Who Needs a Ghoulash With Guts? by R. S.

“ARRRR, WAAA, WAAA” cried little Manny as he was sitting on top of the kitchen counter.  Mamma Upsetta came in to stir her pot of boiling eyeballs on the stove. “Manny, why are you crying?” asked Mamma Upsetta. “I’m afraid, Mamma!”  “Afraid of what?” asked Mamma Upsetta. “I’m afraid to scare people. Boo Hoo Hoo” said Manny screeching with red tears running down his face.

“Oh Manny, it is quite normal to feel scared when you first start to scare people at your age.  People’s screams can just rattle the nerves. It takes time to get used to it. The most enjoyable scares are when the mouth drops open and no words or screams come out.  Then you know you’ve done a good job. Sometimes, fainting is a good sign also, when you scare properly. It takes a lot of guts to scare people” said Mamma Upsetta.

“You want me to show people my guts?” asked Manny with his eyes bulging out.  “Of course not, my little scary Manny. Having guts is an expression of being brave.  Scaring people is what we were made to do. Your brothers Creepy and Howling were a bit nervous too when they first started scaring people.  Why don’t you ask them to give you lessons. They can teach you the scariest moves and sounds. With some practice, you can be the scariest Ghoulash of all time!” Mamma Upsetta said enthusiastically.

“I did ask Creepy and Howling to show me their scariest moves and howls.  I tried to copy their moves and sounds, but I became nervous. My excretions came out and there were bubbles everywhere. Creepy and Howling couldn’t stop laughing at me when this happened.  I’m going to be the only Ghoulash in the family that doesn’t scare people” said Manny sobbing.

Mamma Upsetta frowned as she stared at Manny.  “If only he knew how frightfully scary looking he is with his blue quill hair, dark red eyes, moss colored skin, and his large yellow razor sharp teeth, maybe he wouldn’t be so nervous”  Mamma Upsetta thought.

“What’s going on? Why is our little scary Manny crying” asked Pappa Grewsome walking into the kitchen.  Manny jumped off the kitchen counter and hid behind Mamma Upsetta. “Our little scary Manny is afraid to scare people” said Mamma Upsetta. “Afraid to scare people? Nonsense.  Our family has been scaring people for generations. Manny, you must dig deep into your booger-picking, snot-grinding, ant-eating, slime-spitting, sludgy gut to scare people!” said Pappa Grewsome sternly. Dozens of pink bubbles started to appear.  “What’s this?” asked Pappa Grewsome looking around the kitchen. “Oh, it’s just Manny’s excretions whenever he gets nervous. Now Manny, try not to be nervous. Here is some warm worm milk and spider crackers. You can take them into your room. Bring down the plate and glass when you’ve finished eating your snack” said Mamma Upsetta smiling.

“Let’s go into the living room Upsetta” said Pappa Grewsome waving his hands through all the bubbles.  Mamma Upsetta nodded. “Grew, we need to help our little scary Manny to overcome his fear of scaring people.  He has the potential to become the scariest Ghoulash in the family” said Mamma Upsetta whispering as she sat down on their cobweb couch.  

“I have a few ideas that may help.  What if he concentrates on focusing on one object, such as hairy bat feet or booger eggs?” asked Pappa Grewsome. “No, he tried it and it didn’t work.” said Mamma Upsetta. “What if Manny imagines sludge, vomit, or snail goo soup on his brother’s faces? ” asked Pappa Grewsome. “No, Manny tried it. It didn’t work either,” sighed Mamma Upsetta.

Pappa Grewsome stood up from the cobweb couch.  He started to pace the gravel floor. A large grin slowly appeared on Pappa Grewsome’s face.  “Great jumping spiders! Hold on to your curly claws. What if Manny imagines his brothers with rainbows, butterflies, and sparkly flowers all over their faces as he scares people.  It is so hideous and grotesque to imagine, that it may help him to focus scaring people without being scared.” said Pappa Grewsome smiling with his snaggle tooth hanging over his lip.   

There was silence as Mamma Upsetta’s mouth hung open for a few seconds. “Uh, Grew, this is beyond anything I ever heard of.  It is so horrible, that it may actually work. Tonight, after dinner, I will explain this crazy, dreadful technique to Manny.  I hope it works” said Mamma Upsetta. “Great, I’ll take Creepy and Howling out for some toenail ice cream so Manny can try it out in privacy” said Pappa Grewsome cheerfully.   “Let’s keep our claws crossed,” said Mamma Upsetta.

“Mamma, the snake eyeballs and caterpillar soup tastes deliciously sour” said Manny.  “I added some of your favorite bee’s wax in the soup for a little extra spice. Manny, when your done eating, go into the living room.  I want to discuss something with you” said Mamma Upsetta smiling. “O.K. Mamma.”

Pappa Grewsome, Creepy and Howling quietly slipped out the back kitchen door after finishing their dinner.  Mamma Upsetta took a few deep breaths as she sat down on the couch. “Manny, I have a new technique that may help you to not feel scared when you start to scare people.

Imagine your brothers sitting down at the kitchen table with rainbows, butterflies and sparkly flowers all over their faces. Do they look dreadful?” asked Mamma Upsetta putridly.

“EWWWW, YUCK!!!!!!” squealed Manny. “O.K. Manny, try to scare me while thinking of your brothers with all that horrible, horrible stuff on their faces” said Mamma Upsetta. “ERRR, RAHHH, GRAAAR!” growled Manny.  “One more time!” said Mamma Upsetta loudly. Manny’s eyes bulged out farther than ever before as he focused on the rainbows, butterflies and sparkly flowers all over Creepy and Howling faces. Loud ferocious growls and snarls filled up the living room. Mamma Upsetta’s hair was standing straight up.

“Did I sound and look scary, Mamma?” asked Manny. “Yes, great job! Pappa will be very happy to  hear your scary sounds. It was Pappa who came up with the idea, too.” Mamma Upsetta said with her hair still standing up. Manny started to growl, gurgle and snarl over and over.

“Hey, Manny, I brought you some toe nail ice cream with extra ants and worms” said Pappa Grewsome as he walked into the living room.  “Hi, Pappa, Creepy, Howling. Look at this!” said Manny excitedly. Manny let out the loudest growl, snarl, and gurgle he could muster. The whole house vibrated from the sound.  Everyone was amazed.

Manny’s self-confidence grew as he practiced over and over.  Manny quickly became the scariest gut wrenching Ghoulash in the neighborhood. “Our little scary Manny is growing up, Grew.” said Mamma Upsetta. “Being scary takes a lot of guts.  After all, what is a Ghoulash without guts?” asked Pappa Grewsome.

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