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 Category:  Biographical Non-Fiction
  Posted: February 13, 2020      Views: 11

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Spring is almost here. Will we venture outside and write less or be inspired to write more? I'm curious to see. Happy writing and reviewing!

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The monster within.
"The Octopus" by jsholmeg

It was a modest, red, clapboard house with a white, picket, three rail, fence, four-feet high, as my small stature recalls, demarcating the dwelling from the relatively quiet street twenty-five feet away; a one-car garage, having two windows and a loft full of stuff..

The backyard was spacious with numerous forty-foot tall pines, needles covering the grass-less, sunless floor. It was adorned with a clothesline, doghouse, swing, well-constructed stone grill, six-foot high dollhouse, livable, and a

sandbox. A large wooden door protected the arched breezeway separating the garage and house, leading to the always used, side-entry door.

It had two stories with a basement. Mom and dad occupied the first floor- sis and I had the entire second, which was partitioned ( when it was decided that we should be segregated ). I resided in the east half and she in the west, each having one window. A bathroom was included - no bath or shower - door below, to the kitchen was always shut at night for privacy!

Usually, once a year, about October, the bright-orange tanker would pull into the driveway, the driver would drag a huge hose, unscrew a fixture from the outside wall, then disgorge something for about twenty minutes - return the serpent to its berth. Mom would sign a paper, he'd thank her and away he'd drive.

But, my favorite haunt, indoors, was the basement.

I'd go down and rummage through dad's tools, hammer things on his workbench, 'projects' that were never completed. Then, he built a separate office, constructed an HO-gauge train setup, complete with mountains and trestles - the works. I think they figured I liked the grotto so much that I would be an unseen pest, down there, when the weather was bad.

It was a cold, concrete-floored area of exposed joists and water pipes above, smelling of lacquer, paint, turpentine and sawdust. Every sort of building implement hung from the walls; nail, screw and bolt jars hung from above with their screw-off lids affixed to a beam.

There was a light bulb here and there and two small windows, barely below ground level, that I couldn't reach ( unless I climbed atop the bench ); a washing machine and odds and ends everywhere.

After one descended the stairs, just to the left, stood a six by six-foot tank which, I figured later, held the liquid, the orange tanker had deposited, to feed the huge, iron 'Octopus' sitting in the exact, middle of the room. It rose from floor to ceiling, twenty feet in girth, arms extending in all directions with one-foot circumferential tentacles, wrapped in shiny, silver insulation, to conduct warmth to the kitchen, bedrooms, living room, bathroom and the second floor.

In the winter, as it growled, I'd open the hatch-door and watch, entranced, as the flames roared, producing rising, hot air, warming every corner of the house, as the snow swirled around, outside, by the biting, thirty-mile-per-hour gusts.

They don't make them like that today; but, then again, they don't make anything today
like they used to! Sometimes, though, that's for the better.

True Story Contest contest entry

Author Notes
I'd hate to have seen the heating bills!
Pays one point and 2 member cents. Artwork by Bruceiorio at

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