Pine Monsters

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
A young boy's granddad is murdered for money by his ruthless mother and stepdad. All seems lost, but, impossibly, the prospect of vengeance and retribution arises, fear is banished, evil defeated and love conquers all. Told in handy, bite-size chunks, some of which rhyme.

Submitted: February 07, 2012

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Submitted: February 07, 2012



Pine Monsters


One dark night in the middle of the day

my step dad wakes me up to say:

“You gonna stay all day in bed?”

and slaps me me twice about the head


I shiver underneath my sheet

He helps me up onto my feet

Then letting go  my stinging ears

says, “I got some news you’ll be glad to hear.”


A gentle kick warms up my shins

and then he looks at me and grins

“Your Granddad’s dead, we’ll have to stop

at a cheap and cheerful coffin shop.”


He leaves me to get washed and dressed

too much in shock to be distressed

I can’t believe my granddad’s gone

without him here I’ve got no one


Mum’s looking on the internet

and says, “I’ve found the cheapest yet.”

then grabs our gloves and hats and coats

and we catch the bus to John o’Groats


Once there we find a little man

who hand-makes coffins, with his hands

Mum asks him if he can provide

a box for granddad, four feet wide

(the doctors proved with measuring tape,

he wasn’t in the best of shape)


As they discuss the finer points

my eyes espy some dovetailed joints

see they’ve been made with loving care

and smell the sawdust in the air


I walk between the stacks and banks

of silent, golden pinewood planks

And then I stop, I think I see

a plank of pinewood wink at me


I stand, I stare, I barely breathe

I want to stay, I want to leave

This can’t be right, this can’t be good

- there’s faces in these planks of wood


The faces snarl, the faces grow

they come towards me, moving slow

Their eyes are cold, their eyes are dead

I wish I was at home in bed


But I am frozen, frightened stiff

I start to cry, I start to sniff

I beg my legs to run away

and take me with them, but they stay

(I look for my mother, she’s holding a phone

she speaks to my stepdad, they both start to moan

Next second they’re crying and screaming and such

Who would’ve believed they loved Granddad so much?

They’re both so distraught they can’t see my despair

and pass up a chance to pretend that they care)


The wooden ghouls surround me now

they fence me in, there’s no way out

I’m in a box, I’m in a crate

the police will soon investigate

a missing person, four foot ten

I never will be seen again


Then just when I think all is lost

a lifeline to my life is tossed

A plank falls down, or is it pushed?

Who cares – and through the gap I rush


And as I seek a place to hide

I see my granddad (four foot wide)

‘Get behind me, quick,’ he said

“But granddad, I thought you were dead.”


‘No time to talk about that now,

the who, the what, the where, the how

Just disappear behind my back

and careful not to bark or quack

If them there monsters hear a sound

we’ll both end up below the ground

So don’t just stand there, looking puzzled -

grab this fur-lined sound-proof muzzle

I’ll stultify your eyes and ears -

there’s things you shouldn’t see or hear

You’re just a child, there’s lots of time

for you to learn about men’s crimes

One especially, sad to say

that will be clear by end of day.’


(The pine monsters circle like scavenging birds

blaspheming and scheming in half-whispered words

Dribbling and drooling and licking their lips

imagining me on a sandwich, with chips

Shuffling closer with unblinking eyes

imagining Granddad and me in a pie

Creaking and groaning they come closer still

like Birnham to Dunsinane, in for the kill)


My Granddad leads me through the hoards

of  grasping, snatching wooden boards

and takes me to a safer place,

then turns to face me, face to face


‘Hold onto your hat and your crocodile shoes

I have to reveal some incredible news,’

he says, as I suppress a scream

Your mum and your stepdad ain’t quite what they seem


They think that I’m dead and pretend to be sad

They’re wicked and evil, and also quite bad.’

‘But granddad, I saw them, they can’t be consoled

they’re tearing their hair out, they’re losing control.’


‘Look don’t be mistaken by things what you see -

this weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth

It's not about losing somebody they need

it’s all about selfishness, power and greed


See, they wanted me dead, the murdering swine

to steal all the money what’s legally mine

And here’s why they’re feeling bereaved and bereft –

I hid every penny, there’s not a cent left!


Their hearts are not broke ‘cos they think that I’m dead

They’re broke ‘cause their bank account’s deep in the red

They poisoned my coffee, they poisoned my stew

and next on the menu, my dear boy, was you

Since you would inherit all my worldly goods

they’d have to remove either you, or your blood.’


The monsters are on us, so close that their breath

washes over us smelling of sawdust and death

The smell of new tables and cupboards and drawers

of chair legs and bookshelves and coffins and doors


It seems we are doomed to be dead very soon

unless we remove ourselves quick from that room

But the exits are blocked and the windows are shut

and we have nothing with us to saw, chop or cut


‘Oh Granddad,’ I cry, ‘get us out of this mess’

He smiles, reassuring, and says ‘I confess

this problem’s beyond me, I haven’t a clue,’

and as he conks out says: ‘It’s all up to you.’


I don’t have the time to complain or object

just to catch him before his old head hits the deck

And as my hands grab his convenient ears

my brain filters out my most stupid ideas


And leaves me with one I’ve no choice but to use –

my granddad’s old steel toe-capped sensible shoes

Holding onto his lugholes I swing him around

and twenty five pine monsters fall to the ground


Again and again Granddad orbits my head

- later he’ll ask why his ears are so red

and why are they stinging and why are they sore

and why do they stretch halfway down to the floor


For now nothing matters but staying alive

as I gain extra strength from my will to survive

I batter and club a wide path to the door

and ten minutes on Granddad’s conscious once more


As we escape, as we flee and retreat

an explosive explosion sweeps us off our feet

When we finally manage to open our eyes

we witness a cloud spreading dark cross the sky


The coffin shop’s burning, it’s blazing away

the heat’s too intense to allow us to stay

Anybody left in there must surely have died

for who could survive being toasted and fried?


That means I’m an orphan, and normally, folks

that’s hardly a reason for laughter and jokes

But on this occasion, I think you’ll agree

It’s fine, since they planned to kill granddad and me


It’s not like they treated us better before

but let’s not go picking at all those old sores

They’re gone, and from now on we’re beating the blues

and Granddad announces there’s more happy news


‘Some good will come out of that terrible pair,’

he says as we wander home, walking on air

‘The fools thought they’d profit from our demise

but here’s the fantastic, ironic surprise:


It’s we who will benefit now that they’re ash

It’s us two who soon will be swimming in cash

See, they thought they were signing, the week before last

a contract that made them both rich when I passed


They thought they were clever, but sadly ignored

the pages that said both their lives were insured

So your future’s secure son, in spite of their schemes

and I’ve one more chance to chase after my dreams


There’s a couple of things, though, I’d like you to learn:

Don’t be too upset when I’m dust in an urn

Don’t let your guts grumble or tumble and churn

You’ll know by and large it was simply my turn


It comes to us all sometime, sooner or late

whether puppy or princess, we share the same fate

So live your life wisely, as best as you can

and try to respect every woman and man







The End


© Copyright 2017 Chris Gerard. All rights reserved.

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