TWENTY-FOUR - An S.O.S. from the Silver Bullet

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January 8th, 2019

It's hard for me to hold my pen right now. In fact, I think I may be suffering from PTSD. In addition to that, I think I might have sustained frost bite to my finger tips, so am writing wearing my father's Nepalese-style gloves that Misty gave him for Christmas. They are nice, but it makes holding this pen even more challenging.

So, where to start? I guess at the beginning of the horror, which was the moment that I came to the realization that Clyde Scott's home-the place where I am committed to do my volunteer stint-is none other than The Silver Bullet on Desdemona Drive.

You would think I would have twigged when I read the address on the slip of paper that Norm gave me, but I didn't. Besides, there are a lot of "D" roads on this island: Dennings, Darby, and Davenport, just to name a few.

Anyway, when the light dawned, I was standing at the end of Clyde's driveway, just outside the fence, staring straight through the bushes at that demon sculpture in all its aroused glory. It was just standing in the bushes, covered by a thin layer of frost, staring right back at me. I had a mind to turn around and take off-I mean, what kind of person has a sculpture like that in his front yard, anyway? Was this Clyde dude out back in his workshop, muttering strange incantations and sacrificing stray cats on a slab of marble or something? Did I really want to find out? But then I thought of Ivy, who is so stoked about my doing this woodcarving job, and I didn't want to tell her I'd chickened out and gone home, all because of Satan and his woody (pun intended). So, I just took a deep breath and walked up to the door of The Silver Bullet.

Clyde is old, kind of hunched over, and smokes homemade cheroot cigars from Turkish tobacco he grows himself on his property. He wears beat-up Carhartt overalls and a black woollen toque and he has a missing tooth in the front that he holds his cheroot in.

I don't think he was that impressed with me when he answered the door, because he just said, "You're Myles?" and when I said that I was, he just "hmmmphed" and said, "Guess you won't be moving any stump rounds for me with them chicken arms." Not going to lie; I found that to be quite offensive. I may be slight in stature, but I am actually quite strong.

Clyde showed me his workshop, which was full of a million different kinds of wood. There were also a lot of giant sculptures laying around in various states of completion. But the worst part was...there were more demons! Six of them, in fact. Not quite as large as the one outside, but as tall as me, anyway. They were all lined up at the back of the shop, and yes, they were all in the same physiological state as the dude out in the bushes. WTF???

I pretended not to notice them, and Clyde put me to work, and by "work," I mean he had me sweep out his shop from front to back with a giant broom, then sort and arrange his carving chisels onto their proper hooks on the wall near his work station. Not exactly manly woodsman tasks, but as I am polite and mostly compliant by nature, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work.

I tried to engage Clyde in conversation, but all he did was grumble and cough and say things like, "never heard of that before," or, "not in my day," so eventually I just gave up and got my head down.

At lunch, he made me a meatball sandwich, which was actually pretty good. I was glad we'd eaten before he showed me Ezra, though, his corn snake which he kept in a big aquarium behind his lazy boy recliner. It was stripy and red (the snake, not the recliner. That was brown and held together with black duct tape) and had black beady round eyes. Clyde asked me if I wanted to feed him, but when I learned it dined on live pinky mice (those are newborn mice), killing them first by constriction, I said no thank-you, and excused myself to the bathroom. When I came out, Clyde was hovering over the tank with his arms folded across the bib of his overalls, shaking his head and muttering, "Ah, yes...the circle of life. The circle of life..."

But the worst part of today came when we went back out to the workshop. That's when Norm handed me a bag of flannel cloths and a big tin of beeswax and told me polish...wait for it...the SIX DEMONS!

I think my jaw dropped open, because Clyde pushed the tin into my hand a little more forcefully and said, "Well, get a move on, kid. I gotta package and ship those guys off first thing tomorrow morning."

When I found my voice again, I asked him where they were going, and he said to some new age centre on the mainland, and that, believe it or not, he couldn't carve his horny demons fast enough. (His words, not mine.)

"Them pagan new agers love these guys," he told me. "Symbol of power and virility or some such bullshit. But what do I care? I get some serious coin for these mothef....ers." (Note that I tempered his bad language here in case I die in my sleep and someone finds my journal. I want them to know that I have my standards.)

So, that's how I spent my afternoon: rubbing beeswax all over every inch of six horny demon sculptures. I'm sure I don't need to tell you how traumatic this was. I still feel very uncomfortable. And it didn't make things any better when Clyde slapped me on the shoulder at the end of the "waxing," and said with a laugh, "Don't worry, kid. I won't tell no one. I'm just glad it was you and not me. I hate doing that." Gee, thanks a lot, Clyde. I'll be sure to tell my future therapist all about it.

To top off a less-than-stellar day, Dad made hot dogs for dinner, and I had to fake a stomach ache so I could pass on them. Mac and cheese, I could have handled, but hotdogs? Well, I don't think I'll be eating those for a good long while.

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