Birth Of A Legend

By Jonathan Crimmins 

As the leaves turned orange and the autumn air grew colder, Donald Westfield found that his thoughts kept drifting towards the past. With nothing else to do since his wife was out running some errands, he went down to the basement to retrieve his hidden "memory box." Mr. Westfield knew that he really shouldn't keep any evidence and that there could be potential trouble if the box was ever discovered, but he just couldn't help himself.

After removing the box from its hiding spot, he hunkered down onto the floor. He was much too old to carry the heavy box up and down the stairs. No, it was better to look through the box in the basement. Prying the box open and pulling back the packing material, Donald's blue eyes sparkled as he saw the matching mask and gloves that had started it all. He had bought them many years ago after he spied them through the costume store's main window. The mask depicted the snarling face of a mutant gorilla, with a hint of reptile thrown in as well. He had tried to justify the impulse buy to himself by making plans to wear them while handing out goodies to the local trick-or-treaters on Halloween, but was still not completely sure why he'd decided to make that particular purchase.

A few days later, his wife Nancy awoke him in the middle of the night. She nervously whispered to him that she thought she'd heard someone outside. He groggily agreed to go downstairs and check it out. Through the living room window, he spied two teenage boys, presumably trying to steal from the apple tree in the back yard. He quickly pulled on a heavy brown coat and prepared to go outside. As he spied the mask and gloves while he headed towards the door, an idea popped into his head and a smile crossed his lips. Yes, he could definitely take care of this himself.

Somehow, he had managed to sneak up behind the trespassers without them noticing. With a throaty growl, he lunged at them. The little pukes were so frightened, they didn't even scream. Their faces grew pale, their eyes widened, and the pants of the one with the greasy brown hair darkened with urine, but they didn't scream. They just ran off like a couple of big-ass birds.

The only thing that made him laugh harder than that was how their story made it into the local news. Somehow, their fright made them change a six foot one man in a crude monster costume into a seven foot tall, muscle bound monster. Naturally, they left out the part about trespassing. Donald knew that he was onto something and soon constructed some wooden monster feet with four pointed toes to keep with the reptilian elements of the mask. After adding some weights to make them produce deep prints, he laid out some tracks. That, coupled with leaping out at people in his "costume," convinced people that a monster was on the loose. As the many yellowed newspaper clippings in the box could attest, "The Maplesville Man-Monster" filled the headlines for years.

Looking back, he had foolishly risked getting shot, but luck seemed to have been on his side. Although his family disapproved, they kept his secret. After all, he had argued, his pranks boosted the local economy thanks to all the tourists and merchandise sales. As he placed the box back into its hiding place, he toyed with the idea of revealing the truth. That thought was quickly pushed aside. After all, where's the fun in that?

This story is dedicated to Verne Langdon

Notice: Neither the author or the publisher endorse hoaxing and shall not be held accountable for any potential injuries, deaths, or fees that should arise as a result of hoaxing.