married this afternoon and we're on our way to our honeymoon," he added for no apparent reason other than for exposition purposes.

"Oh, come on, Jim!" Sue scolded. "We promised we'd immerse ourselves in local culture on this trip. We'll both have the special. I love creamed corn!"

As the waitress turned away, Sue leaned on Jim's shoulder. "Oh, Jim! I can't believe we're husband and wife. And I'm so glad we waited."

At the table behind them, a one-armed farmer put down his copy of Dismemberment Monthly and whispered across the table to a schnauzer having schnitzel. "Did you hear that, Buddy? She's a"

"I heard," said the dog. "That must have been quite a sacrifice."

Jim turned. "Hey, did that dog just talk?" he asked.

"Don't be silly," said the farmer. "I'm a ventriloquist. In fact, we're all ventriloquists here in Midonowhere. 'Ventriloquist Capital of Iowa,' that's what they call us."

"It's true, Jim. It says so right on this souvenir placemat," said Sue.

And it did, right next to the small diagram labeled "Gateway to Infernal Pits of Hell."

Later, after Jim and Sue paid the bill, discovered their car wouldn't start, were chased through the seemingly abandoned village by a mysterious presence, passed out from the drugs that had been slipped into their side dish of creamed corn and woke up to find themselves lashed together hanging over a boiling pit of pure evil, the couple regretted not having ordered their lunch "to go."

Beside the boiling pit was a throne surrounded by the townspeople in a zombie-like state (Iowa). All of them were missing one limb or another. On the throne sat the schnauzer.

"All hail Buddy!" the people chanted.

"Thanks for coming, folks," said the dog. "With this virgin sacrifice on tonight's harvest moon, we'll be able to live for another millennium. Talk about good timing, these two showing up like that."

A winch began to lower the couple into the pit.

"I love you, Jim!" Sue screeched.

"I told you it was stupid to wait until we were married," Jim hollered.

All of a sudden, the winch jammed. The townspeople gathered around to try to unstick it but because they were all missing limbs, they couldn't get a handle on it. Before they knew it, the harvest moon had set and the Gateway to Hell had closed.

"Dangit!" Buddy grumbled. "Why couldn't you people be more careful around farm machinery!"

The townspeople sheepishly freed the couple, fixed their car without charge and sent them on their way with vouchers for a complementary meal next time through town. "Sorry for the inconvenience," they chanted. "Y'all come back now."

The Polishing

The old caretaker eyed the sleeping 10-year-old closely. He leaned in and touched the boy on his forehead as his parents watched anxiously.

"Yup, the boy's got the polishing, all right," said the caretaker.

For weeks now, Mr. and Mrs. Norom had been living a nightmare in their new isolated Maine hotel. Each morning they would wake up and find their son Billy sitting catatonic in the middle of the floor. Surrounding him were all the hotel's metal serving trays, cutlery and brass fixtures. Written over and over on the wall was the word "OSSARB."

"Can't you see?" said the caretaker. "Hold that silver tray up to that word there. Look at the reflection. 'OSSARB' spelled backwards is 'BRASSO.' The boy's trying to tell you to polish the damn metalware."

Mr. and Mrs. Norom were relieved and set about polishing the house from top to bottom in the knowledge that they were finally freeing their son from the grips of this strange paranormal spirit.

Unfortunately, "OSSARB" wasn't "BRASSO" spelled backwards but an acronym for "Okay, Spirits: Sending Around Ripe Bodies," and two days later, Billy pushed his parents and the caretaker in front of a runaway street-sweeper. Which just goes to show you shouldn't try to second-guess the paranormal.

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