Article: 261280 of talk.bizarre
From: Andrew Solberg <>
Newsgroups: talk.bizarre
Subject: Marquette House nightmares: 3
Date: 1 Dec 1995 01:14:12 -0500
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Status: RO


I am weeding the lawn.  My son is watching me.  He is three years old.  He has
found a stick and is poking the ground with it.  Mostly, though, he is watching
me work.

The grounds of the house are overgrown.  The house is a rambling plantation-
style mansion that probably dates back to the Civil War.  It backs up on the
bayou.  Tall shrubs screen the house from inquisitive neighbors.  The shrubs
have never been trimmed.  There is ivy growing up onto the columns of the
porch.  It has never been trimmed either.

There are many weeds in this lawn.  Wild onion and spider grass grows profusely
here, colonizing the St. Augustine.  I must keep the lawn neat.  It is part of
my job.  I have a trowel and a hand rake, and a canvas bag on my belt.  I pull
the weeds and put them in the bag.

There is a large oak along the side of the house, close to the stablehouse.  I
am weeding close to this tree.  My son has grown bored and is looking for
something to get into.  He sees that the tree has many acorns.  He begins to
pick up sticks and bits of bark, and throws them at the acorns, trying to knock
them down.  I watch him play.

He is a fair shot.  Some of the branches hang low enough for the acorns to be
within only a few yards of his arm.  He knocks down a few acorns and collects
them greedily.  The rest he cannot dislodge.  He reconsiders his strategy.

There is a broom leaning against the house.  He runs over and picks it up.
Holding it by the bristles, he clumsily bats at the acorns.  Again, a few are
low enough to be knocked loose.  The rest are too high.  My son is young and
easily discouraged.  He begins to cry.

I move to comfort him.  There is a sudden TCHACK! sound, as six-foot spines
of some kind of organic material spring up from the ground in front of me.
They look like the quills of some giant porcupine.  There is also a creaking
noise.  It is coming from the oak tree.  I see that its limbs are moving.  My
son is crying and does not notice.  I am frantic.  I push past the quills.

I cannot move my feet.  They are buried in the grassy lawn.  The lawn has
become swampy and is sucking down my legs.  My calves swiftly disappear into
the grass, as to my thighs.  In seconds I am buried up to my waist, utterly
unable to move.  My son is some ways distant from me.

The oak tree reaches down a gnarled limb and scoops my surprised son up off
his feet.  The limb cradles my son the way a nurse would hold a newborn in
one arm.  It lifts him up into the lower reaches of the foliage, close to
a cluster of acorns.  My son recovers swiftly from his shock, and picks a
lapful of acorns.  The oak limb then gently lowers my boy to the ground.
As the branch creaks back up to its usual resting place, my son waves
goodbye to it.  Then he comes over to me to show me his treasure.

I find that the sucking pressure is gone, and I can worm my way free from
the ground.  I look at the acorns my son has collected and brush off his
shirt where the tree has touched him.  I realize, now, that my masters
do not care about me at all.  I am secondary.  What they really want is
my son.  When it comes time, they will make him one of them.

There is not a single thing I can do about it.

This post is COPYRIGHT 1995, Andrew Solberg.  All rights reserved.
Standard usenet distribution is acceptable; other forms of reproduction
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Andrew Solberg is HWRNMNBSOL:, Math Dept., Rice U.