There is no man more bitter about his lot in life then Uncle Wiggly. He has a hook for a hand and a patch over his eye. He is not a pirate. He is not the town’s joke. He is the town’s menace.
Everybody who walks the sidewalk knows to get out of his way. The scowl on his face never leaves, the seriousness of his voice never strays.
I have heard rumors that Uncle Wiggly once shoved his hook through the throat of a dog, only because the poor mutt was urinating where he wasn’t supposed to. I have personally witnessed Uncle Wiggly tear up a bed of roses in a fit of rage, all because he did not like the way the home owner looked at him.
But today, something much different happened. Shortly after I spoke with Tricks Arthur Kids in secrecy, I bumped into him on the street corner. Uncle Wiggly smiled at me.
It was not a genuine smile, there was nothing friendly about it. It startled me, and quite frankly I felt more afraid of him then ever. I immediately turned the other way, and walked down the cross street instead. Uncle Wiggly followed me, so I ran.
He ran too.
Uncle Wiggly chased me up the alleyway. He followed my lead after I hopped a fence and tore through a backyard. He called after me in a frightful yell.
I hurried, but he hurried too. No matter how long or far I ran for, it seemed there was no way to evade Uncle Wiggly. Finally, I stopped, turned around, gulped, then addressed the menacing man.
“What is it you want?” I said.
“What is it that I want?” He returned. “I thought you were after me.”
I shook my head. “Why would you think that?”
He smiled that sickly smile again. “Because I saw you spoke with Trix Arthur Kids.”
Looking away, I felt the shiver run down my spine. No one was supposed to know that. “What?” I responded.
“Don’t play games McWatty9. I know you’re after me now.”
“No,” I said at once, doing my best to deny it. “Your name never came up in our conversation. Only Harry’s.”
He laughed again, turning his face up to the sky. When he faced me again, he spit, and then spoke. “You can be with me or against me, McWatty9. But either way, when this ends, everybody is going to die.”
I swallowed. “It doesn’t have to end like that.”
“Oh, but it does!” He smiled, then pushed his three-cornered hat up with his hook. “And I suggest you pick a side sooner rather than later. You’re in this now, you know.”
Uncle Wiggly turned and started off.
“I don’t want to be!” I shouted.
“Too bad then,” He said, not bothering to face me. “Because the madness has already begun.”
Just then, at the finish of his statement, I heard a loud boom. When I turned in the direction of the explosion, I saw the building up in smoke, searing with flame.
– Thomas M. Watt