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Dogs and Monsters on Halloween

The sight of kids dressed as monsters on Halloween can be a scary sight to smaller children. Some bigger brothers and sisters like to scare the pants off their younger siblings with scary stories of dogs and monsters. Stories like this one:

The old woman lived alone in a small, rustic log cabin, deep in the Blueridge Mountains. She had lived there for more than 45 years with her husband, and after his passing she continued living alone in the same cabin for 10 more years. She wasn’t really alone though, as she had her loving and faithful companion, a huge Saint Bernard that had wandered into her yard some 4 years ago and refused to leave.

No one ever came looking for the dog so she decided it was meant to be and set about to make the cabin comfortable for both of them. She built the dog a bed on the floor, made from logs she had chopped herself, and gave him a couple of old blankets that had holes in them, but were much appreciated by the dog.

After a couple weeks of the dog being a standard fixture around the cabin, and it also being abundantly clear that no one was going to come and claim him, she decided to call the dog ‘Rufus Junior’, after her dead husband, Rufus.

The two of them enjoyed living in the cabin with no radio and no TV. The old woman had never heard the words “cell phone”, and any reference to Xbox and Playstation would have meant nothing but gibberish to her. She didn’t text, IM, or chat. She had no Facebook account, had never seen any video – let alone those on YouTube, and she had never even heard of the internet; but if she had, she probably would have thought the world wide web had something to do with large spiders. She had almost no contact with anyone else, preferring to raise her own vegetables and chickens to provide for her and the dog.

Once every six weeks she and the dog would embark on a long hike down the mountainside to a small store, no bigger than a closet, and buy grains and other things she needed from the deaf old man who ran the store. They never spoke; not even once in all the years she’d been coming to the store. She figured if he couldn’t hear, why bother to talk. She’d point at whatever she needed and usually had a list of what she wanted written on an old handkerchief, which she would carefully wash and dry after each trip to the store.

The dog and the old woman loved each other very much and made great companions. The old woman would sit in her rocking chair every night in front of the roaring fire and knit whatever came to mind. In the past years she had knitted just about every kind of item that could be knitted. Since yarn was so expensive and hard to get, after each piece was finished, she’d display it on the mantel for a few days, then unravel the yarn and use it again for a new project. She’d hold a newly finished piece up for the dog to see, who finally after a year of this, realized he was supposed to respond in some way to her gesture, so he’d give out a little woof-woof and the old woman would pet him and say, “I’m so glad you like it Rufus”.

The dog was very good at comforting the old woman whenever she missed her husband. The dog would see small tears falling down her old, wrinkled cheeks and instinctively knew it was time to comfort the old woman. He would lick her hand and let her know that he was there to protect her.

When it was time for the both of them to go to bed, the dog would lie down on his bed and soon begin snoring. Sometimes their snoring was so deafening that they would wake each other up.

One night, after they had both gone to bed and the dog had licked her hand like he had done every night since moving in, the old woman began to snore and Rufus laid his big head down on the blanket. He was about to join her melodic snoring when there was a loud bang on the door to the cabin. It was so sharp and so foreign – after all – no one ever came to the cabin, at least not in the four years he had lived there. The loud bang came again and Rufus looked up at the old woman to see if she was going to investigate the source of the noise but she was fast asleep.

The third time the bang on the door was so hard that it pushed the door completely open, and there stood the most frightening thing Rufus had ever seen. Suddenly a boom of thunder shook the cabin and lightning began to flash, framing the massive shape now standing in the open doorway.

Rufus began whimpering from fright and that made the old woman stir in her sleep. She reached down to pet Rufus as she did every night and then quietly went back to sleep. The frightening figure started walking through the doorway and made its way over to the fireplace. Two bony hands came out from under a tattered old black raincoat and began warming themselves in front of the fire. This was definitely enough to scare Rufus, but what came next nearly scared him right out of his hide. The bony arms drew closer to the fire and Rufus saw that they were attached to NOTHING. Just two shiny, bony arms floating in the air.

Rufus began whimpering louder and louder, hoping to wake the old woman. She stirred again in her sleep and reached down to pet him, but immediately fell back into a deep sleep. Rufus was becoming frantic watching the apparition that seemed to content itself with the fire.

Finally the figure drew its arms back beneath the coat and turned to stare directly at Rufus. Rufus began to shake like a twig in a thunderstorm. The figure began to move closer to the bed where the old woman slept and where Rufus lay shivering next to her.

Bright flashes of lightning lit up the small cabin and Rufus was able to plainly see that this was no human that had invaded their safe little sanctuary. The apparition looked like a monster, at least that’s what Rufus thought it was when he saw its head stitched onto its body and a big spike protruding through its throat. This was the scariest thing Rufus had ever encountered, and instead of barking loudly to scare the intruder away, he was shaking like a leaf and his teeth were chattering a rat-a-tat-tat tune.

The monster continued walking towards the old woman, his boots clanking from the chains wrapped around them. Rufus wet himself with fright and cowered so low he almost disappeared under the bed. If he had been able to, he would have. Or at least headed for the open door and an escape route. But he was frozen stiff, and mesmerized at the same time, as he began to get the sensation that this monster did not come to harm either of them, but somehow was connected to this place.

Just then the old woman woke with a start, looked up and screamed “Rufus!”. Poor Rufus was still so frightened that he couldn’t move to protect his companion. Then the old woman smiled broadly and said, “Rufus, you’ve come back to me.” The monster moved to the side of the bed, held out his bony arms and hugged the old woman as tightly as he could without his arms coming completely off again. It was then that Rufus Junior realized this must be the ghost of the old woman’s husband, the first Rufus. Just when he had gathered enough courage to sit up and say hello to this new arrival, the old Rufus began to slowly fade away until there was nothing left standing by the bed.

The old woman began to softly cry, but not tears of sadness. She looked at Rufus Junior and said, “My dear Rufus, that was my loving and faithful husband, come back from the grave on this Halloween night to be sure I was safe from any witches or goblins that might be roaming the mountains tonight”. Rufus jumped up and licked the old woman all over the face. He was so happy that this Halloween was not his last and that all monsters are not evil.


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