The Roach

by Anthony Poynton

Charlie Mcqueen was a curious child, he could not be controlled he was wicked and wild. At dinner each evening his mother would say, Eat all your greens, and you can go out to play. He would gobble, and munch, just as fast as he could, then he'd run from the house and head for the wood.

 

Knotted oak wood was a spooky dark place, where each crooked old tree seemed to have its own face. In the shadows and shade and the rotten stale air, no animals found to be living in there. Tales of lost children were told round about, just stories some say, to keep the kids out. But Charlie and co were both fearless and bold, and never did anything that they were told.

 

The game they would play was hide and go seek, where Charlie would cheat and take a quick peek. He started to count with his hands on his face, as his friends all went looking, for the best hiding place.

 

Charlie searched and searched and he searched a bit more, until he had wandered into the woods core. There at the centre stood a monstrous old oak, so he trundled on over, for a nose, and a poke. With his hand on the trunk he walked all the way round, then discovered a hole leading deep underground. His curious nature got the better of him, a scary dark hole, I think Ill go in.

 

Charlie entered the hollow, found some steps and went down, where he came to a cavern all muddy and brown. Raising his eyes, got a nauseous feeling, there was skeleton legs hanging down from the ceiling. Turning his head and looking around, he saw rotting old clothing all over the ground. Tiny bare bones wearing shoes and old boots lay twisted and tangled and covered in roots. Charlie trembled and shook and started to cry, when he heard something moving, towards him, close by. He turned to run out but could not find the way, then he heard a strange voice, your now here to stay! Charlie took to his toes, ran as fast as he could, dodging and weaving through puddles of blood. You can run, you can hide, you can beg, and can plead, but sooner or later I'll have a new seed, for I am the roach, and this is my hole, and Ill grow me a tree from your curious soul.

 

The smell in that pit was so foul and uncool, a mixture of sprouts and the toilets at school. Through a maze of dark tunnels Charlie speedily ran, then he stopped for a moment to think of a plan. Catching his breath he tried to think quick, then he looked at the ground and he saw a long stick. He quickly remembered he had his dads knife, the Swiss army type, a gift from his wife. With the blade in his hand he fashioned a spear, then he went on his way as the beast now grew near. Crouching down low in a dark shady nook, Charlie would wait for the child planting crook. The stench of the beast getting stronger and stronger, Charlie wouldn't be able to breathe for much longer.

 

Slowly emerging from the darkness in there came six bony legs all covered in hair. A creature attached of an unearthly size, with a hideous head, and twelve blood red eyes. You can't hide from me, I know that your near, I hear your heart beating, I taste your deep fear.

 

Charlie sprang from the shadows, to the monsters surprise, and thrust his spear at him, and aimed for his eyes. The tunnel walls shook from the noise the beast made, and suddenly Charlie felt much less afraid.

 

I Am Charlie Mcqueen, and you wont forget, the baddest young boy that you ever met, now tell me strange thing, are you insect or tree? As you now have a stick where your eyeball should be!

 

The roach was so angry and let out a cry, as he ripped the spear free from his bleeding dead eye. You dare attack me You terrible brat, you are going to pay very highly for that, I'll not now plant YOU up above in the soil, I will cook you and happily watch your bones boil!. The creature shot forwards with an almighty dash, but Charlie was fast and was gone in a flash.

 

Deep underground in that dark evil place, a bad little boy and a demon did chase. As the monster kept coming for the lad with persistence, Charlie Mcqueen prayed to god for assistance.

 

I know I have not been too good as of late, but do I deserve such a horrible fate? Give me a hand, help me out mighty one, I promise to be well behaved from now on!

 

Charlie came to a vast subterranean land, filled with mountains of soil, and boulders, and sand. A plan came to mind in a flash of insight, this is it, it is here, that I'll finish this fight. At the top of a large muddy rock covered mound, sat a massive black boulder all jagged, and round. He stared up at the stone and he knew he could win, as his face grew a very mischievous grin.

 

To that spot over there I will lure the vile cricket, and with that huge rock I can hopefully squish it. Removing his shoes, baggy jeans and his hoodie, he stuffed them with leaves that were wet and quite muddy.

 

He positioned his clone at the foot of the hill, then he ran to the top where he hid and kept still. Squatting behind the ancient black boulder, in his socks and his pants, getting colder and colder.

 

The cockroach from hell filled with anger and pain, was coming for Charlie Mcqueen once again. The air growing thick with a foul fetid fume, would this dungeon become the boys horrid tomb?

 

Taking a peek from the side of his hideout, Charlie could see the vile fiend had his claws out. Creepily crawling towards the stuffed child, his eleven red eyes looked ferocious and wild. He leapt through the air and came down on the dummy, and thrust his long talons deep into its tummy.

 

The beast was exactly where Charlie had planned; it was time for the boy to make his last stand. Pushing real hard with his arm and his shoulder, he started to move the primordial boulder. It shot down the hill with increasing velocity, the roach saw it coming and roared with ferocity. Trying to dodge it was moments too late; the rock hit him hard and sealed the beasts fate.

 

Charlie jumped in the air with a cry of elation, as he watched the demise of the devils creation. He ran down the hill to have a close look, and found the roach crushed in a puddle of muck. Spewing up blood and gasping for air, waiting to die in its own rancid lair.

 

Brave Charlie Mcqueen had survived its advances, but he wasnt about, to take any chances. He made his way back through the crypt of decay, and out of the oak where the curious stray. With all he had left he ran back through the wood, and made his way home just as fast as he could.

 

So remember, when playing in tree covered places; keep your eyes open wide for those trees that have faces, of the curious kids that went into dark places!

 

The end

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