Something Wild This Way Comes
A storypoem adventure tale
The title is a mix of Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. I also owe many inspirational thanks to Shel Silverstein’s poetry from Where the Sidewalk Ends, Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg, and Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Waterson.
SOMETHING WILD this way comes,
I can feel the beating of their drums.
I sense the shuffle of shifty feet,
prowling through the jungle peat,
What in the world could they be,
these wild things that stalk toward me?
What did I do? What do they need?
I can’t imagine—except—to feed!
Maybe these cannibals so very dire
are seeking me for their brand new fire.
Maybe I can tell them I’m way too scrawny;
they’d be better off with a kid more brawny.
But those silly fellas, they’ll never find me,
they can search every stone, stump and tree.
I will pull these sheets up over my face;
they’ll never unveil my special place.
It’s magical, wondrous, and perfectly hidden.
A fortress, a hideout, an impenetrable den.
I’ve got all the very best provisions I need.
I thought of it all, I did indeed!
I have an air straw so I can breathe alright;
it gets sort of stuffy at times overnight.
I have a flashlight if it gets too dim,
some comics to read - Uncanny Z-Men!
Oh boy, and I’ve got food aplenty.
How many boxes here? Ten? Twenty?
Packs of cheese crackers and potato chips,
salty crumbs already coating my lips.
Chocolatey nuts and squishy marshmallows.
I could eat a whole bag of those puffy fellows.
Fizzy carbonated colas and caffeinated pop,
and you better believe I’ll drink every drop.
I could survive out here an entire year!
Yeah, that’s right, ain’t nothing to fear.
So, I’m not worried, not worried one bit.
I don’t care how close those cannibals get…
what is that?
I heard a growl.
Something else is on the prowl.
It’s a big jungle cat I suspect,
a critter that demands respect,
muscles molded under girdled loins,
shining saucer eyes like golden coins.
Cruel panther’s claws slice the soil,
long and lithe and spread to spoil
my favorite brand new striped PJs!
Oh, this could go bad in so many ways!
That panther could tear me into tiny pieces,
and gobble me down like candy Reese’s.
Well, WHEW, lucky, it didn’t catch my scent,
I guess that bath tonight was time well spent.
Hmm…well…it’s getting a tad warm in here,
perhaps I should poke my head up for a peer.
Something else is thrashing around now,
flattening the flora like a flustered cow.
Could an elephant be making that awful racket?
Each tusk as dangerous as a bony hatchet?
It could cream me into paste beneath its feet,
stomping and stamping until I’m flat as a sheet!
It could be a rhinoceros too,
I saw one once at a local zoo.
It’s got that super long horn like a unicorn,
and wrinkled grey skin as a uniform.
It would probably impale me just for fun!
Aw, man, I really, really gotta be ready to run!
Well, whatever it was wandered away.
It wasn’t much in the mood to play.
All I have to do is stay alive until morning
and hope to survive the distant storming.
Oh, I forgot to mention, it’s monsoon season,
so I’m plenty worried for a plenty good reason.
A river of water could dump on my head,
whisking away both me and my bed
into a whirlpool of spectacular size,
along with those creepy piranha guys,
feisty little fish with needle-sharp teeth,
biting and chomping and jumping beneath.
My bed really makes an excellent boat.
Who would have thought it could actually float?
Oh, you wouldn’t believe the vistas I’ve seen,
the most amazing landscapes, luscious and clean.
Pink lemonade dawns, glittering, glimmering.
Waterfalls tumbling, shining, shimmering.
A blanket of trees, a great carpet of green,
spreading hills to horizon, silent, serene.
But all those nice things I’ll think about later;
Right now I’ve got a concern even greater.
I hear a low, low guttural grumble,
a sound from something ready to rumble,
a beast I know who likes to wrestle,
who can bend my limbs up like a pretzel.
It swings from the branches fearless of height,
confident in its machismo and might.
You maybe already guessed it, a chimpanzee,
and this banana-munchin’ monkey is chasing me!
