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The Story of Mr Widemouth
When we are small children it is hard to tell fact from fiction. Equally, looking back on our childhood, it is often difficult to tell what was fantasy and what was real.
It doesn't help if we have some difficulties in childhood. This can make the experiences all that more hazy.
This certainly could be the case with a man who recounted, on the Internet, his childhood experiences with a creature he called Mr. Widemouth.
As a boy, he moved around a lot due to his father's job. He says they finally settled in Rhode Island but prior to that, in his very early childhood, they were all over the Eastern US. Particularly he recalls his 5 month stay in a two-story house in New Vineyard, Maine. They were planning to move to Pennsylvania and, in fact, were packed to leave. He'd come down with mononucleosis and had a fever and was bed-ridden for some time. During this time, when he was alone in his room, he met a strange creature that liked enticing him to play. He describes the creature as looking like a furby, with big head, big eyes, big ears, big mouth, but a small body. The creature told the boy to just call him Mr. Widemouth.
The creature only made his appearance when Mom wasn't in the room. As soon as she was coming he'd hide under the bed. He in fact made it clear to the boy that Mom was not to know about the games he wanted to play with the boy.
One of these secret games that Mr. Widemouth wanted the boy to play involved jumping out of the window from the second story of the house. The creature enticed the child to go to the empty bedroom down the hall, opened the window and told the boy that he sometimes pretended there was a trampoline on the ground outside and that if you imagined there was one down there hard enough, there would be one and you could jump down on it.
The boy evidently was too smart, though tempted, and didn't try to jump out the window. Mr. Widemouth was first angry at this rejection but soon just became disappointed. He also was not deterred.
He told the boy that he wanted to teach him to juggle. When the creature produced a set of knives, the child immediately did not want to play with them because, of course, his parents expressly did not allow him to play with knives.
Mr. Widemouth would wake the youngster up in the middle of the night, telling him there was a trampoline under the window. Somehow, he never coaxed the boy enough to ever take that leap.
One morning, Mom allowed him to go outside because he was getting better. Mr. Widemouth was waiting for him and led him to the beginning of a deer trail and told him when the time was right he wanted to take him somewhere at the end of the trail. A place he claimed he had taken many "friends" the boy's age.
Finally, the day came when the family was set to move to Pennsylvania and the boy decided on not telling Mr. Widemouth about his departure. Everything was packed and he got in the truck with his father and leaned his face against the window; and he saw Mr. Widemouth in the window upstairs, waving with one hand and holding a knife in the other hand.
Years later he'd return to the that old house and explore the deer trail.
At the end of the deer trail he discovered New Vineyard cemetery. He also discovered that many of the graves belonged to children.
Did this story really happen or is it just the distorted memory of a period of upheaval and illness during the story-teller's childhood? Is it the product of fever-induced hallucinations?
Or is there some strange creature lurking the small town of New Vineyard, Maine, luring kids in with dangerous games and sending them to the cemetery.
I guess we'll never know.