In My Head, In The Neighbor’s Yard, On The Roof

A) In my head there’s this tiny little nihilist voice that taunts me every now and then. Not that I’ve EVER given in to any of the suggestions (honestly, I haven’t) but they sometimes can keep me entertained. It’s part of that “Hawkeye Pierce sense of humor” that I find so charming about myself. (I can’t believe I wrote that with a straight face – oops, I didn’t.)

I’ve sometimes thought that if I could ever give the nihilist in me free reign I could have a great career as a “what if” analyst for the CIA or Homeland Security, looking for worst case scenarios if there weren’t any rules or consequences. Of course, on my off-duty hours I would be in a padded cell with a coat that zips up in the back, but I’ve never been one to be obsessed with fashion, so that would be okay.

B) In the neighbor’s yard tonight they’re having a Halloween party. They’re a younger couple (i.e., we’re old farts) with a couple of small kids, in the first or second grade maybe. Tonight it sounds like a half dozen or so families, with probably fifteen or twenty children running around, making little-children-running-around noises. That is, screaming.

This isn’t a complaint of any sort. It’s not raucous or bothersome. It’s actually quite pleasant to hear drifting through the window with it’s Radio Disney soundtrack and the occasional creepy ghost sounds special effects CD thrown in for good luck. It’s a sign that we live in a nice place.

C) On the roof tonight I can hear at least one raccoon, probably more. I don’t know if they’re not too happy with the party and the noise or if they’re just having their own party, but they’re louder than normal, where “normal” can be loud enough to be attention getting.

Mama Raccoon shouldn’t have her kits any more – by this late in the year they should be fully grown and scattered. Raccoons seem to be solitary creatures, but I can hear at least two, so I have to wonder if it’s mating season. What’s the gestation period for raccoons?


A+B+C) Out of nowhere, fully blown and made of whole cloth, in my brain comes a scene. (Feel free to use it as an opening scene for next week’s NaNoWriMo if you wish!) It’s a scene that would probably fit in any outrageous comedy such as “Animal House” (a truly fantastic movie) or something similar.

The nihilist in my head has combined the party in the neighbor’s yard and the raccoons on the roof to pose the following question:

“What would happen if I caught one of those raccoons and tossed it over the wall into that party?”

Now, before you all start telling me how I’m going to hell, rest assured that ship sailed a long time ago. And I’ll repeat, I would NEVER do such a thing in real life! Really! And ignore anything said to the contrary by any of my siblings or kids!

Given that it’s not anything that I would ever really do, given that it would be a horrible thing to do to an innocent animal, given that no one gets hurt if it did happen, and given that it’s probably horrible and infantile and horrible and immature and horrible to even consider – would or would not the folks at the party have one hell of a story to tell to their grandkids?

Does that scene not bring a little (horrible) smile to your lips?

Maybe it’s just me.


Filed under Paul

8 responses to “In My Head, In The Neighbor’s Yard, On The Roof

  1. That just might be the prompt for next week’s flash fiction 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well it would certainly add to the liveliness of both parties — raccoon and human. You’re more patient than I am…I do not like to hear children next door or in the street playing or anywhere else for that matter if they’re yelling and screaming (even if it is GOOD yelling and screaming). I prefer raccoons. As for your question, raccoon mating season usually starts in very late winter and can go until as late as June in some climates. I think the pregnancy lasts two months or so. And while the babies leave the den pretty quickly, they stick around with the mother for at least a year and up to 18 months I think. And hey, if you ever want to play Trivia Pursuit in Hell (or elsewhere), I’m your gal.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Paul, please may I use one of your raccoon photos for the header for my flash fiction this Friday?


  4. Pingback: #FridayFlash Fiction | Party Animal | Jemima Pett

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