But I still have my packs of crackery snacks,
and I fling them out before the monkey attacks,
hoping that it will just leave me in peace
and gobble up all that cheesy fried grease!
Ok….alright…I think my plan succeeded.
The ape has swung off, its grunting receded,
but now I hear new voices in the distance
growing louder with their persistence.
I can’t exactly make out what they’re saying,
but I’m really, truly hoping and praying
that they’re just normal folks lost in this land,
probably ignorant of the hazards at hand.
Maybe it’s a group of pioneers
slashing through these viny veneers,
swatting off mosquitoes as big as your fist
while marching through miles of mist.
Well, they better be careful, there’s quicksand out there.
All I might find later are the tops of their hair!
Oh GREAT… now I hear shouts of distress.
Of course they’ve gotten themselves in a mess.
I bet they met that old anaconda,
about as big as a mid-size Honda.
That snake will finish off the explorers,
gulping them down like fast food orders.
But what if it wants to slither after me
and slide into my bed for scaly company?
Aww, giant snakes are the very worst of these denizens!
Worse than piranhas, panthers, and head-hunting citizens!
That’s it, that’s it, I can’t take it anymore.
The stress is just too much to ignore.
I’ve made my decision, I’m coming out now.
Got to fight these things, but I don’t know how.
No matter where I fly or where I flee
they somehow always follow me.
So rather than have this bed as my tomb,
Like a fearless man I’ll face my doom.
Just my fists, that’s my defense,
so come and let the brawling commence!
I’ll punch and I’ll JAB, uppercut and HOOK!
I’ll dish out some damage, just you look!
So off fly the covers and I take a stance,
ready for the worst at my first glance…
….surely an array of formidable foes…
stacked in ever deepening rows…
…jeering monkeys and barrel-chest apes…
…rearing rhinos and serpentine shapes…
…poisonous ants and massive spiders
and drooling, daunting elephant riders…
…an army of very unflattering fiends
and they’re here to win by any means.
…but there stands just Momma, bedraggled and cranky,
waggling a finger and threatening a spanky.
She’s been downstairs yelling for ages,
and finally stomped up in one of her rages.
“You gotta go to bed!” and this time she’s not joking.
No more hooting and hollerin’ and pretending I’m choking.
Doesn’t matter if a python was wrapped around my waist,
or if an elephant was about to mash me to paste
or a creepy hunter was ready to roast my liver,
or pesky piranha prowled by my ride in the river.
Momma doesn’t care, she says this happens every night,
“So GET to bed son, you should know this isn’t right!”
It’s just the fabricated fears of all I’ve imagined,
toothy maws and claws all fantastically fashioned.
“Use that zany imagination of yours for something more constructive,
and PLEASE stop throwing food everywhere, you can be so destructive!”
So I’m scolded just a little bit more
until Momma finally shuts the bedroom door.
Fine then, fine, I click on the flashlight,
reaching for a comic, knowing Momma is right.
No more Tarzan’s Adventures, I’ve had enough of those.
I’m pretty familiar with how a jungle jaunt goes.
No more Zippy the Spacefarer and his leaps across space
and chumming with aliens on an asteroid base.
And no more Uncanny Z Men clad in tights,
ready to engage in rampaging fights…
Most of my comics are cool, nothing too scary,
not many real monsters, heinous and hairy…
I’ll read just a bit longer, that’s the plan…
…this comic is about the BOOGEY MAN!
Author's Note: Thank you for reading the story above! If you enjoyed it, check out some of my other work below! And please don't forget to hit the ❤ button below and subscribe
About the Creator
I am a writer, artist and poet from North Carolina. I recently self published a children's/YA book called Harold and the Dreadful Dreams. You can learn more about it at my blog https://jmhauser.com, as well as other projects.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Original narrative & well developed characters
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
On-point and relevant
Writing reflected the title & theme
Expert insights and opinions
Arguments were carefully researched and presented
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Niche topic & fresh perspectives
THIS IS FABULOUS!! I can definitely feel the Shel Silverstein influence, for sure! Very much enjoyed!