"Leave Agatha alone, she's miserable enough without you kids constantly throwing balls in her yard and trying to sneak a peak in her windows" my mother would say about the crazy lady who lived down the road.
Every neighborhood for the most part has that crazy lady. The only contact most people ever have with this bitter, miserable old hag is when they (god forbid) accidentally throw a stray ball into her rotting, weed infested yard.
"You damn kids!" She'll yell as she storms out of her run down, dirty house that is usually covered in vines and probably other various forms of plant life that would baffle even the most hardened and experienced researchers, "always throwing your balls into my goddamned yard! You need to learn some manners!"
She will then proceed to march across her barren wasteland of a yard, grab your ball and with a victorious smile say, "this is mine now, if you want it back have your parents come get it."
This delapidated shell of a woman, this miserable wench, will then storm into her house and slam her door, causing a reverberation that creates a giant cloud of dust to rise from the foundation of her house and causes the dirt that has lay dormant for years in her porch ceiling, to smack loudly onto her deck with a piercing thud.
My neighborhood stick in the mud was named Agatha Trembley, or rather, as us kids called her' Agatha the crazy cat lady'.
Agatha herself was not an attractive older woman. She had a large hooked nose and a worn down, leathery face that looked as though it had experienced many hardships. Her eyes were tiny and beady, and her thin lipped mouth was always contorted into a scowl or frown. Her thinning, gray hair always looked matted down by dirt and the rags she called clothes were constantly covered in cat hair and chimney soot.
It was not known if Agatha had ever married or had children. In fact, no one knew of any real meaningful human connection Agatha had ever had. The only human interaction, besides yelling at the neighborhood kids and chastising our parents for not raising us properly, was with the poor meals on wheels volunteers who were forced to deliver her food every day.
"Took you long enough!" She would bark at the sixteen and seventeen year old kids who delivered her food, "you are five minutes late! I should call your organization and tell them what horrible service they are providing!"
"Yes, maam" the terrified teenagers would respond, "I'm sorry to have caused you an inconvenien..."
"Well you DID!" She would retort, "how would you feel if you were old and couldn't leave your house and you had to wait on your food everyday?? And what's with that earring? You aren't a girl!"
This would go on, much to the entertainment of the neighborhood kids who would hide around the corner and watch the entire thing, for about ten minutes until she finally ran out of energy and angrily yanked her food away and slammed the door. The teenagers would always walk away whispering angrily under their breaths and drive away to their next delivery, disheartened and frustrated.
Agatha, plain and simple, was not a nice woman.
The only affection or love this woman had in her, from what the neighborhood could tell, was for her army of dirty, malnourished cats that constantly surrounded her and roamed her yard. At any time during the day you would see at least ten to twelve raggedy felines swarming her yard looking for scraps of food.
No one in the neighborhood ever knew what went on inside Agatha's house and stories and legends began to run rampant through the circle of neighborhood kids who saw her everyday. Stories of witchcraft and sorcery arose, stories of children who were cooked and eaten or giant cat men seen guarding her house at night were birthed from our imaginations.
Almost every kid in the neighborhood had a friend of a friend who had, swear to God, seen Agatha performing incantations and cooking up strange concoctions at night.
In all reality, she was just a bitter, anti social old woman who didn't want contact with the outside world, but to us kids she had become something of myth... A powerful sorceress who could turn a child into a frog or a cat into a heavily muscled, mutant soldier who would protect her at any cost.
As children tend to do, my group and I became curious and began to try to find ways to infiltrate this witch's sanctuary. Detailed diagrams were drawn, fake blue prints of her house, formed from assumption and legend had been plotted out. Eventually, through plotting and planning all the neighborhood kids had a pretty good idea of exactly where her mutant cat men were posted, their shifts and where the traps and danger areas were.