image: Edvard Munch via Wikipedia
“From my rotting body,
flowers will grow
I am in them
and that is eternity”
Some how I lost the intro to this prompt. I had written:
Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie (Sunday) Writing Prompt #113 “Backpfeifengsicht”(noun: a face badly in need of a fist). I don’t know just who wanted to punch Mr. Snod.
“There is no need to incorporate the word into your poem or story only to describe such a person in vivid and agonizing detail. Create an unlikable character. Whether it be an arrogant self-righteous hero or a cowardly and manipulative villain or anything in between. It could even be a specific part of yourself that you have never been able to accept.”
Most people never took to Mr. Snod. There was something creepy about him. He breathed creepily. He walked creepily. He sang to himself creepily. And, of course, he thought creepily.
He was the upstairs boarder. Long days of silence would be punctuated with shrill shrieks, and mumbly moans. Mother said never to mention these episodes to Mr. Snod. “He has his own private afflictions,” she would say. I just thought, “Creepy.”
Mother never explained how Mr. Snod came to be our boarder, our only boarder. But I don’t think she welcomed the idea too greatly. I once saw her cringe and cry during a Snodian episode, as I came to call them.
I forgot to mention Mr. Snod smelt creepy. A kind of Snodian stench went about with him. Old bubblegum wrappers, stale Glade scent-thingees, cold coffee and musty basements. He crept so creepily up and down the stairs, I never heard him, just smelt him. It took hours for the air in the hallway to clear.
I read the word “odious” in a book. “That’s Mr. Snod, all right!,” I thought. “Creepy and Odious.” I always played in neighbours’ yards, ate dinner at friends’, and eventually never gave out my address or phone number. I was sorta used to Mr. Snod by then. I only confided in his existence to extremely, very extremely close friends. Otherwise classmates would have taunted me. And Mr. Snod.
As I approached my hormone-driven teenage years, I’d become rather used to Mr. Snod upstairs. I missed the cursing cries and grumbly groans when all was quiet upstairs for too long. Or what seemed like too long.
Then, Mr. Snod exploded. No, there weren’t pieces of Mr. Snod all over the stairway. But, the nefarious noises (I read the word nefarious in a book) would start at dusk, and by dawn, his throat finally wore out.
“Mr. Snod must be a relative,” became my way of thinking. How else could Mother put up with the stereographic sounds? Unhinged uncle, a confused cousin, a befuddled brother.
My hormonal instincts (with the over-active imagination, Miss. Sned, my grade school teacher said I possessed) melded with slightly romantic and gothic notions. Mr. Snod was Mother’s former suitor, driven mad when she choose my father. Out of kindness, she let him stay upstairs. Or, he had been her secret lover. When caught, my father bopped him on the head. To hide the crime, Mr. Snod became our boarder. Perhaps to punish Mother, too.
The truth was far more mundane. No madness or romance.
My mother died in a freak accident. Just before dawn, she headed to a friend’s house – a 25 minute drive along the interstate. The rays of the emerging sun must have blinded the tracker-trailer driver in front of her. He swerved wildly, and the trailer toppled over, spilling it’s cargo. My mother, being the sort she was, pulled her car over and got out to see how the other driver was. She slipped on a banana peel, the cargo was bananas and well . . . .
Mr. Snod must have seen it on the internet (I assumed he was a consumer of child porn – it fit his creepiness) or heard it on the news. He began wailing weeps, crying calls, and generally sounds of deep despair.
I became a nut-bar after her death. Mr. Snod was so forlorn too, and now was my boarder. During a particularly cacophonous round of great grief, I thought it best to console ourselves. As in nightmares, I crept up the bare wood stairs, knowing that the 6th one crackled.
There was no creepy of the creepiest, Mr. Snod. I didn’t have him as my boarder. In fact we never had.
@ Pylor, 2015