The FleaselÓ Chronicles - Book I: Be-brave and Be-have
The Fleaselís Domain
What are they?
They have never really been seen by a human being as far as I can tell, at least not in their true form, but I have heard them described by people who, from time to time, have been very close to one, or so they thought. Their descriptions are all quite different, but sometimes, strangely, quite the same. Iíll tell you this, some people say they have "red eyes, or maybe not". With "long, sharp teeth, or little baby ones" in a big, wide mouth that curls up on the ends like its hungry - or, perhaps, smiling, and "coarse fur that may sometimes be soft as cotton balls, all over a short, or sometimes long, body". Itís tail is "long and sharp as a whip - or maybe curly like a slinky". "Horns like a rhinoceros, or maybe a toy clarinet, poke from its head." Finally, its ears are "huge and pointed - like a bat, or maybe a bunny"; and "four legs with claws like a giant bird, or maybe even like the paws of a kitten." You can tell its around by its smell .... something like you would find in the darkest part of your back yard early in the morning when no one is around. Something that grows from the dirt and jumps up from the ground early on a damp springtime morning like an ugly old toadstool, or perhaps a springtime flower. What are they? People call them "fleasels" and they have been around since the beginning of time.
Fleasels are usually found in families - big families. They donít really like to be alone and never leave home forever. They have parents and brothers and sisters. They have Grandmas and Grandpas, Aunts and Uncles, even Cousins. Lots and lots of cousins. Fleasel families look a lot alike, but only different. They never cry when they laugh, which is most of the time, or, at least, when they arenít crying or doing something else. They donít die and are never sick as long as they get enough of the right foods to eat. But weíll talk about those things in the stories yet to come.
Where do they live?
Mostly, or so I hear, they live in the basement. But maybe some live in the attic, or even a closet. I know they donít like the chimney (too dirty), or the refrigerator (too cold and dark). I also know that we all have one or two of them, or a family of them, living in our houses. Sometimes they live outside Ė deep within big rocks on the side of mountains. You canít get rid of them so youíd just as well forget about scaring them away. Maybe you donít want to do that anyway, since most of the stories I hear seem like they may be good to have around........once you get used to them. My house has a basement and thatís where I am sure my fleasels live. My friend has some in the attic. She knows they are up there because she can hear them running around, or maybe not. They like to go outside, but only at nighttime. Nighttime is their time. Itís when they roam about looking for food and things to do to people, or maybe for them. During the daytime, nobody has ever, ever seen, or even heard, a fleasel. So, if youíre up at night, you may be one of those who gets to see, or maybe not see, how they really are and what they look like.
What do they do?
Many people wonder just what a fleasel does, and, so do I. It seems to do a lot, but, just a little at a time. It goes, and comes when, but only if, it wants to. Nobody knows just where, or why, or even how, but just that it does, (or doesnít). They donít do bad, necessarily. And mostly, they are good, or just perhaps mostly better than bad. They walk, and fly. But remember, we said nothing about their having wings so how they fly, if even they do, is hard to imagine. I donít think they do anything in the daytime, but Iím really not certain. At night is when they awake and do their deeds of good, and other things. Mischief is in their nature so I hear, but then, Iíve never actually seen one do any, so maybe it isnít after all, but I think so for sure. They donít like crying or things that are loud and often come about to see when they hear a fuss or feel a teardrop fall upon a cheek. Maybe its because they are angry, or maybe sad. But I do know one thing: Fleasels are always looking for something to eat. Do you know what they eat? I do! And that is what Iíll tell you next and you will be surprised or scared, or, well, just wait and see. But first you must know more about them.
Usually, fleasels wait until everybody in the house where they live is sleeping. Then, when nobody is left awake, and the televisions and lights are all turned off, and the story books have been put away, and the teeth have been brushed, they come up from their basement hideaways, or down from their attic lofts, or out of their closets, and look for food, lots of food. And what do they eat? They eat ice cream. All kinds of ice cream, and lots of it so Iím told. They creep up, or down, the stairs to find the refrigerator in the house where they are living. Then, quietly, when no one is looking, or listening, the fleasel will open the freezer door and look for ice cream. Chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, chocolate cookie dough.....any kind will do. They arenít particular where eating ice cream is concerned. But you had better have it in the freezer when they look for it. They fix a cone, or a bowl. Usually a big one. No syrup or whipped cream or cherries. Nothing else, just ice cream. Then, depending upon the night, and time of year, they take it to their lair and eat it up, or maybe go outside and eat their ice cream under the moon and stars with other fleasels in their neighborhood. They invented the ice cream party. I know that for sure.
