I came in really late last night and my wife was really upset. Well, actually she was probably quite irate but I wasn't going to find out until she let me back in the house; hopefully that would be very soon, maybe even tomorrow because she had already thrown my blanket and pillow out in the garage and locked all the doors.
It wasn't my fault but she will never believe me, but here is what happened. I ran into this horrible thing out in the woods and I couldn't get away. This thing looked like a man at first. I saw "him" up on the distance leaning against a big old tree. When I got to within about 20 feet or so I yelled out, "Hello, how's it going?" But the guy never said a word or even moved. That was when I noticed how still he was. For a moment I thought I was losing my mind and that he was just a shadow but I could see his face and his wide brimmed hat.
I walked within just a few feet of the dude, very slowly and quietly but concentrating on his face and his chest. Was he breathing? I really couldn't tell, but as soon as I passed him he seemed to wake right up.
"Howdy!" he said, "It sure is a lot of weather we've been having lately isn't it? I mean what with one thing today then another tomorrow and on into Tuesday there's always something going on right? Well sometimes a corn dog aint the best thing to have around when your old uncle comes to visit. But how was I supposed to know that?
He mumbled and talked and moaned and drooled but he never shut up. He fired away at me with question after question but never once slowed up enough for me to get out more than "uhh" or "err". Eventually, I had no idea at that moment how much time had passed, I found myself leaning against a nearby tree listening intently to the drone of his voice. What was he saying? It reminded of me of how a fan can sometimes sound when you are trying to go to sleep. Or the electricity in the walls humming and buzzing.
Suddenly I realized that it was dark, had been dark for quite some time, and I thought of my wife. I was due home hours and hours ago. "I won't be late this time," I had promised. "You're always late! And last year you forgot altogether!" She also reminded me of the time I had been a day late in signing the Life Supprt forms and her mother (God rest her soul) had been removed from the breathing machine and of yet another time when she had to deliver our first child at home alone because I was out playing pool all night. But I insisted and swore that I would be home in plenty of time to take her to that Anniversary Dinner she had arranged for us. All this went through my head in two and a half seconds, but it was long enough to break the spell the old Talking Tree Leaner had on me. I screamed as loudly as I could and just took off running through the dark night time forest.
It wasn't long before I was standing across the street from the house. I dreaded going that last few feet across the street. I knew it was already too late. My wife would be in bed (or gone) but either way the doors would all be locked and my key was sitting safely on the dresser.
"Howdy," suddenly from behind me. 'Oh No!' I thought, 'that old talker that was leaning on that tree! It has followed me home!'
I turned and there was Walter. Walter was the neighborhood crack head. He grinned at me with horribly broken and stained teeth and said "You done went and seed him dincha? He's a talker that one is"
"What?" I understood (well sort of) what he was saying but not what he meant.
"That ole talkin tree leaner cat mon," Walter pulled out a set of earphones. I could hear, "I went down to the river to watch the fish swim by. But when I got to the river I felt so lonesome I could die..." Walter grinned and said, "Gotta have music when ya go out in the woods. I dont never wanna hear that talkin tree leaner no more!"
Hmmm.... The Talking Tree Leaner?
Beware That Old Talking Tree Leaner
Update added 4/21/11
According to this the Old Talking Tree Leaner is sort of a vampire but instead of blood it thrives off of boredom. The more bored a victim becomes the more powerful the Old talking Tree Leaner grows!
That Crazy Old Talking Tree Leaner
Copyright 2011 David Slone all rights reserved