This is one of those stories that doesn’t really fit into any one category. It’s based on true events, but the personality of the object (the subject of this story) is such that it actually transcends the truth and hovers somewhere in the in between... like the “Twilight Zone”, but without any Rod Serling type of narrator to make it sound respectable. So gather round children as the fire crackles. This is one of those, Chainsaw maniacs loose in the woods stories. The hook left on the door handle stories. The empty wheelchair found uplake in Stehekin stories. You might want to huddle closer together because the story you are about to hear will make your blood run thick and cold, like the caulking from a caulking gun. Or grout from a... from a... grout spout... spreader... thingymajigger. My wife would know what those are called. Anyway...
To say that it was anything majestic or grand would be a stretch. My wife and I, being the practical broke people that we were, took it upon ourselves to build a much needed shed. Storing all of our sleds, lawn mower, garden chemicals and exercise machines in the house was getting crowded... not to mention... dangerous. I almost used that stair stepper machine once! And it just so happened, that due to a banking error by Bank of America, we actually had room on the credit card to charge a shit kit... NO!! Not a shit kit!!! I mean a SHED KIT!!! What was I thinking?!? Anyway... After visiting various hardware stores where they know my wife’s name on a personal basis, we made a deal with a strange stranger in a long trench coat who was selling all kinds of shiny, glittery, candy-like trinkets from his trench coat. I didn’t get a good look at his face because it was covered in all kinds of dark sunglasses, faces masks and 666 tattoos. But he seemed nice and sunlight glittered off of his fangs when he smiled. And besides having all of that stuff hanging from the inside of his black hole, bottomless, light sucking liner of a trench coat, he also just happened to be dragging around a shed kit sitting on a Radio Flyer red wagon. The price was right and he seemed to know the people of Bank of America on a personal basis so our credit card was good with him. I didn’t have a pen with me so he was nice enough to prick my finger with a rusty knife that he was carrying and I signed the deal in my own blood. When my wife and I came to, several hours later, we were laying in an ally and covered in old newspapers. But the wagon and the shed were right there waiting for us... like a faithful dog. A rabid, feral, mangey, mongrel of a dog. But we didn’t know that until later. So we found our car and brought it home.
The fact that it was the color of a tombstone should’ve been the first red flag. But we just called the color “Ruddy Putty” and went to work trying to put it together. After relieving the warped cardboard of its contents, we spread all the parts out so we could get a good look at what we were working with. Everything seemed to be there, except a foundation. Well you can’t really have a shed just sitting on the cold ground like a tombstone, so we went to the hardware store where they know my wife on a personal basis and bought some scrap wood so we could make a foundation for the shed. The price was right! Cheap!
At first we weren’t quite sure how big the shed actually was because the instructions were written on what appeared to be old animal skin. And the ancient looking letters were written upside down and backwards, and tended to shift in and out of existence while trying to read them. But we eventually figured out that it was about 6 feet wide by 6 feet long by 6 feet tall. Perfect! Just big enough for me NOT to be able to stand up completely. But when you buy things on sale, this kind of thing can happen. We could live with it. Or could we...?
Maybe the fact that we tried putting it together during a wind storm should’ve been our first red flag. Attaching large, jagged pieces of metal, much like giant razor blades, to a homemade foundation is hard enough in regular conditions. But doing it during gale force winds is almost impossible... maybe even dumb! But by golly we did it! Sometimes the metal siding actually got away from us and flew into the community garden of the trailer park where we lived that was owned by some caring Canadians who lived far away in Canada and was managed by a Vietnam Vet named “Chan” who had injected a little too much Agent Orange in the 70s, if you know what I mean. It was rumored that our unemployed neighbor, who lived on the lot where the entire park’s sewage seeped out onto our “lawn” had been practicing American Indian spiritual rattle medicine from her camper for her next career idea, had been in fine form that day. Her voice seemed to blend in with the wind at times. “Hiya hiya hi hiya hi! Yah ta hey ya ta HEY” and so on. Another red flag? You would think so! But I digress. Suffice it to say that the flying metal managed to slice off all the heads of corn as it tried to escape with the wind. I would chase it down and bring it back, careful not to step on any of the strange and elusive children in the corn as they screeched and giggled just out of sight or reach. I still think it strange that they were playing there during such atmospheric conditions! The little imps! Some parents! Don’t have a clue what their kids are up to!
