The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Salamander in the Basement, part 4

Lollipops, Garlic, and Basement SalamandersFriday morning, I could almost feel the basement pulling at me.  I drove boxes to the Goodwill and forced Mom to sort through mementos and books.  As we labored, the basement was still, tamed either by my ruthless disposal of its goods or by Mom's familiar presence.

After an hour, though, Mom disappeared.  "I can hear that the washing machine stopped," she observed.  "I'd better hang up those pants before they wrinkle.  Don't you need a break?"

"No thanks," I called as she clambered out.  A sudden breeze whipped the door closed behind her, and as if in echo, the bookcase behind me creaked.  I turned to find it tilting precariously, a box of books slowly inching its way toward me.

"Stop it!" I demanded, shoving the box back into place and nudging the bookcase erect.  "It's almost as if the place is haunted," I muttered under my breath.

Half an hour later I had worked my way up under what would have been the eaves if the basement had been an attic.  Here, the ground sloped toward the ceiling so that I had to walk crouched over for fear of grazing my head on nail ends sticking through from the floor above.  In this shallow work space, I made some small headway, organizing Mason jars and labeling boxes of Christmas tree ornaments.

At last, I stood, a box of discards in my arms, and straightened too far.  My head banged painfully against the floor joists, making me swear and drop back into a crouch so I could feel through my thick hair for blood.

"He doesna like it when you take his things, lassie," came a voice from behind me, and my head spun around to take in a most unusual sight.  Perched atop a wicker picnic basket in the corner was what can only be described as a leprechaun—a small, cheery, red-bearded man dressed solely in green and decked out with four-leafed clovers.  I blinked, but the image did not fade and I was forced to conclude the man was not a result of my recent head-banging.

"What are you doing here?" or "Who are you?" would have been more scientific responses to this intruder into my basement, but I found myself saying, instead, "You can drop the accent.  Leprechauns don't live in dirt basements.  What are you—a gnome?  A dwarf?"

I hope you enjoyed this fourth segment of Salamander in the Basement.  If you'd like to keep reading, the ebook is free on Amazon today, and you can also email me today to receive a free pdf copy if you'd prefer.  Thanks for reading!

This post is part of our Aimee Easterling Short Stories lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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