And now that you know a bit about the fleasel, itís time you knew even more. So, letís get to know something about the fleasels who dwell within our homes, our imaginations, and our dreams. The stories that follow are real, or something much else. They happened just as I will tell you, or maybe a bit differently. But all are there for you to read and learn from. Maybe they will make you scared, or brave. You might cry, but laugh....or frown, but smile. Iíll tell you this for sure: After reading them, you surely wonít forget what you remember from them. And now, the first story ...............................................
Creaky Stairs ©
It was a very dark night and nearly winter time. Probably around November because the wind was cold and blowing hard through the cracks in the windows. That wind blew so hard the tree by the little boyís bedroom scratched upon the window pane like it wanted to come in from the cold, or from something scary. But who knows of anything that can scare a tree? The little boyís house was big, with many windows and doors. It had a basement that was fun to play in during the daytime when the sun shone through the tiny windows up high on the basementís stone wall. Toys were in that basement, and Dadís tools, and Momís sewing stuff. Some old books were down there too. They were books that no one ever read but, sometimes one would fall from the shelf where it sat and, if it stayed there for a while, the pages would be turned to different stories. Maybe when the little boy played with his toys in the daytime, while his Mom was sewing, he would brush against the fallen book and make the pages turn. Surely, no one was down there reading those old story books......or were they?
As he lay in his bed trying to go to sleep, the little boy was thinking about what fun he would have tomorrow. It was Saturday and everyone would be home. He would be able to play in the basement. November was too cold to play outside where he lived. The lights were all out and Mom and Dad had gone to bed just after hearing him say his prayers. He was all tucked in. Good and tight and warm. Now, between the time of goodnight kisses and sleepy time dreams, he would sometimes think about things in the house - especially noises that he may hear and things he knew about, and maybe didnít that were in the basement.
All of a sudden, just about the time the first Teddy Bear sneaked into a dream, the little boy heard something down deep in the house. Creak! Creak! Creak! What? And, then, again. Creak! Creak! Creak! That noise. A noise heíd heard just yesterday when going to play in the basement while his Mom was getting something from a shelf. He knew that noise because he, himself had made it happen when he went downstairs. It was the creak of the basement step, the middle one, when walked upon by someone. But......why tonight when everybody was in their bed asleep, or so he thought. Well. Just about the time heíd left it from his mind, another sound appeared. This one was different from the last, but still, a sound heíd heard before, and often. But what was it? Oh! Now he thought, the refrigerator door was what he heard. Like when Mom or Dad was looking for some food to fix, or milk to drink with supper. But wait! Theyíre all asleep but me. Iím scared and lonely. Too scared to get out of my bed to run to theirs. But, then, perhaps, oh maybe itís not anything but, well, I ........ And sleep was in his eyes and dreams were in his head, and morning came with a bright sun shining through that tree into his window.
"Good Morning", said his Mom. As she brushed the sleepy from his face and helped him out of bed. Breakfast was fast and furious since the little boy wanted to play badly. He had some new toys in the basement and couldnít wait to get to them. Since it was cold winter time, he knew that he would have to play inside and his friend Billy was coming over after breakfast to play.
When Billy showed up they headed straight for the basement where yesterday, they had put some boxes together to make a fort. As they went down the basement stairs, Billy stepped on the creaky stair. He thought it made a funny sound. Like a mouse or a balloon with the air leaking out very slowly. They were soldiers inside a strong fort and their job was to protect the people in the village from the dragon. No body had ever seen the dragon because the soldiers in the fort were so good at protecting the village.
