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Gore Vidal

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One would be in less danger
From the wiles of a stranger
If one's own kin and kith
Were more fun to be with.

Ogden Nash
Tortoise from Hell
Wednesday. 8.18.04 9:37 pm
The other day, a lecturer of mine gave us a horrible assignment to complete. We were to write about a childhood memory. The horror. I was forced to revisit the darkest corners of my mind where my traumatic experiences are kept locked behind sturdy doors. Where I hide all memories of my childhood.

It was a beautiful cool evening. I was at a park with my parents. But this wasn’t your average park with crummy swingsets and scraggly trees which wouldn’t have offered relief to a scorched squirrel. No, this was a Park. Lovely tall trees with great leafy branches spread protectively over those nearby, squirrels included. A charming pond, with duckies splashing cheerfully in it. Lush green grass – the kind that makes you want to lie on your back and roll around like a dog.

But rolling was the last thing on my mind that evening. I was four years old and bored to tears. The lousy park didn’t have a swingset. I scowled and scuffed my way to the pond where I tossed some rocks moodily at the ducks. Unfortunately, my aim at that age was such that I might as well have been trying to hit the ice cream man at the other end of the park. Who I was also not allowed to approach as it was too close to dinnertime. My mood darkened even further, and I turned away to search for an easier target.

Just then, a movement caught my eye. I walked over to the edge of the pond to investigate. A tortoise! Paddling sedately in the shallow water. It obviously wanted to follow me home. I thought of my previous pet tortoises. Rather entertaining creatures, even if they were absolute rubbish at surviving 7-floor falls. Still, they made pretty patterns on the ground.

I poked the tortoise experimentally. Perhaps I should have introduced myself first, for it seemed instantly peeved and chomped down on the offending finger.

I flew to my feet in shock and indignation, my captive finger yanking the feral creature out of the water. I tried to dislodge it by shaking my hand violently. The hellbeast responded by grinding its slavering jaws even more firmly into my fragile flesh. It evidently wanted my finger as a trophy…if it didn’t drown on my blood leaking steadily down its throat first.

I did the only thing left for me to do in that situation. I howled and ran for Daddy. Wailing, I charged across the park. Blinded by tears of pain and anger, I tripped over some brat’s inflatable ball and crashed to the ground. The impact left me with skinned knees, and wrenched the Favoured Pet of Lucifer off, sending it sailing into some bushes.

I sniffled and clambered slowly to my feet. My finger hurt like blazes. I felt utterly and downright wretched. Would I ever recover from the horrific attack? Even my vengeance had been denied. The Diabolical Shelled Fiend had escaped, leaving only a tortoise-shaped hole in the bushes and a bloody strip of finger flesh.

I sniffled again. Then I spied a sharp-looking stick by my feet and the blasted ball which had got in my way. A loud bang soon ensued. Huh. I felt better already.

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Very enthralling story. You are one of the great storytellers. I would be honored if you were to participate in this contest: NuTang Folklore Contest
» About_NuTang on 2004-08-18 10:59:06

hey, cool writing skills u got! i'm assuming stripey bum at ur flooble is u? do u know a Loong Jaymee, currently doing psychology at HELP as well, by chance?
» jean` ( on 2004-08-21 01:44:54

thanks loads! *glances behind* stripes...yeap, that'd be me. and sorry nope, don't know Jaymee, tho we have almost the same name. oooohh...an invite to a story contest! i am so honoured!!! but but...*checks the calendar* that's only a day away!!!! WAIL!!!
» theZEBRA on 2004-08-22 11:49:32

hey Jamie!!..that must be one bad childhood memory..oh what a waste..you could do well in the contest..
» the_reactionist ( on 2004-08-23 09:25:41

For your sake, the contest will be moved back until Friday. Check out www.grahf.tk for more details.
» le_battement on 2004-08-23 10:27:35

Lesson of the day : Don't poke tortoises.

Paul LOVES Wazza.
» Paul ( on 2007-07-09 03:56:25

OMG Is that Wazza's picture?! He's getting hotter and hotter! Take off that shirt dammit!

Charter Member of Wazza Adoration Society
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» Malik ( on 2010-09-06 04:06:33



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