A Halloween Story About Ralph, the Rarry
By k. b. dalai
Yep, that's it up ahead, that pretty little town perched on that cliff jutting out over the ocean. Nice and peaceful looking, it is. Nothing to indicate what went on a decade of Halloween's back.
O.K., take a left at the light. Uh-hu, next light, town only got one. Lotta folks traveling through here seem to take offense at having to slow down. You young'uns in too much of a hurry these days, don't wanna stop 'n smell the sea breeze.
Roses? Coffee, maybe.
Now drive on up to the end of the street - Whoa! Watch those potholes, now. When I lived here, folks would've been too proud to let things run down like this. Go ahead and park at that old rusted guardrail, next to the missing section.
Over there, - no, my side - see that white house with the blue trim? That's where those newlyweds, Tommy and Marie lived and where it all started. I know, 'cause I lived next door, vacant lot, now.
They were married less than a year when Marie started complaining about Tommy's overnights in
One day, or so Tommy told everybody afterward,he got lost in the back streets of Old Chinatown and stopped in a curio shop for directions. While there, he asked about a gift for his wife to keep her company while he was away. The shopkeeper, who Tommy figured to be older than Chinatown itself, shuffled into the back room, and eventually returned with an old, musty, faded wood box. When Tommy opened it, all he saw was a small six-inch fur ball. The shopkeeper called it a "Rarry."
Tommy had his doubts, but since the thing was cheap enough, he went ahead and brought it home to Marie.
As soon as Marie opened the box, she went bananas. She started cuddling and petting the Rarry, putting it down only long enough to finish dinner. That night Marie fixed a pillow next to her side of the bed for, and she even named the critter, Ralph.
Well, couple 'o days later, Tommy had to spend a week at a computer seminar in L.A. Yeah, I know, trading blue skies and soothing surf for smog and sirens. Anyway, he returns to find that Ralph has grown so big that it's - or maybe it's a he - now takes up most of the garage. And, what's worse, all the neighborhood women are crawling all over Ralph, stroking and petting him, borrowing into his fur, and muttering sweet nothings to him.
The men-folk, a squalid looking bunch if there ever was one, are scowling around in dirty clothes and hungry, growling that something's gotta be done. It seems that their wives were spending all their time with Ralph and not attending to their wifely duties, such as fixing meals, washing and so on.
Tommy agrees, and the men decide to drag Ralph to the cliff and push him over into the ocean. They grab anything and everything that comes to hand; ropes, shovels, chainsaws, whatever, and manage to yank Ralph from the garage and roll him up the street. All the while, the women are screaming at them not to do this, to put Ralph back and leave him alone.
The men rip out part of the guardrail - you can still see the hole - and wrestle Ralph across the grass to the cliff's edge. In the meanwhile, a storm blows up with thunder and lightning all around, and the surf exploding halfway up that five-hundred-foot drop.
Just when the men are ready for one last heave, lightning strikes a power transformer, sending a shower of sparks over the crowd and blacking out the neighborhood. Before the thunder fades a booming voice, felt as much as heard, echoes through the mob.
The crowd hushes. They glance around, unsure as to what's happening.
"Humans!" The voice cries again, and an eyeball big as a bushel basket, fixed atop a long stalk, pops up from Ralph, the Rarry.
Everyone backs off, muttering nervously to one another, wondering what to do next.
"People," the voice is softer now, almost pleading. "Please do not do this evil thing."
Why should we stop?" Tommy stutters a bit, and then plucks up enough courage to step forward and confront the creature. Always did have a lot of spunk, that kid. "You've nearly destroyed our lives."
"Because," came the thunderous response, "That's...." A pause as the eyeball swivels and peers over the cliff's edge at the ocean crashing against the jagged rocks far below.
"Because," the creature softly replies, pleading, and lowering its eye to look directly at Tommy.
"That's a long, long, way to tip a Rarry."
- The End -
Author's comment: To those old enough to understand the pun, I do NOT apologize.
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