But we finally did get the skeleton of the thing up. It creaked and rattled and groaned like a wild animal suddenly thrust into a cage. But it was up! The blood from all of our scrapes and punctures stained the wooden foundation in strange, hypnotic patterns and made putting in the jagged screws much more difficult. So slippery! But we kept at it until all the sides and the roof were securely anchored. The sound from the inside of that thing still brings goose pimples to my skin. It sounded like angry dead loggers bending their saws in such a way that they sounded like a hundred typical violins on any typical day screeching out in unison as the wind blasted away at the sides of the shed, finding any number of the pin prick sized holes that seemed to be everywhere... like when you pull a balloon spout real tight, yet still let the air out. Like a high pressured juicy fart. Or the bleating of a rabid elephant who just stepped on a sharp-boned porter. Scary! Mix that with the unholy sounds of my wife and I speaking in strange tongues and using words that only loggers and sailors understand. It made for quite a symphony of sounds usually only heard when visiting haunted houses with that same record playing over and over again. Oh what ideas Stephen King could’ve had if only he’d been near Sheddy at the time of it’s birth! It’s hatching... It’s emergence!
But despite all the blood poisonings, the tetanus shots, and the fevered dreams, we managed to make “Sheddy” (as it came to be known) useful and put all that unwanted clutter. We finally had room inside to do those things we had always wanted to do. Like watch TV. Read the paper. Eat TV dinners. And watch TV. The girls could run and play throughout our doublewide without the fear of running into bug lights, clam guns, various hoses, that rusty red Radio Flyer wagon, shovels, things with blades, random buckets with all kinds of random things in them, etc... Life was good. Even our cat Georgi seemed to be impressed. Except when he went outside and glared at Sheddy with his back arched and his tail all fuzzed out, making strange hissing noises. And not just Sheddy! Georgi made those same motions and noises too! It could be quite disconcerting!
Years later, we managed to get out of the trailer park, lit up nightly by the familiar glow of red and blue lights. We found a beautiful 5 acres overlooking the Columbia River. No longer would we hear the incessant beat of rap music or that familiar hoompa loompa of accordions that the Germans so lovingly gave to Mexico after losing World War 1 and II. We were headed to the country... and the first thing we moved onto our new lot was Sheddy. At first it didn’t seem to want to go. I had to use a hand truck blade like a wedge and get it under Sheddie’s foundation so as to pry it from the ground. Strange clouds of sulfur smelling gas escaped, along with scorpions, Black Widows and Mormon crickets. I’m sure there were also a few “other” things that still defy scientific classifications too. But I was wearing gloves! I managed to put one end of Sheddy up on the tailgate enough so that I could go behind and hoist it up all the way into the bed of the truck. A perfect fit! A rope here and there and it was done. Nancy and I headed out onto the highway toward our new lot. Happy as clams!
This was not the case for those people unfortunate enough to be following us. Sheddie’s door had come open and was slamming back and forth with such force, that some say it sounded as if Hell’s own Direhounds had been set loose on 97A. Cars that were planning to pass us suddenly slowed way down, backing away from Sheddy and its terrible jaws. Its been said that those who didn’t back off, suddenly veered off the cliff only to plunge a thousand feet below, where they people gather the wild asparagus or ride their four wheelers. A herd of deer also plunged down that same cliff right after we passed them. The game department would only say that it was like were all spooked at once and jumped over the railing like lemmings. They died with crazed expressions on their faces. Needless to say, tt was a huge relief when we finally got Sheddy off the highway and onto our new lot. I pulled Sheddy halfway out of the truck and had Nancy pull the truck forward as I hung on to Sheddy with all my might. What I thought would be a tight squeeze was actually the opposite. Instead of protesting with screeching when she started to inch forward, Sheddy actually seemed to jump out of the truck. Its angry doormouth wide opened as it headed straight for me. I managed to jump out of the way barely in time as Sheddly landed with an earth shaking thud. While avoiding being Sheddie’s next meal, I had scraped the top layer of skin off of my leg. It hurt like a mother from another brother! But at least I was alive. Sheddy just stood there... laughing in his silent, smug way. Happy and content after accepting yet another blood sacrifice unwillingly offered.
