17 comments

Funny Horror


“He pissed in his cup!” Emma says to me as she is tying off the kayak on the trailer. “I just got that line! It’s not Piston Cup! When Mater and Lightning McQueen discover all of Doc Hudson’s championship trophies, Mater says that Doc did “What in his cup?”


"Pass me that rope. We need to tie the kayaks to the rack. Not to each other like we did the last time...when they fell off on our first turn," I am on the other side of the trailer tying knots. Already the sun is high in the sky and my shirt is soaked with sweat. “That’s why we always laughed so hard at that line, Em.”


“And dad quotes it all the time: 'He did what in his cup?'; I can’t buh-lieve I just got it! I’m old enough to drive now,” Emma says. “Are there other lines like that too?”


“Oh, Em, all Disney movies are made for the parents' entertainment. This is how we are able to sit through them with our kids!” I tease her. “Remember when Lightning McQueen is left repaving the road after he thought that nice couple was going to save him? He calls out that he is in Hillbilly Hell. He says his IQ is dropping! I’m not sure how many toddlers would pick up on that humor.”


“Mom! Cars was my all-time favorite Disney movie when I was little. You made me a Lightning McQueen cake for my second birthday. I loved that movie,” Emma said. "If you pass that rope back over here, I can tie it down here."


“And we didn’t mind watching it, over and over and over again,” I agreed. “The Dusty Rust-Ez scene taught us that race cars don’t need headlights because the race track is always lit; and so is his brother. Disney movies are great for catching double meanings of words. We also loved “Frozen” when you started watching it.”


“Oh no! Not that one too!” Emma groaned. "WALT DISNEY LIED to me! We have to change our dog's name now.”


“You’re being dramatic. And, speaking of dogs, I think we are all set here and ready to roll! Let me just let the dog out one more time and then we can head out to make some paddle swirls!” I said.


Emma hopped in the car and waited, thinking that she was going to have to re-watch all of her favorite movies again. How much had she missed out on? Is this why it felt like everyone was always laughing so hard and quoting lines from the movies? Damn, she needs to ask her best friend about this. Did she already know about this? She pulls out her phone to start a text when her mom suddenly appears in the car window, breathless.


“Have you seen Walter? I think I let him out this morning, but I can’t remember if I let him back in. I can’t find him and his dish is empty. Maybe I just forgot to feed him this morning in our rush to kayak?”


Emma hops out of the truck and slams the door with a little more force than necessary. “Don’t worry so much, Mom. He always shows back up. I’ll get him.” 


Emma gets the dish and pours some dry food into it and begins to noisily shake it. “Walter! Here Walter!! Walt! Want some food?! Walt?”


The two stare at each other on the back deck silently pondering their options. Do they leave to go kayaking? Or do they wait for their ten year old collie? He could take hours to find his way back from his adventure in the nearby woods. Do they abandon their day of kayaking on the river to go find their wayward beast?


As Walter has gotten older, he has started to wander less often. But that doesn’t mean that he stays home all the time anymore. They live out in the country and those fields across the street sometimes call his name. He feels the need to run through the fields chasing mice and rabbits. Deer, squirrels, and chipmunks play hide and seek games with him in the woods behind the house. Walter gets bored with his people friends and needs to be among his furry friends on occasion. 


Sometimes Walter can be found in five minutes. Sometimes Walter can be gone for an afternoon. But he always comes home for dinner. Usually in need of a bath.


Emma and I shrug and head for the kayaks. Walter will be back about the same time we are. We will all be hungry, tired, and wanting dinner at about the same time. "It's your turn to give Walt a bath," I tell Emma as we hop in the truck.


It’s now been three days since Walter has been home. Emma has alerted all the social media at her fingertips that our dog is missing. They are now going to make up flyers to pass out to their neighbors. All five of their neighbors on our country road. They aren’t giving up hope, but at the same time are starting to think something happened. 


