Boxes that is! Save your Ding Dong boxes and enter the ding dong box architecture contest for a chance to win a trip to the castle nonesuch!
Lewis is just sixteen years old. He lives in house number 9, third house downtown. It’s a nice house. However, there is a ghost living in it. Lewis does not believe in ghosts, and therefore he is utterly confused.
“There are no ghosts. I don’t believe in ghosts.” Lewis thought to himself one day as he was stacking a huge stack of empty hoho boxes. His mother was going to build a mausoleum out of them and win a contest. And he, Lewis, was in charge of stacking them and getting them organized. He was given the orders to design the blueprints. Lewis didn’t do it.
His mother screamed at him every morning at breakfast about it while scarfing down ding-dongs. But Lewis couldn’t bring himself to accomplish this task. You know why? Because had never seen a blueprint. In fact, Lewis didn’t even know what a blueprint was. He had never seen a blueprint. Every morning, when he opened his eyes, he prayed to the God Almighty in heaven and asked the Lord Jesus for a blueprint. But nothing happened. and he didn’t know what one was. He had no clue what his mother was talking about. And besides, he spent all of his time arranging empty cardboard boxes into neat stacks and columns. He didn’t have time for anything else.
That’s just the thing with cardboard boxes. They get knocked over and bent out of shape all the time. In a way they’re a lot like prudish people when they hear bad words. Anyway, there were so many boxes all over the house, that Lewis couldn’t walk across the house without knocking over a huge tower of them. If he knocked them over, he had to pick them all up. This could take hours.
At Four o’clock in the morning, Lewis woke up from a horrible dream. In the dream, he woke up and realized that his alarm clock didn’t go off. There was no alarm, and now he was late for school. He started to put on his shoes when the long black fingernails of the Lurch slowly made their way out of an empty box of ho ho’s. Lewis gasped when he saw it. It was the Lurch and he was going to get him. He woke up so quickly that his body jumped into the air and off the bed. He gave a loud shriek and every box in the room tumbled over. He heard his mother bang on the wall for him to shut up. He suddenly felt very stupid. He was going to have to pick all the boxes up.
“You’re really stupid, you know, Lewis. You’re going to have to pick up all of those boxes now!” Lewis heard his mother shout at him as he plopped back down onto the bed in sheer dismay.
“I know mother” exasperatingly as he fell back asleep. He ignored the loud muffled lecture on respecting your parents. Lewis fell asleep and didn’t pick up the boxes. He realized this when he woke up suddenly and realized that the boxes had been picked up.
“That is so weird,” Lewis thought as he made his way to the bathroom to brush his teeth. He looked at his watch. He was late for school. He didn’t freak out and jump like he had done in the dream. Perhaps the dream was there to warn him. Warn him of what? Knocking over the boxes or the Lurch coming to get him. He wasn’t sure. Of course the dream could have been warning him about the ghost in the window. Ghost in the window. It suddenly dawned on Lewis that there had been a ghost in his window when he got out of bed. He looked over towards the window and it wasn’t there. It was pretty weird. He reached under the bed to grab a shoe and a hand gave him the shoe. Lewis looked under the bed and saw a cloaked ghost.
“Who are you and what are you doing under my bed.”
“I’m a ghost and I’m cleaning your room.” The voice whispered.
“Okay then. But I must tell you. I don’t believe in ghosts, and yet I have one in my house. How is this possible.” As Lewis finished putting on his shoes he thought he could smell sugared grape jellymints. He looked back under the bed to see if the ghost was still there. Perhaps the ghost was eating jellymints and might offer him some. But alas she was not there. Lewis grabbed a ho ho and started off walking down the block to school.
As he walked he looked up towards the sky. It was overcast as usual. Lewis didn’t like the way the clouds looked in the sky. It didn’t seem right or normal. He’d live there all his life and everyone assured him that he was just paranoid from reading so many fairy tales. Lewis didn’t think he was paranoid at all. He’d been reading the Encyclopedia Atlantica and according to his research, dark clouds pour water on the ground and then turn white and fluffy. Rain clouds smell like fresh spring water. These things up in the sky that loomed low day and night. It was called smoke. Not clouds. But you couldn’t argue with anyone. Nobody had a copy of the Encyclopedia Atlantica. A full concise edition of the Encyclopedia Atlantica was worth so much money that if anyone found out he had it, they would steal it and sell it. Lewis thought about selling it. It would get him off the island. He could never get away with it though. They weren’t his books. He found them behind a wall. Someone who had lived there before had hid them in the wall.
Poor Lewis. Living on this island with all these crazy people was driving him bonkers. He really wanted to get away more than anything else in the world. But he couldn’t. He was trapped. Or maybe not. Someone told him that he could buy a one way ticket off the island for three thousand dollars.
“But where am I going to get three thousand dollars? Do you expect me to pull it out of a ding dong box one day?” said Lewis to a guy name Mike.
“I’ll tell you what.” said the Mike. If you work for me, I will personally buy you a ticket off this island.” Okay, said Lewis as he signed his entire life over to a guy that he didn’t know and trust. Poor Lewis forgot to ask, “how long.”
The only question on Lewis’ mind that morning was “Why did the Lurch’s hand come out of a box of ho hos this morning?” Ever since the ding dong contest started they’d stopped eating ho ho’s altogether and switched to ding dongs instead. Lewis hated ding dongs and refused to eat them. He always swiped a few ho hos from Mike Chandler’s house while he was over there. The maid caught him stealing it and she made him scrub out the toilets the manual way. This was quite a traumatic experience for Lewis because toilets carry parasites that can enter your intestines and eat you alive. That’s how his Aunt Gladice died, so Lewis knew very well how deadly toilets can be. The maid didn’t take his claim seriously, though. She laughed so loudly that it sounded like a crazed manic cackle. This frightened Lewis to no end and he cleaned those toilets and didn’t say a word about it.
Perhaps the Lurch symbolized a parasitic entity that would soon eat him alive. Lewis tried to think positive. He thanked God Almighty that at least there were no parasites in the drinking water like there is in other countries. Chesky Island has the cleanest water in the world and they don’t poison the food like they do in other countries. Lewis wasn’t so confident about the drinking water. He stayed up all night worrying about whether or not the parasites can travel from the sludge pipe to the clean pipe. The only reason he worried about it was because his mother had been ranting on about it endlessly the night before. She wouldn’t shut up about it. It was non stop. He stuffed his ears with cotton, hid in the basement and played a record as loud as possible and he could still hear her.
There was no doubt about it. If Lewis didn’t get away from his mother, he was going to loose his mind. He had to get off that Island. He had to escape. He was starting to give up hope that Mike Chandler would buy him a ticket to the mainland, after all. Mike Chandler was nothing more than a dirty rotten scoundrel who was using him as his own personal servant. Mike Chandler’s house was filled with people who followed them around and cleaned up after them all day long. It was fantastic. It was incredible. It was downright fabulous until Lewis figured out that he was just one of their servants. The servants were all being paid with empty promises. Lewis didn’t know this for sure. It was just a guess. It was just a mere assumption based on keen and accurate observation. It didn’t seem right, but there was nothing he could do about it.
Lewis wondered a bit and by lunchtime, he decided that he would just have to find a new escape route. He just couldn’t take it anymore