Just after they started playing, Billy asked the little boy if he had dessert after breakfast. The little boy was puzzled when his friend asked such a question. No! The little boy replied to his friend. It would be silly to eat dessert after breakfast and my Mom would never let me do that. Billy said "then when did you eat your ice cream that was in this bowl?" The little boy looked, and sure enough, his friend had found an empty bowl with some melted chocolate ice cream left in the bottom. He was surprised at first because he didnít eat any ice cream yesterday. But then, they started playing again and he forgot all about it.
Soon, it was lunch time. The little boyís Mom called down the stairs and asked the boys to come up for a sandwich. They had been playing so hard that they forgot about lunch but when Mom called, they remembered just how hungry being a soldier and dragon slayer had made them. They ran upstairs and ate peanut butter sandwiches, two dill pickles, and a glass of chocolate milk. After finishing lunch, the little boyís Mom asked if they would like some dessert. Ice cream she said, "chocolate ice cream".
Oh goodie. The boys were still hungry enough to eat some of that. They were always hungry enough for ice cream and the little boy knew that just yesterday, Mom had gone to the store and bought a really big carton of the best chocolate ice cream ever.
Mom went to the refrigerator to get the ice cream out. But when she opened the carton, she was surprised to find that it was almost empty. Not even enough for one small person.
Humph! She said. Somebody has been eating more ice cream than they should lately. This is the third carton weíve emptied this week. When your father gets home, Iím going to ask him what he knows about this. Well, the boys had to settle for cookies and more chocolate milk. No ice cream today. Mom would go to the store later and pick some up.
After playing all day, the little boy said good bye to his friend and settled down for the evening. After supper, Mom fixed his bowl of ice cream and they watched cartoon videos for a while before bedtime. The little boy went to bed before his Mom and Dad. But shortly, they came upstairs to bed too since tomorrow was Sunday and they would be going to church. He wasnít asleep yet when he heard his parents coming to bed. It sounded like Mom was telling Dad that he should stop eating so much ice cream so he would not get fat. Oh, well! He was sleepy and ready to go to sleep this night since he played so hard all day.
Creak! Creak! Creak!
What was that? The little boy jumped straight up in bed. Creak! Creak! Creak! He heard it again. Thinking that his parents may be up, he ran to the hallway and then, when he saw a light coming from the kitchen, down the stairs. As he rounded the corner by the kitchen door, he saw the refrigerator door open, the light from inside it shining. On the table, was the carton of ice cream that his Mom had bought earlier that day. Then he noticed that the basement light was on - shining all the way up to the top of the stairs. Oh! He said. I bet Dad got some ice cream and went to the basement to eat it so Mom wouldnít see.
He ran to the basement door and down the steps, hitting the creaky one along the way, thinking that he would catch Dad with the ice cream and have a joke with him. At the bottom of the steps he saw a shadow passing across the basement wall. He looked for his Dad in the room where the fort was but didnít see him anywhere. In fact, he didnít see anyone at all, and then..........in the darkness of the corner part of the room, down between the boxes that he and Billy had made into a fort, he saw it. Itís eyes were glowing brightly as it sat, crouched near the floor. Its face was hard to see in the dark room. And what ever it was wasnít like anything the little boy had ever seen.
Scared. Very scared. The little boy started to run up the stairs and away from whatever it was. As he ran, he heard something coming behind him. Something getting closer, and closer, and closer still. He was scared to look back, and scared not to. He ran so fast that he tripped on a book laying open on the floor. Before he got up, it had him. Whatever it was would not let go. It held him tightly, pulling him back into the dark basement room.
When he tried to scream, the little boyís voice was silent. He was so scared that he could not make any noise at all. Then, without any warning it came closer to him and, looking him in the eyes it said "Hi little boy. Iím the fleasel. Do you want to play with me? I donít have any friends to play with or share ice cream with. Would you like some?"
The little boy could not believe what was happening. This thing, this fleasel thing that was so scary before he really saw it, was wanting to play with him and was giving him some ice cream to eat. The boy was still scared at first, but the fleasel was so nice that he decided to play with it.
"Do you want to play fort and dragons?", the little boy said. Oh! That sounds like fun, said the fleasel. They played that night, and the next night, before bedtime, instead of watching TV, the little boy went to the basement all alone to play with his new friend. From that day on, the little boy and the fleasel became best friends and they played and ate ice cream together all the time.
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