For 10 years Sheddy lived on our lot, on the farthest western corner. It’s backdrop? A Service Berry tree that was half alive and half dead. Can you guess where the dead part was? That’s right! Right behind Sheddy! It was as if half of the tree got burned. To this day, those same branches are still there, never to produce leaves or fruit like the other half of itself... the half farthest away from Sheddy. We managed to gather more and more stuff through the years and there always seemed to be room in Sheddy. The hard part was avoiding the wasp nests Sheddy so enjoyed. No matter what we did to keep Sheddie’s door closed, Sheddy always found a way to get it opened again, as if to say, “Come rodents! Come one and all! Come insects, biting and stinging! Raise your larvae and pupae here in my dark realms. Be head level with they who think they are my masters! Land on their faces, their eyes, their necks. Buzz angrily on their ears and in their ears and sting and bite at will! Buha ha haaaa ha haaaaaaaa! Behold! A new era is about to be unleashed upon this world! And I! Sheddy! Open my doors to you, my children! Together, we shall rule this world in my master’s name! Haaa haa ha ha haaaaaaaa!” Just like that. At least it seemed pretty much like that.
Then one day, it was all over! Well... all over for us anyway. It was the wind storm of the century. The end of December brought winds over 100 miles an hour. It blew down trees, it blew off rooftops, it broke windows. And yes... it blew away sheds. Hundreds of shed! It was like living in Mattawa or Ellensburg! We didn’t notice Sheddy was missing until much later. Nancy said one day a strange glint of light was coming from the area where Sheddy had once stood, and she realized it was sunlight! The sun hadn’t shown in that corner for nigh on 10 years! So she ran towards the corner and found a foundation. Sheddy had ripped himself off the very foundation that we had built so long ago. Much of the things we had stored inside Sheddy were scattered down the bank. But were there any signs of Sheddy? Not a one! Not one piece of Sheddy could be found anywhere. Not in the ravine behind Sheddy. Not in the lots down below ours. Not in the neighbor’s swimming pool. Not anywhere. It is possible that Sheddy made it to river. If the wind caught him just right, I could see him going airborn. He flew when we tried to put him together, There’s no reason he couldn’t fly when he was all assembled.
So be careful my children. When roaming the countryside or swimming in the Columbia, always remember Sheddy. He’s out there, somewhere. His never-ending need for flesh and blood keeps him on the move. Banging his metal door at night during wind storms and gobbling up unsuspecting Westside tourists with disposable incomes, Sheddie’s hunger knows no limits. Picture him a silhouette against a full moon up on the butte. The hoses still inside, flailing like tentacles out of his unholy maw. Extra house keys, pruning sheers and rake tines, making up the teeth that he uses so greedily. The buzz of angry wasps accompanying him where ever he roams, like brainwashed disciples.
Yes children, hug one another tightly. Gather closer to the fire. The night is cold! And what appears to feel like ice cold fingers dancing up and down your spine, are just your own fears finding a life of their own... like Sheddy did. For this story is true as you know. Some of you have sheds of your own. Or pump houses. Or farm shop buildings. You know how they think. You know how angry they are. Stay on your toes. Be on your guard. And never forget the story told at hardware conventions nationwide. And if for some unfortunate reason you stumble upon what appear to be the remains of a shed, DO NOT approach! This can only be done by those who put Sheddy together... namely my wife Nancy, and/or a Catholic priest. But most importantly.. please let me know if you think you’re seen Sheddy, because I really need the info for insurance purposes. Thanks.