Sunday, October 21, 2018

Waiting out the storm

by Ravo (writer), Sandy, Utah, October 31, 2012

Trouble at a mountain home far from the 'Frankenstorm'

I’m hunkered down now, safe in my home office, furtively typing this blog post, as the Cougar paces back and forth in the hallway outside my door, its claws clicking on the hardwood floor. Occasionally, it coughs with blood lust and frustration at not being able to break through the door and get its revenge. It didn’t have to be this way. I simply screwed up hiding the bear traps under the fallen leaves in the forest that surrounds my home. But after it had eaten the last of my pet cats, I was spurred into action to take it out once and for all.

Unfortunately, it caught my scent on one of the special traps that I had baited with raw venison, and its switching tail somehow triggered one of the other traps I had hidden nearby under the fallen autumn Aspen leaves. The terrible steel jaws snapped shut on its tail, and after what must have been hours of agony, it chewed the tail off to escape. It immediately started casing my house, looking for me, and was interrupted by my wife who was just pulling her car into the driveway. As she got out of the car with her arms filled with sacks of groceries, it attacked. I could hear her screams from inside the house, and after a prudent interval, I came running out of the front door, only to see the Cougar dragging the remains of her body off into the forest, its tawny coat appearing in yellow patches as it moved further away through the brush and dappled shadows of the pine trees.

I knew it would eat her entirely within a day or two, so I was safe for a while. I went back inside the house, fortified myself with a shot of whiskey, and called my insurance agent. I had maintained a very large life insurance policy on her through the years, and he assured me that the company would have to pay for this incident. So, it wasn’t entirely a bad thing. Besides, she had been giving me a lot of crap lately, and I deserved some compensation; at least enough to pay for an extravagant tour of the world’s best vacation spots with the young Norwegian hottie that I had met at the ski-in bar down the canyon.

But, the Cougar had other plans. Just when I was beginning to relax and a get a grip on things, I glanced out of the sliding glass door in my living room, and there it was; huffing loudly, its nose pressed against the glass, fogging it up with its fetid breath. Of course, I freaked out, and retreated to my office, looking for the old shotgun that I had kept loaded against any home invasion by burglars. It wasn’t there! My wife, an obsessive housecleaner, had moved it somewhere else without telling me!

As I scrambled around looking for a weapon, it crashed through the glass in the living room, and oblivious to the cuts that it received, leapt through the opening and chased me down the hall to my office, where I managed to slam the door in its face and lock it securely. I’m not sure how long it will hold against the brutal, snarling lunges by the filthy beast. I had bought the door from Home Depot, who had imported it from China, where the company that sold it had made the thing out of paper mache cleverly painted to look like an exotic, expensive, hardwood.

As I have no food or water in the office, I don’t know how long I will last. I have the TV on, and am watching the hurricane strike the east coast of America. I looked thirstily at the storm surge, the ‘Frankenstorm’ of the century, where forecasters have predicted thirty-foot waves on Lake Michigan, far inland from the coast. I devoutly wish I were in New York City, or anywhere else for that matter, sipping a Latte, and watching the ridiculous newscasters being blown about in the surf as they bravely report on the unfolding disaster, but hey, we all have our problems to deal with, don’t we?

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