I had three aunts when I was a kid; Aunt Loda, who was mean as hell, Aunt Lola, who was crazy as hell, And Aunt Laura, whom I was named after, and who was suppose to be the normal one of the three. These aunts were actually my mother’s aunts, so they were my great aunts.
They were all pretty old by the time I was old enough to know who the hell they were, and we didn’t visit them much. I do know that each visit was memorable, especially when I went to see Aunt Loda. She had a huge house filled with antiques and a pack of about twenty Pomeranian dogs that she showed and bred. Her husband died years earlier and I believe she became the Crazy Pom Lady instead of the Crazy Cat Lady. She lived for these dogs and she hated children. I remember the first visits I made to her house. I remember wanting nothing more than to pet and play with all of the little fur balls only to be screamed at and told to sit on my hands on a couch. I was told to not touch anything, not to open my mouth, and for all that is holy DO NOT TOUCH THE SHOW DOGS. Man, I hated that woman. But being the youngest kid and not in school yet, I got dragged everywhere my mother went.
One day my mother told me we were going to visit Aunt Loda and I threw myself dramatically down on the floor and cried. “Please don’t make me go to THAT WOMAN’S HOUSE!” My mother told me it was okay; Aunt Loda had gotten a new dog that I could play with in her yard. It would be fun. On the drive over I started to get excited that I was going to get to have fun at Aunt Loda’s and play with a dog! I thought that maybe Aunt Loda was giving me a Pomeranian puppy for my very own! I don’t know why I even entertained this thought. It was like I had never met the woman.
As we arrived, Aunt Loda met us at the door and welcomed my mother and immediately informed me that I should go outside and meet “Duchess” her new dog. I was also informed that I should stay outside so the adults could talk. I was fine with that. Hell, I got to play with a new puppy! Woohoo! With that being said, Aunt Loda opened the back door and literally shoved me out and I swear I heard the door being locked. I started whistling for “Duchess”, who was going to be my new best friend, when I saw what appeared to be a bear peering at me from behind the tool shed. I stood there staring as it came galloping at a full run towards me. The ground trembled. I swear to God, I would have pissed my pants, but my fear was so great even my bladder froze up. What came running at me was “Duchess” my new best friend, a slobbering 200 pound plus Saint Bernard. Now remember, I was just a little pre-school kid. This dog was taller than me and just MASSIVE. There was no place to run and just as a scream was starting to form in my throat, the sun was completely blocked out and my new best friend hit me with the force of a Mack truck. I went flying in the air, hit the ground, and my new best friend was there drooling and wagging its tail over me. I tried to get up again and again only to be knocked down. I was either going to drown in dog saliva or die from being mauled like a rag doll. Just as the world was getting dark and I was heading toward a bright light, my hand somehow found a slobber soaked ball beside me and I threw it. Duchess went running after it and I took the opportunity to make a run for the back door. I opened the screen door and grabbed the door knob only to realize that my suspicions had been correct; locked. Before I could plot another escape, Duchess returned and trapped me between the screen and wooden doors. I was yelling out for my mother when I saw the curtains move on the door and saw my Aunt’s face. She tapped the window and motioned for me to go out in the yard and play, and then she turned and left. I yelled for my mother some more, but I knew in that huge house she probably couldn’t hear me. By this time Duchess started lunging at the screen door with the ball in her massive drooling mouth. I was being crushed and the screen door was being destroyed. I had one chance for survival; get the ball out of the beast’s huge drooling mouth, throw it and make a run for the tool shed. It was my only chance.
I somehow got turned around between the doors and reached up into Duchess’s mouth for the ball. I offered God my plastic dinosaur collection if he would just let me get the ball and keep my arm. Well, apparently God likes plastic dinosaur collections because after rummaging around inside the hell hound’s mouth for a few minutes, I was able to get the ball and I threw it like my life depended on it (which it did.)
I’d like to sit here and tell you that I made it to the shed. I really would. But truth be told I was knocked down at least ten times, slobbered on, pranced on, licked and tossed around like the knuckle part of a rawhide chew. By the time I made it to the shed, I was completely soaked with dog drool from head to toe and had several scratches from dog claws. I somehow managed to get the shed door closed, and I sat there and held it shut with my body. Duchess barked outside the door in between prancing around with her ball. If she really wanted in, I knew she could get in. I told God this time that He could have my Mister Potato Head if he’d keep the dog out.
Apparently God not only likes plastic dinosaurs, but he likes Mister Potato Heads, because just as I was about to pass out from exhaustion, I heard my mother calling out for me. It was like hearing the voice of an angel! Mom! I’m here. I’m here! I slowly got up and peeked out the door. I saw Aunt Loda leading Duchess back to a pen. I slammed open the door and went running towards my mother. I jumped into her arms and I remember her telling me that I smelled like a dog and laughing. I was just grateful to be alive and I stayed in my mother’s arms as she turned towards the car. As I lifted my head I saw Aunt Loda standing beside Duchess smiling at me. A chill ran up my spine. It was the first time I saw pure evil.8 Comments