When I was growing up my family lived down the street from my mom’s mom. My mom came from a large family and she was the second oldest. When I was a kid I still had aunts and uncles who were only a few years older than me. Whenever I was bored I could walk a few houses down the block and pop into my grandma’s to play with my aunt who was two years older than me, or maybe go out back to discover the latest extreme sport my uncle had invented, or maybe hear the latest sensational urban myth from a different uncle. I thought they were all so cool and worldly – the way most young kids look up to older kids.
On one corner of our block there was a large white house with red shutters. If some of us kids happened to riding our bikes on the sidewalk, or walking past the house – it was on the way to school – the woman who lived there would come outside and yell at us kids to “Get off my sidewalk!” and to “Stay off the grass!”
The woman’s name was Millie, but we all called her “Millie the Witch.” We were terrified of this woman. She was rather short and somewhat chubby and she had long dark hair that was going gray. In front of her house was parked a 1960 Plymouth that was as scary looking as the owner, with pointy tail fins and evil looking headlights! Even creepier to us kids was that the car was packed with trash. Seriously, there was no room in the car except for the driver and maybe one passenger. The backseat was full to the windows with newspapers, books, trash, and boxes of crap. It was so mysterious and fascinating to us.
Needless to say, we avoided Millie if we could.
Around this time, one of my older uncles came home on leave from the Navy. For the most part he didn’t want to have much to do with us pesky kids, but he didn’t mind taking time out now and again to torment us. He especially liked to show how wise and knowledgeable he was compared to us dumb kids. One night he decided to tell us the real story about Millie the Witch.
Of course we all leaned in a little bit closer as he began his tale,
“Once, a long time ago, Millie and her mother lived in the house on the corner. Millie grew to hate her mother because she was always complaining and bossing Millie around. One night Millie just couldn’t take it anymore! She brought an axe into the house and when the two women sat down to dinner as Millie’s mom passed a bowl of mashed potatoes, Millie brought the hatchet out and chopped off her mother’s hand! Her mother fell back in horror and Millie finished her off. While Millie was doing in her mother, one of her great white dogs grabbed the severed arm and ran off with it.
Later that night, when everyone else in the neighborhood was asleep, Millie went out back and buried her mother’s body in the backyard. The next day she had a fence built all the way around the back so that no one would ever see in and discover the grave.
Millie thought that would be the end of her problems – but they were only beginning! At night Millie’s mother’s severed hand crawls through the neighborhood trying to find the rest of it’s body. It climbs in through windows and when it doesn’t find the body it’s looking for, it strangles the helpless victims as they lay in bed!
So tonight if you hear a scratching at the window – watch out – it could be Millie’s mother’s hand – THE CLUTCH!”