Jickly Forest: The Legend of Pompo Omallo (CHAPTER 1)
by Bold Symmetry
Pompo omallo has been doing shoeless jumping jacks since age 7. Now 23, his feet have been worn down to the heel, frightening Sligo Mishmosh and his ragtag crew of scalawags on the squash court at recess. That’s the ending of the story. Goodnight.
“23 at recess is pretty scary.”
Well, Tinkle Elementary and the ongoing recess had formed around Pompo, but the area had in fact been a mushroom grove in Jickly Forest when Pomp began his jumping jack routine some 16 years earlier… Pompo, or Jack, as Sligo’s crew referred to him, had been traversing Jickly Forest in late 1997, searching for his lost racist canine, Gerrymander Hound.
“I would like the story to continue. How was this story conceived? Is this yours?”
I wouldn’t say it’s mine.
“But you made it… Greymander would’ve been a better name that Gerrymander.”
No, I heard it from someone, but there is much more to be told. I’ve just begin to recount it to you.
“From who did you hear it from?! Did you just change the names?”
The story was passed on to me by Seymour Stylid at last year’s county fair. Gerrymander was her real name. And for good reason. All other names have been changed as to maintain the privacy of those originally involved and also because original names were too strange to be believable.
“Who the fuck is Seymour?…”
He told me half at last year’s county fair and I just heard the end right now when I bumped into him at the farmer’s market. And what an end it was.
I have been. Pomp was looking for ol’ Gerrymander in Jickly Forest, late 1997. Now the problem was that Gerrymander was a silent pup who only spoke when spoken to. And this wouldn’t’ve been an issue if it weren’t for the fact that Pomp had taken a vow of silence with the death of his now late Uncle Lake Sweater. Apparently they called him this because he lived by a pond and wore only cardigans for 16 years. When I asked Seymour why they hadn’t called him Pond Cardigan, he just laughed at me as if I were joking and I should’ve already known.
“WHERE IS THIS COMING FROM? From your mind?!?!?!”
How could I tell you something not from my mind, sweetie. Now sit on down and have a cocoa. Worry less. I brushed the Lake Sweater/Pond Cardigan name change off as if it didn’t matter. Just some result of family and friends who didn’t think much of words or getting the right ones. Or perhaps there had already been a pond sweater in Uncle Lake Sweater’s town of Chattanooga (not the one in Tennessee obviously). Either way there was a certain ring to Lake Sweater so I went with it. Said the man had worn sweaters to bed, sweaters to work on the fields, some said even a sweater on while he showered. And so they buried him in one. A cardigan, I mean. And right by the lake. I mean pond.