Pennywise … and compounded foolishness?

There is a large grate in the sidewalk by the corner of my apartment building. I stopped walking over it very early in my time living here because the metal covers are uneven and tripped me a few times. 

Not long after I stopped walking over it, I noticed that there’s something that makes unsettling noises down there. Sometimes it sounds like the clearing of a large, long, very phlegm-y throat. Sometimes it’s a deep swallow. Sometimes a gruff grumble. 

So yes, obviously, a monster lives down there. I mean, obviously. Some kin to Pennywise. And I was lucky that I only stumbled over the uneven grate because an actual trip and fall would clearly have made me easy prey.

I’ve heard the noises nearly every day of the years I’ve lived here. Until these last couple of months. The grate has been markedly silent.

Did the monster find a better lair? Did someone pour a bus-load of rat poison down there to end the monster’s reign? No clue.

This morning I left for work late. Late enough that a full work crew had not only set up across the full intersection at my corner but already dug up a lane-wide rectangle in the street and piled a shipment of giant yellow pipes along one side of the road. The traffic light was out and a somber-faced crewman was in the middle of the street with a sign that said “slow,” drowsily directing traffic, occasionally pointing at a larger sign at the curb that read, “SHARE THE ROAD” (with each other, with the work crew, with the monster?).

The monster’s grate was covered in pylons and the full corner was cordoned off so that I had to cross mid-block in order to walk down to the subway. 

So … is the city finally seeing about the monster? Are they rooting it out or bringing a large-animal vet to find out why it’s gone quiet and tend it? Are they doing an elaborate catch-and-release so they can lay all the new, yellow pipe? Where will they release it? What makes a good replacement home for a sewer monster? Are they setting motion an “Incredible Journey” story that will see the monster beating all odds and finding its way back to its original home?

(Yes, I’m silly. But I’ve been thinking about the monster a lot lately, almost missing those creepy sounds from underground in these months of silence. Seeing all that activity in the street this morning made this flight of fancy inevitable.)

It’s the 16th annual Slice of Life Story Challenge!
Head on over to Two Writing Teachers
and see what the rest of this year’s slicers are up to!

Original Slicer - GirlGriot

17 thoughts on “Pennywise … and compounded foolishness?

  1. I certainly hope the monster will be taken care of! That’s what the city workers are for, right? I love this light-hearted post. I never step on grates when I am in the big city for the same reason.


  2. Same…never walk over the grates! LOL I thoroughly enjoyed your monster story-great imagination. And it’s true, once you get used to something and it’s gone, you miss it. Where will the monster go to next?


  3. Lainie Levin

    I’m thinking about this monster you’ve got here. Silly? Eh. Silly is as silly does. I prefer the term “inventive.” Or “creative.” Or “intellectually mischievous.”
    I’m also thinking that this would be a GREAT fiction prompt…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lainie Levin

    All right all right all right! Challenge accepted. We did a 100-word challenge (my attempt is my blog post today) in class. I have two stories for you! Here’s the first one, which is as clever as I always expect these two friends to be:

    Something felt eerie. No one was outside, and the grate’s open. Yesterday my friend was walking here, they were here to test out a myth. The myth was if we fell into the grate, you would die. I haven’t seen them since. I stepped towards the grate, wondering why it was open, but I tripped and fell right into the abyss. I landed on the squishy ground? Next thing I know I’m being thrown onto a stage with a microphone. Here I am 2 months later- new lead singer of The Goo Goo Dolls. The old lead singer…had an accident…`

    By: Greta and Chloe

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lainie. I don’t think I actually have the words to tell you how happy your post made me today, how happy these comments make me. This is just … beyond! I love that you brought my monster into your classroom and that your 5th graders ran with it! I’m so honored and have a giant grin on my face as I write this! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lainie Levin

        Well, I’ll tell you what. Your post, and this challenge, made OUR day. I just knew we weren’t going to have a good time with my original plan. Just glad you were there to shake things up!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Lainie Levin

    And here’s story #2. Let’s just say some FUN was HAD today!

    By Alex, Lee, and Grant

    The Monster’s Lair

    George wasn’t looking where he was going, ran into some “caution” tape, and tumbled into a manhole.
    George’s mom came, “Are you okay?”
    “Yup,” said George, “Mommy, I’m going to explore.”
    “Come back!” as George’s mom ran to get help.
    Meanwhile in the tunnel, George was running. The noise increased. He turned a corner and there was the monster.
    Later, animal control was going through the tunnels. The sounds got louder as they approached the corner and went into the room.
    “Ahhhhh!!!” the animal control technicians yelled. They covered their eyes. Finally they looked up, and saw an air conditioner.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Slice of Life Day 10: Challenge Accepted! – Soapbox: The Way I see Things

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