“This is the cutest picture of Walt I have, Mom,” Emma said, “Who am I kidding? They are all cute! Look at those floppy ears? His tongue sticking out? He looks like he is smiling for the camera here! I miss him so much!”


“We just need one for the flyer, maybe two. We can use one of his face close up and then a whole body picture? Oh, for pete’s sake. We need one clear picture. That one will work. Put that one on the flyer. No, not your phone number! Use my home email address. We don’t need a bunch of quacks texting or calling,” I said. “We can pass them out as soon as they are printed. Just let me know.”


Emma and I are at the last house on our road. We saved this house for last. It is the creepy house. The house with the longest driveway. The driveway that is hidden with the most trees. The driveway that has two pick-up trucks with those odd and box-like units that sit in the bed. If asked what color, We would both have to shrug and say, “maybe greenish grayish brown?” 


When we passed the mailbox at the end of the driveway we noticed that it was overstuffed with mail. “Do you suppose they’ve gone away?” Emma asked.


“He lives alone. He doesn’t have any family in the area. He likes to keep to himself,” mom said as she continued down the rutted driveway. Yeesh, I sound like a horror movie. 

__

“So when you knocked on the door, no one answered?” the officer asked. 


“That’s right. We just left the flyer on the front porch under a rock so it wouldn’t blow away and then got back in our truck and left,” mom said.


“And where did you get the rock?”


“The rock?”


“You said you, 'just left the flyer on the front porch under a rock so it wouldn’t blow away', so where did you get the rock?” the officer’s eyes bore holes into the mom’s. She was afraid to look away for fear of breaking down and crying.


He snapped his notebook shut and suddenly smiled. “Okay, that’s all I need from you. Have a good day!”


“So he wasn’t living there alone this whole time, Mom?” Emma meekly asks.


“Apparently he had a lot of us fooled for a very long time,” I say. 


“He worked with his wife to catch all of those animals? How many did that officer say? Hundreds? Stuffed? Hanging on walls? Sitting on shelves? It will take months before they can sort through them all? We didn’t even smell anything! How is that possible?”


“They were professionals...well, they, and then he was the professional. I can’t believe…” I stopped there not wanting to finish my sentence. My hands curl into Walter's fur as he lays sleeping near my feet.


“You can say it, I’m sixteen mom. I’m old enough to understand the Disney jokes now mom, I can handle death and murder. Just say it: He stuffed and mounted his wife.”




August 14, 2021 15:45

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17 comments

Alex Sultan
19:47 Aug 17, 2021

This was fun to read. You caught jokes in 'Cars' that I did not as a kid, and it makes me feel nostalgic. I like your dialogue here, especially for Emma. It sounds very believable. If I could give feedback, and this might be just me, I feel like you have a couple of sentences that are a bit too long. The rest of the story reads fluid, but the line 'Emma has alerted all the social media at her fingertips that Walt is missing and they are now going to make up flyers to pass out to their neighbors.' leaves me just out of breath while reading. ...

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Francis Daisy
21:18 Aug 17, 2021

Alex, Great feedback! Excellent suggestions! What else? :)Amy

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Michael Martin
14:31 Aug 25, 2021

I love a story with a twist, with a surprise ending. If I can give a bit of constructive feedback, the changes in perspective were a bit jarring. The story is told from Mom's POV, but there are times we get the inner thoughts of Emma. Also, I'm not exactly sure what the rock means... I re-read the story a couple of times but I'm not sure what the importance of that was - why would the cop focus on that? Still, I do like a dark turn in a seemingly happy story - I appreciate the turn this took. Thanks for sharing :)

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Francis Daisy
20:36 Aug 25, 2021

Michael! All good points! Why would the cop ask about the rock? Her prints would be on the rock? She touched the rock? She picked up the rock to hold the flyer down on the porch so it wouldn't flutter away in the breeze, so the cop knew she had been there. But the cop also knew she had been there, clearly because she left the flyer...was the rock used to break a window in the house? I don't know! I have so many gaps! I must fix this! I don't have a criminal mind...what leads the cops to the house. How do I make this leap? I need to go back a...

