Mrs. Norris was old. KC said she was like sixty or something. Mom said not to be silly cuz she couldn’t be a day older’n 35. Dad said she was too hot to be that old. Well 35 sounds old to me, and she never looked too hot neither. Sometimes she even wore a sweater when I was just in a T-shirt.
The day the movers started hauling stuff into the Anderson twinses old house all of us kids was pretty excited. We kept riding our bikes past the house to see what kinda new kids there was gonna be. But when Mrs. Norris showed up all by herself we knowed that she didn’t have none.
KC’s dad said that Mrs. Norris was a monomally cause she didn’t have kids. He said that her heramones should be squirting all over making her wantta have one. But we didn’t see nothin squirting outta her, and he must be right cuz she just kept not having any kids. Dad said she was a curiosity in the neighbourhood, even for the grown-ups.
And anyone who knows anything knows that old ladies with no kids are mean. So Bobby Maki, the biggest kid on our block, called a meeting at the fort. There us kids decided that we was gonna get back at her on accountta her being mean, and I said on accountta that she wasn’t squirting heramones too. We come up with a really good plan. I don’t bemember what it was no more, but I bemember it being a good un.
Bobby was meant to start it, but when we rode our bikes up to her house she was outside wearing her blue coveralls and working in the yard. “Hi there cutie pie,” she said to Bobby. “What can I do for you?”
Bobby got all red and started to act funny. Usually he’s tough and don’t put up with nothin from no one. I figured he would bop her one on accountta her calling him a cutie pie, but he looked down at his feet and hitched his thumbs into his pants and pulled them up higher. I could see that he was standing on his toes. Afterward he told us little uns that if he heard anyone getting back at Mrs. Norris he’d bust us in the chops. Bobby was the boss of us kids when we were outside, and no one wanted to get smacked, so from then on out we left Mrs. Norris alone.
KC called her a Poopie-head once but that was alright cuz he calls everyone that. So even though Bobby heared it, he didn’t bust KC for it.
I figured that she was a car fixer because of her blue coveralls, but Mom said prolly not cuz she took a suitcase to work and was usually gone for a few days. Dad thought she was a airplane worker called a stewardest. He said that a stewardest was like a waiter on a plane. I said that it didn’t sound like a fun job. Mom said that it didn’t look like a fun job neither.
One day when we was coming home from the bus stop after school we was all talkin about what we were going as for Halloween when KC stopped and pointed at Mrs. Norris’s house. There were three witches sitting on her roof. THREE!
And there was ghosts hanging from the trees, and I counted 27 punkins lining her walkway. They was all carved into different faces. One even looked like Elsa from Frozen. That one was my favouritest. My mouth was open so wide that a fly flew right into it. I was coughing hard so KC smacked me on the back and I swallowed it. Gross.
Halloween was only three days away and now all of a sudden Mrs. Norris had the best decorations in the neighbourhood. It was SO cool. I really wanted to see inside her house to see if it was as spooky as her yard.
Mom had made me a helmet out of paper-mashy and found a shiny, silver jacket and I was going as a astronaut. The rule by the grown-ups here was that we had to make our costumes and store bought ones was no good. But sometimes I looked at the ones in the Walmart and they looked pretty to me.
When we trick and treated at Mrs. Norris’s house she guessed right away that I was a astronaut. And she said not to call her Mrs. Norris too on accountta that she was never married. She said she was a Ms but when she said it, it sounded like Mzzzzz, but she said that it was spelled Ms. And guess what? It turns out that she isn’t a stewardest. She is a for-real astronaut and if I wanted to, she could take me, and my Mom and Dad, and even KC on a tour of a for-real rocket ship!
Mrs. Norris is the nicest neighbour EVER. Even though she ain’t got any kids. And even though she’s old and hot. And I’m not telling about the inside of her house cuz that’s something you gots to see for yerself.
“rear view,” by Kirsten Jennings. www.flickr.co. Some rights reserved.