Under the Rug

By Erin
Written 2003

My dad overreacts to everything. I could drop a pencil while doing homework, and he would yell, “Oh my God, you’re going to get pencil marks all over the carpet! Hurry, pick it up!” Lately, he had been really edgy, even more than usual. I tried to stay out of his way, but that was humanly impossible.

It all started when my friend Larry and I were watching the big football playoffs game. We had been chomping on Cheez-Its all before halftime. When we finished the box, I set down on the floor beside the couch. Then my dad walked into the living room.

“Oh my God, you got crumbs all over the sofa!” he screamed furiously. “Pick them up!”

I quickly obeyed because I knew my dad’s yelling could get louder than anyone could imagine possible.

Then he fixed his gaze on the carpet by the lamp. His face turned bright red with fury.

“What the…” he began. “WHAT IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY IS THAT?”

Larry flinched because that was the first time he heard one of my dads shouting sprees.

“Don’t worry about it. He does this all the time,” I told him.

“Look!” my dad commanded. “What IS that under the rug?”

I got up and said, “What? I don’t see anything.”

“THE LUMP UNDER THE RUG! What is it, Steven? TELL ME!”

“I honestly don’t know what it is, Dad,” I said, “but it’s moving.”

“IT’S MOVING? Oh my God, it’s going to knock over the lamp!” my dad screamed. “Quick, grab the lamp! That cost me a whole lotta money!”

I ran over to the table as fast as I could. I tripped over the lump in the floor.

“Oh my God, it’s going to fall!” my dad screamed again.

“No, it’s not,” I said, as I grabbed the lamp just in time.

“Thank God…,” my dad sighed. “It’s still there. I must dispose of this menace that has brought evil to our house!” Sometimes he gets really dramatic.

Then, he grabbed a cane.

“I will destroy you! Mwa, ha, ha!” He struck at the floor with all his might. He kept whacking it until I said, “Dad, it’s gone.”

“Ha! Dangerous Dan wins again!” he stated triumphantly.

My dad must think he’s a superhero, but Dangerous Dan sounds really negative. On top of that, his name’s not even Dan.

Then he put the cane in his old violin case, as if it were a sheath for a sword.

“You have all witnessed the power of Dangerous Dan! Please, kids, don’t try this at home.”

I still didn’t know what the thing was under the rug. It disappeared mysteriously. I really didn’t think my dad killed it because a cane couldn’t have flattened it, and he had really poor accuracy.

My dad left the room saying, “All in a day’s work.”

“That was weird,” Larry muttered. I had forgotten he was there.

“My dad’s a lunatic, but you’ll get used to it,” I said. “Aw, we missed half the third quarter!”

And the day continued as usual.

* * * * *

Two weeks passed before it happened again.

We were peacefully eating dinner on a Sunday evening.

“More asparagus, dear?” my mom asked.

“No thanks,” I replied.

“But they’re good for-” but she was cut off by a loud CRASH!

“What was that?” my mom asked.

“It came from the living room!” I realized.

“Don’t state the obvious!” my dad yelled as he picked up a chair.

My dad and I ventured into the living room. I was unarmed, but Dangerous Dan was ready for combat.

“All right, who’s ready to feel the wrath of Dangerous Dan?” growled my dad. “No answer, huh? Well, here I come!”

He ran across the room, wielding his almighty chair. He came to the sight of the expensive lamp shattered into a million pieces. Then his eyes fell upon the lump in the floor – the same lump from two weeks ago!

“Grrrrrr!!” roared my dad. He raised the chair above his head. “Rah!!!!”

“Dad, you’re going to smash the TV if you don’t watch what you’re hitting!” I warned. Looks like Dangerous Dan needed a little practice.

“Okay!” he yelled back. “I’ll move over a bit and… This’ll be your final moment, Lump Under the Rug! Ha!”

The chair came gliding down swiftly and forcefully. Then it connected with the lump in the carpet. Two of the chair legs cracked off. I grabbed a leg and said, “Is it gone?”

“It’s still there, but it’s not moving. Dangerous Dan has killed this pest! Ha!” my dad cried triumphantly.

We stared down at the lump. Then it vanished before our eyes. It mysteriously disappeared.

“What? Where did Dangerous Dan’s victim go?” cried my dad.

Where DID it go? And what was it? Was it an evil menace like my dad said? Or was it a mere hallucination? Maybe we will never find out… and Dangerous Dan’s victim will have escaped forever!

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