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Francis Daisy
20:39 Aug 25, 2021

OH NO! The story was accepted and so I can no longer make edits! That has frustrated me before too...rats!

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Francis Daisy
20:40 Aug 25, 2021

And, it should say, "its content" not "it's content" on their website. Just saying. Maybe they can no longer edit either :)!

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Michael Martin
20:53 Aug 25, 2021

lol it happens. I hate it when I notice something that I need to update/fix AFTER my story has been accepted!

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Francis Daisy
21:07 Aug 25, 2021

I tried this in a comment box somewhere, but I think it got lost in the strings somewhere... I think I would add more in the interrogation scene with the police officer. She placed the rock on the flyer to hold it down, but the rock was found inside house, in a pile of broken glass from the sidelight of the front door. The police had been called to check on the house because the mailman had gone up to the door to say he could no longer deliver the mail unless they emptied their mailbox when he noticed the broken window and became alarmed. W...

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Daniel R. Hayes
05:59 Aug 24, 2021

Hi Amy, this was a great story! I have to say that this one really caught me by surprise, especially the ending! I didn't see that coming. I thought the first line was great, and the dialogue was very engaging. Great job as always! :)

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Francis Daisy
11:01 Aug 24, 2021

Hi Daniel, I have to admit, this story caught me by surprise too. When I wrote that last line it made me roll my own eyes at myself, but I couldn't help but write it. My daughter was the inspiration for the beginning of the story and a friend's lost cat sparked my imagination. I keep practicing my craft. Thanks for the encouraging words! :)Amy

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Daniel R. Hayes
15:15 Aug 24, 2021

I always say that inspiration is all around us, we just have to pay attention. When a story comes together, it's like magic. Great job :)

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01:02 Aug 19, 2021

This story was an unexpected but great roller coaster! I loved the narrator and Emma's relationship (I am also ashamed to say that I am older than Emma and never picked up any of those Disney references lol). You described the scenery really well, and the characters' dialogue flowed nicely. The best twists are the ones you don't expect, and I certainly didn't expect this one. Great job!

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Francis Daisy
03:40 Aug 19, 2021

Hello Phoenix, Thank you, your words mean so much to me! My favorite stories have always been the unexpected twist stories, so to be able to create one is very exciting and new for me. I am new to Reedsy and each prompt pushes me to keep trying. I am glad you liked my story! :)Amy

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Alex Auclair
19:39 Aug 15, 2021

Woah... that took a turn I did not see coming and I dug it. I loved all of the adult Disney references. Was the ending a reference to any movie in particular, or just a dark side of the human psyche? Either way it was a fun read! Great job!

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Francis Daisy
20:43 Aug 15, 2021

Alex, That story was inspired by my daughter and a friend's lost cat story. Her lost cat story did NOT take a dark twist for her, thank goodness! I'm glad you enjoyed the read. I don't usually write dark stories, so this was a new avenue for me to walk. Thank you for liking my story! -A:)

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Francis Daisy
20:43 Aug 15, 2021

Alex, That story was inspired by my daughter and a friend's lost cat story. Her lost cat story did NOT take a dark twist for her, thank goodness! I'm glad you enjoyed the read. I don't usually write dark stories, so this was a new avenue for me to walk. Thank you for liking my story! -A:)

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Francis Daisy
21:03 Aug 25, 2021

There are a lot of questions surrounding the rock. I think I would add more in the interrogation scene with the police officer. She placed the rock on the flyer to hold it down, but the rock was found inside house, in a pile of broken glass from the sidelight of the front door. The police had been called to check on the house because the mailman had gone up to the door to say he could no longer deliver the mail unless they emptied their mailbox when he noticed the broken window and became alarmed. When the police arrived, they found the roc...

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