“Honestly! I hardly think you need more than one sandwich, Gracie!”
“But Mom! I'm really hungry! Please?”
“Alright, fine! But this week we are talking to you about your diet, young lady!”
Gracie took her two tuna fish sandwiches, wrapped them in foil, and threw them into her bright green backpack. She darted out the door and across her front yard, before tripping on the sprinkler. Right as her face hit the sidewalk, her backpack landed at the bright red sneakers of Evan Meyers.
“Looks like Spacy Gracie fell on her facey!” Evan jeered to nobody in particular as he snatched up Gracie's backpack.
“You leave that alone!” Gracie protested. Her shouts fell on deaf ears as Evan looked it over as if it were some undiscovered object from an ancient civilization. He rotated it in his grasp, eyeballing every part of it with a quizzical look on his face. Then he dropped it the ground and stomped on it.
“Ahh!” Evan violently leapt backwards as the backpack violently erupted tuna, mayonnaise, and relish onto his shoe. “These are my favorite shoes,” he growled, “How dare you do this to my favorite shoes?!”
Before Gracie could react he kicked the backpack into her face and stormed off in a fit. Gracie didn't have time for this. She had to go meet her friend. In a flash she was back on her feet with her soggy backpack in hand. She wiped her face off and started running down the road towards the industrial district.
In the alley between the abandoned warehouse and the condemned paper factory, Gracie put down her backpack and propped herself up on a small dumpster against the factory's wall facing the warehouse. She dangled her legs off the side and cheerfully announced, “I'm here, Mister Wall!”
“Did you bring food?”
“Yes I did, Mister Wall! Tuna fish sandwiches, but Evan smooshed them in my backpack...”
“Give it to me.”
Gracie picked her backpack off of the ground and brought it over to the crack in the wall. The cracked, bloodshot eyes above it followed her unblinking as she moved closer. The crack split and revealed a fleshy interior with large, blocky teeth similar to those of a hippopotamus lining the top and bottom of the gaping maw. She fished out the mushy sandwiches clinging to the tin foil. “Great, this is going to be a mess!” she groaned.
“Just give it all to me.”
“But there's foil, you can't eat foil silly!”
“I told you to give it all to me.”
Gracie shrugged and threw the shredded foil matted with smashed sandwiches into the maw. The mouth closed into a crack again and the eyes watched her as the wall chewed. Then the chewing stopped. The eyes moved slowly down to look at the soaked, green backpack.
“There is more food,” the wall croaked.
“I can't get all of the tuna fish off of my backpack, Mister Wall!” Gracie teased. The wall stared at her and started to bare its teeth.
“There is more food,” the wall croaked again, this time the raspy, throaty voice resembling more of a growl, “Just give it all to me.”
Head turned down, Gracie reluctantly tossed the backpack into wall's mouth. It chewed and stopped. Gracie looked back up at its eyes, “Mister Wall, what would happen if I stopped feeding you?”
The wall's eyes stared back at her. Each pupil was as large as the child's head. The glassy surface of the eyes hovered over pulsating red veins like wires. After a pause, the wall uttered, “I need more food.” Eager to please Mister Wall, Gracie ran back home.
“Well you're just going to have to eat here,” Gracie's mother insisted, “After that Evan Meyers boy stole your backpack I'm not sending you out with any more food!”
“But Mom! I get hungry when I go out and play!”
“Gracie, when you grow up you are going to thank me for not letting you ruin your metabolism! Now go outside to play and if you get hungry you can come back inside, but no more food outside!"
Gracie stomped out into her front yard. Distraught, she sat at the curb and pondered. How would she get food? Could she ask the butcher? Did she have anything she could trade for food? Could she ask an adult for money? Maybe if she found a stray dog....
Just at that moment, a bouncy ball ricocheted off the side of Gracie's head and left her laying on her side. Evan Meyers walked up and retrieved the ball before sticking his tongue out at her and starting to walk away.
Before she even realized it, Gracie was on her feet shouting at Evan, “Hey you meanie if you don't start acting nice to me you're never going to get to see my super cool club house!”
That caught his attention.
“This better not be a joke,” Evan threatened as he followed Gracie down the street in front of the abandoned warehouse, “I'm going to make you eat dirt if this isn't as amazing as you say it is.”
“You're going to be so amazed that you're going to want to tell everybody about it,” Gracie said with excitement, “but you can't tell anybody! It's a secret!”
They walked around the corner and Gracie brought Evan in front of the face. The face stared at Gracie, while Evan stared dumbfounded at the eyes on the wall. Gracie put her finger to her lips as she gave the wall a knowing face.
“This is my club house. But to get in, you have to know the password!”
“Tell me what the password is then!” Evan demanded, approaching the face and putting his hand on the crack of the mouth.
“You have to guess,” Gracie teased, “If I tell you it won't work.”
“Butts!” Evan guessed, “Password! Gracie is stupid! Open sesame! Swordfish! Hammer!”
Gracie winked at the wall. It just stared blankly back at her. She looked to Evan, “Try dinner!”
Evan turned around and looked at her confused, “Dinner?”
The wall's mouth opened as wide as it could and bellowed, “Give me the food!”
Evan spun around and was stunned by the opened mouth. Gracie charged him from behind and he tumbled head first into the foul-smelling maw. Evan thrashed and struggled as the wretched flesh around him writhed and kept him from regaining balance, pulling him deeper in with each pulse.
The mouth started to close and Evan reached out for help. Gracie stuck her tongue out at him and pushed his arm into the mouth. As she did, Evan suddenly pushed his hand forward and grabbed her arm. He yanked her forward toward the mouth. She screamed as the crack closed around her head and arm. Gracie could feel the teeth start to chew on Evan as she heard the sounds of his bones cracking. He retained his grasp and pulled her deeper forward. Then the teeth started gnawing on her arm. She screamed more but was muffled inside of the mouth of the wall. The further in she was dragged the more her arm was crushed and mangled by the teeth. And then she felt teeth press on either side of her head.
With a crunch, Gracie's body squirming outside of the wall's mouth suddenly fell limp. The wall continued to chew. Then it opened its mouth a little and pulled the rest of her body in. Then it closed its mouth again and continued to chew. Then it stopped. It closed its eyes and mouth. The cracks in the wall where the face had been sealed themselves. The warehouse was once again abandoned.
Credited to William John Holly