The Sasquatch Under the Bed
D. Paul Angel
Edited 10:34, 5 June 15 – I changed how I handled identifying the Sheriff in the narrative. I think it flows better now and makes more sense to boot! There was no substantive change to the story itself though. – DPA
“An escaped serial killer? In Little Rondewoke no less? The shock!”
“For a week now! A week!”
“Mayhem Magruder on the streets!”
“Heads are going to roll all right, but whose?”
“And the children? Won’t anyone think of the children?”
Mr. Peters was only just aware of the teachers next to him and their conversation. With his grant falling through at the last minute, he’d have to teach Summer School after all, and he wasn’t sure how many slots were left. He just knew it was already going to be a tight couple of weeks without this.
“Don’t you think Peters?”
“Huh? Sorry, could you repeat that?” blurted Peters, his name pulling him out of his reverie.
“Hhmph. Just like Tommy Thudberger buying time! I posited,” began Mrs. Carlton eying Peters carefully, “that that vulgar man must have shaved his beard and hair by now as way of disguise.”
Peters shook his head, “Frankly I’d be shocked if he were still here. I’d bet he’s not even anywhere near Upper Rondewoke at this point.”
As the rest debated Peters’ contribution, he again let the conversation drift away as he began trying to plan his Summer schedule. Soon enough the lunch bell sounded, ending the covnersation and leaving Peters scrambling to pack his stuff. Even though he wasn’t late to his own class himself, it was close enough to earn a couple of suppressed grins from the class. Ah well. Thank God for show and tell though. That way he could finish his schedule while he “graded papers” as the kids did their presentations.
He nodded in all the right places and said, “nice,” “good job,” and “excellent” enough that the kids didn’t notice how little he was paying attention to their various flowers, toys, and prized possessions. So he didn’t quite perk up in time when Tommy Thudberger was explaining why his “Show and Tell,” was really just a, “Tell.”
“The Sasquatch might be able to trust you,” Tommy said to his dubious audience, “but he can’t trust them.” Peters realized the only “them” in the room was him, so he started listening again. “He’s tall, and super, super hairy! And he’s all orange with grey stripes. I reckon its why most people miss ’em in the woods. It’s that camel-floss stuff.”
“That’s, uh, camouflage Tommy, and I need to check in at the office real quick. Everyone stay in your seats as Tommy finishes, OK? Go ahead Tommy, I’ll be right back.” Peters walked slowly to the door but once he was certain the class couldn’t see him he sprinted down the hall to the Principal’s office. Who was luckily also the Sheriff’s brother.
“Tim, I need you to get Denise on the horn right away!”
“What’s going on Peters?”
“During show and tell Tommy Thudberger began describing the ‘Sasquatch’ under his bed. Lots of hair. Orange, grey stripes…”
“Sweet Mary n Joseph in the Kitchen its gotta be Magruder!”
“That why I’m here and meeting your sister there. Tommy’s my student after all,” he added before Time could verbalize any protests, “I’ll have Perkins watch the kids.”
Soon enough Peters and Tim were walking up to Denise. Every single car the Sheriff’s Department had was on the street with their lights flashing, even as every last deputy tensely watched the Thudberger house. Peter’s knew that Tommy’s Mom Lacey never missed a chance at the spotlight, but he didn’t think she’d be enjoying this at all if she was home.
“Hey there Deni- I mean, Sheriff Tompkins,” Peters corrected himself after her glare. They dared not move any closer, grateful for not having been shooed away.
“This is the Rondewoke Sheriff’s Department. We have you surrounded Magruder, come out with your hands up.”
The Sheriff waited a few beats, and just as she was raising the bullhorn to her mouth again, there came a loud, gargling roar. Before anyone could say anything, a huge hairy figure was suddenly ducking its way through the doorframe. Its whole body was covered in a long, long coat of orange and gray fur.
“Dammit,” Peters heard the Sheriff mutter even as he heard himself exclaim to no one in particular, “Holy shit it’s a Sasquatch!”
“What?” Sheriff Tompkins snapped, turning to look at him with scorn. “That ain’t no Squatch. It’s just another damn Wookiee coming to steal hydrangeas. They like some damn Wookiee crack to ’em.”
She turned her attention back to the house and the bullhorn, “Off you go, Wookiee! Go on git! Back to Kashyyyk with you now. And don’t you think I don’t recognize you Lochacca! Git!”
Peters, thoroughly overwhelmed, found himself sitting on the street’s cool pavement. “So, all this time… Sasquatches were Wookiees, and Wookiees are real…”
“The Hell you talking ’bout?” the Sheriff demanded. “Squatches like azaleas. They hate hydrangeas. What the Hell kind of teacher are you?”