(Warning: screaming, cussing, ranting and hilarity below)
This happened last night. It scared me silly, but my husband laughed his ass off when I told him about it.
Last October, my father-in-law, Charlie, passed away. He was one of those odd souls who didn’t like to clean or have much to take care of, so he chose to live in a small camper. He had his TV, his DVD player, VHS player, and a radio; everything you could fit into an efficiency apartment was in that camper.
Well, this summer, my husband finally moved the camper to the house, and the girls and I turned it into my get-away office. Now some of you might have read a blog that I wrote about Charlie and the mysterious coffee cup that he used. Well, Charlie was also the most mischievous old fart you can imagine....
Last night, the snow fell hard, the wind blew hard, and by dark, a couple of inches of the white stuff coated the ground. Matthew turned the heat on in the camper, and later, I made my way out there to work on revisions for a paranormal romance I’ve finished. The wind blew so fiercely that the camper swayed and vibrated.
The scene that I was working on involved a scary moment for my protagonist. A big rat enters a public restroom and turns into this vaporous she-monster. Something began knocking behind me where I always sit. At first it startled me, and I jumped. It kept rapping, so I thought maybe the window wasn’t secured, but after checking it, I discovered that it was. Rap. Rap. Thonk. Bang. Frowning, I thought maybe it was tree limb because the camper sits under a big maple with low branches, or it might have been that the wind had torn the under penning loose.
The black rat thing in the novel’s scene transformed and attacked the heroine. The heroine escaped its claws and trapped it in a toilet stall.
A gust of wind slammed into the camper. Rap. Thonk. Bang!
The rat transformed into the vaporous yet half-solid monster, and the heroine beat it with her purse until the restaurant manager walked into the bathroom. The she-thing disappeared into a puff of smoke. The heroine told the manager a story about a big rat that jumped into the toilet and crawled down the hole.
Something rattled next to me—on the damn table.
I glanced over at my elbow. A long, dark tail slipped by and hid under the mirrored Faith shelf you see in that photo.
I leaped out of the bench seat and stood in my oh-so-big 24″ x 24″ living area and screamed some more.
Now, mind you, I don’t do girly-girl screams. Nope. Not me. I’m an Appalachian gal. I let out war whoops that can clear a football stadium and put the fear of God into my kids. Even my husband will vacate the premises when I’m startled or scared. Why? Because scaring me pisses me off. (Thank you psycho ex-husband!)
“You li’l son of a bitch!” I performed a jig in my oh-so-big living area.
The “huge” rodent ran out from under the shelf on the table, up over my big pillow, over the top of the books in the corner (there are several in that corner behind the red dictionary), and across the long shelf behind the bench seat. The li’l snot jumped up on the stovetop and stopped. It stopped! It sat up on its hind legs and looked at me! Looked at me!
“You li’l bastard! Get! Get out o’ here! You’re not welcome!”
I swear, its beady, black eyes appeared as if they were going to explode from its head. (I imagine mine did too, but that’s beside the point.) The rodent ran along the back wall, around the covered sink and the jam box playing Hotel California (how ironic is that???), down to the furnace, and jumped from it to the floor.
“Get lost, you furry son of a bitch! You’re not welcome here! Out!”
It disappeared through the crack in the bathroom door.
Exhausted, I stood there for a moment, then decided to go to the garage where my husband was sitting by the pot-bellied stove. I told him my story.
“And if your dad came back as a mouse,” I ranted, “he’s now in the bathroom shitting a brick!” I finished my story, and my husband howled with laughter.
No, it wasn’t a rat that whizzed by my arm on the table, but seeing that frickin’ li’l black tail after tweaking a scene in a paranormal romance that involves a rat really wigged me out.
Later, when I went back to the camper, the mouse came out from under the bunk. I realized that he was a determined li’l bastard; there was something he wanted. Then it occurred to me. Snow, cold, and hunger. My oldest boy had left a bag of sunflower seeds in the camper, so I sprinkled some on the floor. Mr. FIL in Mouse Form slipped out, snatched a seed, and scurried under the bed where I heard him munching away.
And Charlie? Well, I truly believe his presence is in that camper. Too many odd things happen out there in that writer’s get-away. And since he delighted in reading my fiction and teasing me to pieces, I’m not surprised that he was reading over my shoulder again.
If he came back in mouse form, he better behave from now on. I don’t mind sharing the space and yes, I’m a soft touch...but just don’t startle me while I’m revising scary scenes.