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Story ID:2098
Written by:Richard Laurent. Provencher (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Family Memories
Location:Truro Nova Scotia Canada
Person:Richard L. Provencher
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(C) Richard L. Provencher

When I was a young child a skittering mouse made me truly fearful. The sight of this creature chasing his shadow across the moon lit section of my bedroom floor was unnerving. How dare he interrupt my sleepy-time? boyhood thoughts thundered. I cowered under the covers fearful he would search me out. Yet, I was fascinated at his boldness, although tired from my boyhood adventures before supper.

As a member of the Knights of the Round Table slaying three dragons brought on a special need for rest. Why be anxious about a mere mouse? Tomorrow I had duties to fulfill on behalf of King Arthur. My trusty wooden sword remained by my side under the covers, though splinters threatened to pierce my thigh. And this little creature had the audacity to interrupt my solitude?

Boldly, I leaned over the edge of bed catching every movement. And the wee creature was daring enough to pause and check if he had an audience. Yes, brave, fearless me, watching from afar. Four scrabbling feet continued to rush back and forth seeming to chase dust balls. And I leaned further over bed’s edge proud of my growing fearlessness.

By now I was a cheering section of one.

As I began to get bored of my entertainment the mouse disappeared. Unfortunately I had leaned too far over the edge of the bed observing his antics. I began a slide to the floor, as an avalanche of snow. Except in my case it was a skinny eight year old with cold feet.

Desperately I clutched my blankets trying to prevent any further descent. I easily envisaged my well-designed face getting mashed. Perhaps ending up looking like a flat-mugged Pekinese dog, or being nibbled by some four-footed rodent. Perish the thought of even rubbing away the shine or having blood spilled on mom’s newly waxed floor. Whew, was my relief when a boy’s fearful journey to extinction was halted.

Yet, I faced a significant threat to my young life. Since I was looking directly into the gloom of darkness lurking under my bed. There was no light to distinguish friend or foe, leftover clothes and a pair of sneakers being classified as friends. And I knew the monster in my dreams resided there, often growling its presence during the night.

We had an unspoken treaty. I would remain above and not disturb his lordship below. Now my dug in toenails held me, as I lay slung across the bed, my face inches from the floor. Certainly those glowing eyes did not belong to a misplaced teddy bear.

Nor even that trickster mouse that lured me into the bogeyman’s den. I was terror-stricken and decided to leap out of bed. My bare feet hit the floor in a race to find mom and dad before something began chewing on my bones. Forgotten were my magic sword, and the boldness of a young knight. Only escape was on my mind. Just to be away from that awful silhouette of foredoom which must by now be mere inches from my left heel.

“MOM! DAD!” I screamed.

Many years later I feel obliged to reveal the sequel to that thumping-heart escape. It begins each morning after I arise and prepare to shave. And my breath quickens as I face another creature, this time from the mirror.

It’s me!

* * *

The Canadian children’s writer, Budge Wilson, said to me years ago at an Author’s Day reading, “Persevere, Richard---Your day will come.” I now ask you to consider ordering a copy of my first young adult novel of 19,500 words, “Coming Through the Mist” from www.rainbooks.com by Richard L. Provencher. This story, for all ages, is about a father-son magical adventure and also how they learn to deal with a family tragedy. Please keep posted for more published material from www.rainbooks.com My first picture book, “A Wish for Christmas” will be coming out October 2007. Other work will follow in 2008.