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Thursday, May 13, 2021

The Wall Who Liked Spaghetti


 Today's prompt was to write a story from the perspective of someone other than a human. This is what rattled around in my head.

The Wall Who Ate Spaghetti

By Jerry Harwood


Stu was thrilled when the young boy stopped by his outlet cover and asked, “Hello?” Adults never listen to anything it seems. Kids do, but their preference is almost always to listen to dogs, cats, or for some a tree or special toy. Very few are able to listen and talk to a wall.

“Good day, sir. I believe you and your family are new to this abode?”

“Abode?” The boy’s question both alerted Stu to his antiquated English and the fact that this boy seemed to think nothing odd about a talking wall.

“So sorry sir, my last resident who took time to speak to me was, shall we say, another generation. I meant home. You have just moved to this home?”

“That’s right! And this is my bedroom. Sure enough, one of my sisters wanted it because you are colored pink, but I said, ‘No!’ because I wanted to be in the room on the highest floor. I’m a big boy now, so I can be up here on the third floor all by myself. And don’t have to share a bathroom with my two sisters.”

What is your name, good sir, since we will be sharing this room together?”

“George. But all my friends call me G-Bird.”

“Master George, where did the name G-Bird originate? I mean, how did you come by such a peculiar name?”

“When I was little, like last year when I was six, I was convinced I could jump out of a tree and fly. You know, like a bird. Tried it a few times till I broke my arm. Mom made me promise if I was up in this room, I wouldn’t try and fly out. I wouldn’t though. I know now I can’t fly until I make a good pair of wings.”

“Master G-Bird, then. I would highly advise against flying from any significant altitude – wings or not.”

The two continued on as G-Bird explained to Stu his plans to get cardboard from his parent’s delivery packages. Acquiring tape would be more difficult, but he was determined to do so. Stu was just delighted to have someone to talk with. He had heard people over the years, and had years where his room was nothing but a storage space for clutter, but it had been near a century since he had someone to talk with. It had been since the Captain Maddox was here in resident. Well, since he was in residence as a living person.

He had not heard Captain Maddox speak for a decade or more. The Captain, a crazed old man with dementia by the time Stu met him was kept by his family in this room. Stu knew it was usually children who spoke to walls, but the Captain had degenerated enough mentally that he acted like a three year old. He would spout the oddest nonsense and gibberish.

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It was three weeks into G-Bird’s new residency that the Captain came for a visit. He burst into the room through Stu’s left piece of wood paneling. The piece had pulled a bit off the wall over the years of the Captain’s explosive entries. Why the ghost would never use a door perplexed Stu as well as caused him no low level of acid reflux. Or as close to such a thing as a wall could get.

“What is going on in here Stu? Did you know there were two girls downstairs? Good scarring, it is. I set sail for the one girls room the day she arrived. Drafty closets, a tail wind under her bed, and me best pirate scowl to wake her in the middle of the night. Sure enough, I have that scallywag sleeping with her mum now. The other one is a bit more resolved I am just her imagination. But time will… What have we here? A young lad I see all tucked in and asleep?”

“That is my friend G-Bird, master George to you, and he is off limits.” Stu said. He tried to always be a gentlemanly wall, but he knew his voice carried a tone of anger and resentment. “You can travel anywhere you like. I seldom have a friend up here to talk to except your rattled mind. He stays and is safe up here.”

“Ah, a challenge you set before me? I shall have to load the harpoons then!”

“You shall do no such thing.” Stu huffed and his wall studs creaked. A bit of plaster cracked where his head met the ceiling.

The captain paid no heed and immediately began circling G-Bird’s bed. He swished through the bed itself, sending a chill to the young boy. The boy shivered and then woke as the Captain and his wild Einstein – looking hair hovered over the boy’s bed. Stu turned on his lightswitch and the room lit up.

“Stu? What are you doing? Don’t you know it is bedtime.”

“Sorry, master G-Bird. It is, you see, we have…”

“Was it the ghost? My sister said there is one? I very much would like to see a ghost.”

At this, Stu felt the Captain push through Stu’s midsection and out into the main hall. The captain only wanted attention if it was to frighten or scare. “Master G-Bird, that was marvelous! I have never seen the Captain so disgruntled. In a single comment you have deflated his whole purpose of being.”

“That was cool! Did you see him run through the wall!”

“I both saw and felt him, for it was my body he passed through.”

“I would love to see what that felt like.”

Stu thought for a moment and then flicked the lights on and off in a sign of excitement. “then I have an idea Master G-Bird. It is one that will give you the experience, give me something I have ever longed to do, and mayhap rid us both of this perplexing pink wall.”

Stu shared his plan and G-Bird loved it. Stu explained he normally couldn’t really feel anything, but whenever the Captain’s ghost flew through him he had a moment of sensation. He also explained that the reason the captain never used the door is that doorframes made him for the briefest moment recognize his forgone mortality. It took a while to explain in terms G-Bird could understand “forgone mortality” and the closest they got was “going through a door felt like standing in warm sunshine just as lightening hit you.” It was a rough metaphor, but G-Bird seemed to get the gist. And if Stu was right, everyone but the Captain were going to have a great evening.

Stu instructed G-Bird to sneak a hammer from the garage. G-Bird slowly peeled the wood paneling with pink paint off the wall in the section the Captain always entered through. Then he laid it on the floor in front of the area as a makeshift tarp. Stu then helped push out nails by sucking in and then blowing out his breath as G-Bird pulled the door frame molding off. The top piece was smallest but hardest to reach for G-Bird. It took a desk chair, four books, and a precarious  brick from the yard to build enough scaffolding. There wa a moment Stu was sure the whole project would come collapsing around them as the chair rocked back and forth with each pull of the hammer’s prybar. Fortunately, the molding popped off and was much easier to reassemble where the wood panel once stood.

“Now, all we have to do is wait for spaghetti night,” Stu said. “For of all the meals I have ever seen it is that one I wish the most to taste.”

Four nights later, Stu gave G-Bird a double wink of the lights as G-Bird went downstairs to tell his parents he was hungry and was getting a snack. He grabbed the Tupperware of leftover spaghetti, still a bit warm from dinner. He set it in a chip bag just in case his parents would ask question. Stu thought this an exceptionally clever trick when G-Bird told him.

G-Bird crawled into the wall holding the spaghetti container open. On his back was his two cardboard wings. They were not the same size and the right tilted downward as the duct tape faltered. “I’m Ready!” G-Bird said.

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Stu then turned his attention to his outer wall. The Captain was no where in sight. All this planning and this would be the night the crazy old ghost chose to take off. Then there was a faint, “I’ll be back tomorrow!” come from G-Bird’s sister’s room. Then a breeze as the Captain turned the corner.


“Oh Captain, do not bother master George tonight. He is very frightened.” Stu had a whole speech prepared. He did not need it.

The captain rose up near the hallway roof and shouted, “Tis the very night I’ve been waiting for then!” The Captain charged down the hall and shot straight through Stu where he always did.

As the Captain came through the moved doorway he gave a shriek. Simultaneously his ghostly presence was, even if for a fraction of a second, compromised. The surge of his flight lifted G-Bird off the ground and into the air. He flew seven or eight feet onto the bean bag below, but not before his Tupperware of spaghetti tossed upward into the Captain’s aura and more importantly, onto Stu’s palette. The leftovers sprawled over the pink wood paneling that would need to be replaced. The Captain, likely, would never enter again after this trick. But a young boy would know he truly could fly and Stu would forever be the first wall to eat spaghetti.


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