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Poem: "Sticky Fingers" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Sticky Fingers"

This poem was inspired and sponsored by janetmiles, who wondered how our monster friends were settling into their new house.  Series sponsor ladymondegreen. It's a sequel to "Eviction, Noticed" and "Home Shriek Home."  Just when you thought things might quiet down, unexpected developments ensue...

Sticky Fingers

Our snug little Victorian house had become a home,
blanketed in early January with an inch of snow.
My wife-to-be sat at the table, making out a guest list
for the engagement party.  The little old lady ghost
silently pointed out typos with a transparent fingertip.

The timer pinged and I pulled out a tray,
happy to have adopted my sweetheart's custom
of baking sticky buns on Sunday mornings,
thick with orange sauce and cinnamon.
I did not mind feeding my girl as she worked,
her hands busy on the laptop, her tongue
cleaning the sauce from my fingers.
Glancing down, I noticed
that she was just starting to show,
the top button of her blue jeans left undone.

As I headed for the living room, the dragon
wrapped around the radiator rolled a gas-blue eye
and opened his mouth.  Smiling, I went back
to fetch him a sticky bun.
"You know, if you keep feeding him,
he'll just keep begging," said my girl,
not looking up from her guest list.

"Well, he's more use than a guard dog," I said.
"It's not like we can't spare him a few bites."

That night I was proven right
as a sudden flurry of noise brought us out of our bed.
Flipping on the lights, I found a hysterical burglar
pinned to the living-room floor.
The radiator dragon coiled, hissing, around his ankles.
Both hands were glued to the boards by blobs of ectoplasm
as the little old lady ghost delivered a silent scolding.
Just out of reach lay a pillowcase and our glass jar of pizza money.
Meanwhile the bogeyman and the lurking shadow
stood over the cringing man, arguing over
who should get to tear out his heart and eat it.

"Wow, this almost seems superfluous,"
said my wife-to-be as she aimed her gun.
Even with her belly hanging over her panties
and her tank top sliding off one shoulder,
she looked terrifying.  The lurking shadow
backed respectfully out of her line of fire.

I stopped the bogeyman just before
his pale, clawed hand touched the burglar's chest.
"I think this fellow will be more use to us alive,"
I said.  "We're going to let him go ..."

My girl snickered as she caught on,
then nudged the burglar with her gun barrel.
"He's going to tell all his friends to
leave this house alone."

The burglar nodded so hard that his hat fell off.

Tags: , , , , , ,
Current Mood: busy busy

17 comments or Leave a comment
janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: January 5th, 2011 02:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, perfect!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 5th, 2011 02:48 am (UTC) (Link)


I enjoyed exploring this. It's fun to see them settling in.
eseme From: eseme Date: January 5th, 2011 03:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, totally perfect.

Now I want a radiator dragon...

This series is just wonderful. So fun and so relatable.

I would like to see them through the wedding, and am wondering what a child growing up in that house would be like. You could easily keep going on the theme. I will have to remember the series for future fishbowls.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 9th, 2011 07:29 am (UTC) (Link)


I'm glad you like it. Feel free to toss me new ideas.
akilika From: akilika Date: January 5th, 2011 05:20 am (UTC) (Link)
I absolutely *adore* this story. So many scary stories about haunted houses and their protective inhabitants . . . but so few willing to accept orange sticky-rolls as rent. This works for me on many levels. Thank you. :)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 5th, 2011 05:36 am (UTC) (Link)


I'm happy to hear this. It is slightly inspired by my memories of growing up in a (rather larger) Victorian farmhouse, complete with ghosts and fairies and other things that make life interesting.

Also, I'm still open for prompts if you want to pitch in.

ravan From: ravan Date: January 5th, 2011 05:59 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yay!

Babysitting the sprog
Show and tell - and the parent/teacher conference afterwards
fayanora From: fayanora Date: January 5th, 2011 06:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Another hilarious addition to an awesome series! YAY!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 6th, 2011 07:34 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

It's fun to revisit a favorite storyline and discover more about it.
aldersprig From: aldersprig Date: January 5th, 2011 02:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

Strange as it is, my favorite part of this is I still don't really know if the narrator is male or female and I like that.

I like their happy domesticity around their monsters.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 6th, 2011 07:04 am (UTC) (Link)


>>Strange as it is, my favorite part of this is I still don't really know if the narrator is male or female and I like that. <<

Yeah, I do that once in a while. It's fun. I like genderflexy stuff.

>>I like their happy domesticity around their monsters.<<

The aim of this series, as it has developed, is to show the various "monsters" as part of the natural world. Yes, they look different, they have different needs, and their morals are not necessarily the same as ours. But they are capable of forming close community ties, accommodating each other's needs, and connecting with sympathetic humans. The household may be a little weird, but it's a functional family.

Let's say I've seen some humans perform worse in the social arena.
aldersprig From: aldersprig Date: January 6th, 2011 02:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

I like genderflexy stuff too. :-D

*Grins* and yes. Your monsters are rather socially ept. :-D
natf From: natf Date: March 6th, 2011 12:31 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

Let's say I've seen some humans perform worse in the social arena.


I just thought of a possible prompt for this series but the monster would be a less functional character and so maybe does not belong in this series. Your quote above put me in mind of my recent posts about Narcissistic Mothers and how narcissism as a term refers back to the Greek (?) goddess (?) Narcissus and how a narcissus is a flower. Apologies that my research / memory may be letting me down with my queried factoids…
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 6th, 2011 05:37 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

In the version I read, Narcissus was tremendously vain and wouldn't love anyone but himself. One day he saw his reflection in a stream and thought it was a water nymph, and he fell in love with his own reflection.

But I always thought of it as a metaphor for homosexuality, which is a rather different interpretation.
(Deleted comment)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: May 7th, 2011 03:07 am (UTC) (Link)


I'm glad you found the series. I made the "Serial Poetry" guide page when I realized that I was starting to rack up a lot of poems that went together, enough that it was getting hard for readers to find them all. That seems to help the navigation.
fayanora From: fayanora Date: August 5th, 2011 12:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
*LAUGHS* Ow, my head. *LAUGHS MORE* Ow. *LAUGHS*

It's a great poem that can make me laugh when I'm in pain.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 5th, 2011 09:11 pm (UTC) (Link)


I'm glad it cheered you up.
17 comments or Leave a comment