Based on a true story
note: This site does not allow quotation marks to be used, and therefore there are none.
One chilly October after noon, a pretty, non-conformist girl, who for the point of this story is named Elaine,
sat among her English class writing the second of four essays she would have to write that week. She was re-reading her essay,
thinking about how potentially bad it was, when her English teacher, Mr. Smalls, exclaimed, Does anyone want to make $20?
Being a teenager who wanted some extra spending
cash, and to save up for post secondary, Elaine quickly showed her enthusiasm towards taking money off Mr. Smalls hands. The
task was simply this: Mr. Smalls needed a responsible individual to feed his daughters cat, Baldy, while he was away for a
few days. Elaine was quick to respond that she was an excellent candidate for this task, because she knew where Mr. Smalls
lived because of a previous English adventure. Upon knowing that Elaine could drive, Mr. Smalls sealed the deal by giving
her a key.
Hopefully thats the right one, Smalls chuckled,
right before the bell signifying the end of the day sounded. Elaine skipped off to her extra-curricular class, which was a
choir that met three times a week and felt as if she had a strange power on her key chain. She jokingly thought to herself,
Party at Smalls, since he had already, in jest, told her she could have one. She, of course, was more responsible than that,
as Smalls should have known, or else he wouldnt have given her the task.
The next evening, when Smalls had said the cat
should be feed and let out of the house, Elaine was dressed as the protagonist of her favourite show, Jean Valjean from Les
Miserables. It was getting dark early now, on that fine Halloween night, because when Elaine pulled into Mr. Smalls driveway
at five-thirty, everything was pitch black except for the light that Smalls had left on above his front door. Stepping out
into the cold night air, wearing old man pants, her 24601 shirt, and a marker beard, Elaine felt the chill attack her skin.
She had also discovered why old men were often grumpy: their pants are itchy.
Pulling the silver key from the key ring, Elaine
placed it in the lock and turned. Nothing happened. She turned it again, fiddled with the doorknob. Dont tell me, Elaine muttered
under her breath. Elaine tried every method she could think of to open the door, but alas, it would not budge. Dishearten,
Elaine encompassed the house in the darkness. To the right she found a sliding glass door, and upon tugging on it, nothing
happened. To the left, after she turned on the high beams to her car, she found another door similar to the first, and the
key had the same effect on it.
While she played with the lock on that door,
a grey cat purred around her ankles. Looking down, she exclaimed, You must be Baldy. Baldy pawed the door that Elaine was
standing at as if it wanted to go inside. Im sorry, Im trying the best I can, Elaine replied, getting mad because Smalls had
obviously given her the wrong key. The cat purred some more and made its way into a door opposite of the door she had been
trying to open. Elaine followed, and found a like switch. Turning it on, she found the room to be filled with sports equipment
and power tools. On the floor rest two small bowls, one containing water, the other containing one single piece of cat food.
Baldy quickly went to the latter bowl and finished it off, then looked up at Elaine and gave a cat cry. Elaine felt so badly
for Baldy. By this time, her fingers and toes were starting to become numb. She couldnt imagine how Baldy was feeling, being
stuck in this cold with very little to eat. Elaine routed around the shed, but could not find anymore cat food. After looking
for a window that would open, which there were none on Mr. Smalls house, she also looked for a flash light so she could investigate
the figure that looked like a shed behind the house, and the wood chopping area beside the house, but she couldnt find a flash
light either. Baldy crept under a blanket and purred.
Im going to get you some food somehow, Baldy,
Elaine vowed. She bend down to pat him in reassurance, and he felt so cold that Elaine would have taken him to her house right
then and there if she didnt have a large dog that would make Baldy into a tasty meal. Instead, she picked up the poor creature
and carried him and his empty food bowl to her van. Placing Baldy on the passenger seat with the utmost care, Elaine turned
the engine on and put the heat on high. Baldy stretched out on the seat and looked at her, purring. This made her feel better
about the present situation. Now she just had to find a way to get Baldy some food.
Having not yet been paid by Mr. Smalls, because
she would receive payment on Monday when she returned his house key, Elaine didnt have any money on her besides that of her
mothers bankcard, which she had used to go shopping for groceries. Since she felt it would be wrong to take money from her
moms account, Elaine started thinking about where she could find some cat food.
Dont worry Baldy, I have an idea. Elaine started
pulling out of the long, shadowy driveway, when Baldy made another cat cry. He didnt want to leave his house. This finalized
any doubt in Elaines mind that this wasnt Baldy. Who knows, this could have been a neighbouring cat, even though Mr. Smalls
didnt have any close neighbours.
Okay Baldy, you can stay here, Elaine said, replying
to Baldys calls, as she returned to the house and let Harry back into the shed
that held the sports equipment and power tools. Ill even leave the light on for you, she whispered. Be back soon.
Jumping back into her van to escape the chill
of the night, Elaine drove through town, being careful not to hit any trick or treaters. As Elaine pulled to her final location,
a devil and an angel dodged out of the middle of the road to let her complete her quest. The house was draped in spooky things,
such as spider webs and evil looking pumpkins. Making sure the parking brake was on, Elaine quickly grasped the cat food bowl
and made her way to the front door. She was hoping her friend Louella was home, but her mother answered the door. Giving her
a puzzled look, Louellas mother asked if she was there for trick or treating with Louella and Alexandria that evening.
I will be, later, but right now I need to ask
you a question, the girl dressed as Jean Valjean explained.
Go ahead, replied the mother.
Can I borrow a cup of cat food? Louellas mother
gave her an even more startled look and lead her upstairs to the kitchen, filling the bowl, Louellas mother giggled, due to
the fact that people, traditionally ask for a cup of sugar, or in the case of the crazy mad that came to Elaines door once,
a slice of cheese.
Take some Halloween candy before you go, offered
Louellas mother. Elaine gladly took a package of rockets and put them in her pocket. They might come in handy sometime.
Returning once again to the house in the woods,
Elaine made sure that she watched for Baldy. She saw his head poke out of the shed as she jumped out of the van, carrying
the cat food. Placing it in the shed, Elaine was pleased that Baldy seemed to like it. He purred at her, and she smiled, happy
that her task had been completed. Mr. Smalls was to return in a couple days, and she felt the food should last long enough,
since the bowl had been filled until it couldnt hold another piece. As for warmth, Baldy laid down on his blanket, and Elaine
gently folded a corner over to cover him up to his neck.
Good night Baldy, Elaine whispered in the darkness
as she turned off the light in the shed. Baldy purred back and Elaine made her way to her van to go have Halloween fun.
Monday morning, before as English class was starting,
Elaine handed Mr. Smalls a story, his key and a package of rockets, planning to tell him that Baldy was no trouble at all.