Return to the Village of the Damned: The First Sign of Madness

Cleo the Cat: “What the hell are we looking at?”

Scotch the Cat: “Oh, that’s right. You’re new around here. I forgot. I forget a lot of things. I once forgot that if the toy-let seat is up you can’t use it as a long-ching pad to get to the-”

Cleo: “Knock if off with your insipid neurotica. Back to me. I am not new here. I’ve ruled this queendom for years. And I’ve never seen this kind of abhorrence blocking my parade route when I prance around and let the little people see how stunningly beautiful I am.”

Scotch: “Uh huh. Well, a long time ago when it was just me here, and I liked that part a lot, Daddy made these really big Wilma Jess.”

Cleo: “Wilma Jess? I know that’s not an actual thing or person because I know you. Can you maybe help me figure out what word you really mean?”

Scotch: “Oh. Um. Well…”

Cleo: “Okay, let’s try a different route. What do you do with a Wilma Jess? Can we sleep on it in the sun? Is it something we can eat? Does she sing country songs about heartache and beer?”

Scotch: “Oh. It has lots of little houses and little cars and little people and lots and lots of lights. So many lights. Blinking lights. They turn on and off and on and off and on and off and I stare at them until I start to… remember long times ago… when I was a little kitty and I… everything was shiny and new and…”

Cleo: “Stay with me, Jack! Don’t let go!”

Scotch, eyes unfocused: “Mommy?”

Cleo, grabbing a nearby catnip-infused mouse toy and walloping Scotch upside the head: “Snap out of it!” Then she wallops him again, clearly inspired by Cher double-slapping Nicolas Cage in Moonstruck and secretly hopping that she also wins an Acatamy Award.

Scotch, eyes clearing: “Why you hatin’?”

Cleo: “I’m not hatin’. I’m just bored with the way you twisted ginger cats can’t stay focused for longer than two seconds. Now, the little houses and the little people and the lights. Is there snow involved?”

Scotch: “Yes. Well, not real snow. It smells like chopped-up plastic bits. Just like when Daddy buys us the cheap wet food instead of the good stuff.”

Cleo, sighing: “So you’re talking about Christmas villages. Not Christmas Wilma Jess.”

Scotch: “Oh. Maybe. Every day is a new day for me.”

Cleo: “You think? Anyway, this contraption here that’s blocking my parade. Is it an important thing or should I kill it and then leave it in the hallway for Daddy to find later and wonder what happened?”

Scotch: “Don’t kill it. No. It’s the thing that makes the lights come on in the tiny town. You have to see the lights. The blinking lights. So many blinking lights. So many blinking, blinking…”

Cleo, professionally administering a third slap with the infused mouse. “I’m too busy to deal with your relapses. So, the village is even more exciting than the blinking Christmas tree? The one that mesmerizes me until I chew on the branches and then recycle them late at night and wake Daddy up with my retching?”

Scotch: “Even better. You can attack the little people in the village and they fall down and break into lots of pieces that scatter everywhere and Daddy cuts his feet in the morning.”

Cleo, near rapture: “Really? I’m so excited I can barely breathe.”

Scotch: “But don’t touch that thing in front of us with your paw.”

Cleo: “Why? Everything in this queendom is mine. I can touch anything and then pretend that I didn’t.”

Scotch: “It’s full of Lex Tricity.”

Cleo: “You mean electricity.”

Scotch: “Yeah, that’s what I said. I touched it once and fire shot out of my boo. Then I forgot and touched it again and I became a soprano.”

Cleo: “And you’re already a castrato. Life must really suck for you.”

Scotch: “It doesn’t matter. I won’t remember in the morning.”


Original Note: And so begins a fresh series of stories in the Village of the Damned chronicles. Some of you will rejoice at the news. Some of you will yawn and see what’s on Netflix. We’ll see how it goes…

New Note: Previously published, tiny changes made. For those who are newer to the Bonnywood scene: The “Village of the Damned” is a serialized story I scribbled way back in the day. Two years ago, I did a run of “Return to the Village…” updates, and this was the first installment in the revisits. And yes, if you are concerned about the opening shot wherein it appears that I am overloading the circuitry, I must confess that in the years when the Wilma Jess is on full display, the buildings in downtown Dallas dim somewhat and there are rolling brownouts. Mea culpa.


35 replies »

    • I’ve learned to live with the guilt of the rolling brownouts. After all, it forces people to light candles, and we should all be doing more of that during the holidays. We don’t look as old in soft candlelight… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. My SIL has a massive Wilma Jess that takes her a month to set up. My favorite pictures are always her cat acting like a feline Godzilla rampaging through downtown and scattering villagers like watermelon seeds. Good times.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Scotch the cat was actually never allowed in The Village Room without supervision. He could make Godzilla look like a comatose slug…

      P.S. Next time, try to capture video of the Watermelon Festival. I think I would rather fancy a viewing….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m tossing another log on the fire and smiling, misty eyed, at the dialog. I’m elated beyond what is seemly for an old(ish) broad by the resurgence of the Village. I hope in that village there is a wee Memorial Wreath with Scotch’s name festooned on it. R.I.P. Scotch. Willa Ness isn’t quite the same without you. *sniff*

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, technically, a neutered male cat IS a castrato, although the term is generally used with humans. And Scotch the Cat could certainly hit very high notes when he was agitated about something…


  3. Okay, you know how much I love the Village of the Damned series, so this news makes me happy. And opening with a reappearance of Scotch the Cat and Cleo the Queen? My heart is full. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • To be fair, this is not actually a “new” series, as I’m re-sharing a run of posts that I made two years ago. But that run also occurred during Christmas, when the stats were way low since folks were quite busy and whatnot and therefore most of them were overlooked. Still and all, I’m always happy when your heart is full… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Can I just say that as a newbie here, I wasn’t expecting…this. This Alice-in-Wonderland feeling. I’m feeling like I’ve just discovered Narnia or smthng. I particularly love Cleo, so many adobs 👏👏

    Liked by 1 person

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