I knew that feeling comfortable in my childhood home was but a moment of fiction, because the house was anything but comfortable. Unless I was preoccupied, I could feel the presence of an unidentified entity. I was uneasy being alone in the house I had grown up in because even when I was alone, I was not. The house seemed to breathe. If no one were home, would the spirits manifest themselves into real bodies sitting around visiting and laughing? Day or night that house, my childhood home, seemed to exhort a sense of life, but just whose presence was never established. However, the presence of the haunting thing was ever there– at nighttime this presence seemed to snicker at the notion of bedtime. Perhaps going to bed at an early time when I was young was a good thing.
The haunting effected everyone. It seemed that everyone in the house, whether resident or visitor, was lulled into something surreal, causing a hypnotic state. It went everywhere in the house: the upstairs, the downstairs, the basement (YIKES!), and even the garage. It seemed to be looking at us, as if it had a face. It even looked back in at us when we looked out the window. What astonished me the most was that no one seemed to notice the cruelty with which this haunting took place; but I did. This childhood home of mine became a monastery of horrors. It was horror that created memories of events that even as an adult I still remember the essence of its all too enveloping sensation of terror. I will spare the reader of the events that took place in that house. However, there was one so significant that even now, as the writer of this horrid event that took place over thirty-six years ago, still causes me to grow goose bumps and a very eerie feeling of someone watching over me, someone no one else can see.
The evening air was damp and heavy. The storm had just passed over; lightning strikes still flickered here and there in the night sky. The soldiers of lightning cast icy glares over their shoulders telling me they could and would be back. Slowly the storm's thunderous clouds became unnoticed as they marched off into the darkness dragging their fluorescent soldiers behind them. I hated storms. The spirits in my house loved them. My mother was tortured by storms– in the day or night. She would ramble from one room to another talking to herself. Perhaps she felt the ghosts. Perhaps she wanted them to hear her anguished sobs. "My God," I shivered in my bed. "Do I need to be afraid of the storm; my bedroom is already frightening me beneath my covers. Oh, what is that?" Alone in my room I agonized over every movement. The curtains were the worst. Every time the breeze caught the curtain and caused it to flail upward, I expected to see someone standing there behind it. Oh, how I hated this house, this room, that curtain. Please, God, let me fall asleep.
Suddenly, I turned around. Someone was there. I could feel them. My hair slowly raised itself off the back of my neck. Oh, man! What do I do? My thoughts became harried. I could not think. I peered through the darkness. I could feel a presence. Ever so gingerly, the figure of something even blacker than the night loomed towards me. I felt myself wanting to pee. My body involuntarily shook. My eyes arrested the figure, holding me perfectly still, then I felt myself turning contortedly away from the figure, but before my eyes could make out who or what, my body wrenched me in an adverse direction sending me tilting sideways through the air. As my feet tried to regain their balance my arms were already reaching for the door. Somewhere in my mind, I knew I wanted to be on the other side of the door which led into the garage. Yes, yes, I know. I am headed for the garage. What type of escape would that provide where anyone could be lurking? I knew there was an unnumbered amount of objects strewn carelessly from one wall to another. I thought that if I could just get behind any one of them I could hide. I could not bring my mind to wrestle with the idea of this oncoming assault from someone I could not identify. I flung open the inner garage door. As I lunged down the four steps to the garage floor, I whipped the door shut behind me. I jumped over a short stack of piled objects–books, I guess. I watched. I watched the door whip open, hitting the wall behind it. I watched the entity that came through the door and into the garage. My eyes widened as I watched. My head sank between my shoulders for fear that what I was looking at would be looking back at me. I blinked. My mouth gaped and I consciously inhaled as gently as I could. My throat was dry. I tried not to swallow, but involuntarily I gulped. It hurt. Now my mouth and throat were dusty dry. I sank lower on my haunches and lowered my head wishing the whiteness of my face would not show. Surely, I was white, blanched, and stark, void of all color.
As it was just to the left of me, I breathed inaudibly. It passed beside me. I turned my face sideways holding the rest of my body very rigid being careful not to move one muscle for fear of giving away my location. I had seen who it was and as quickly as my eyes identified whom, my breath inhaled as sharply. I realized I had been heard. There was absolute silence before and after my sharp intake of breath, only my single breath told I was there and that success was not mine, but the success was the pursuer's.
I wanted to be invisible. I wished I were outside with the elements, because at least I could run. But, now I just stoically rose to my feet. My eyes never left the back of the horrendous sight in front of me. It was a doll floating through the garage. Nothing enchanting; nothing that emulated it was alive. The doll simply bobbed up and down as it floated slowly through the air. Its little arms dragged behind its body and the legs hung straight down from the trunk. It looked dead; all except the large green eyes. The whole shape turned and the eyes looked directly into me, piercing me with fear. The little doll spoke ever so softly and clearly to me.
"I am going to touch you, you will become me, and I will become you!"
I lunged forward over the books, the boxes, and the steps. I bounded through the room. I stopped and looked wildly behind me. It was coming through the door, thoughtfully floating towards me as though it had all day. I paused to think… I ran through the next room. I grabbed a hold of the casing as I twirled into the darkness of a closet. I pushed through the hanging clothes and pounced up on the small shelf. My mind raced as I thought to myself, "It would never find me here." I snapped up my feet so they were close to my body. I hugged my legs fiercely with my arms interlocked around my shins. I lolled my head backwards and sighed a huge breath of relief. "I am safe," I thought. I relaxed and prepared to close my eyes, but I could not, something had caught my attention. My head turned to the side. It was two piercing green eyes looking back! The doll had got into the closet and was waiting for me.
I put my hands down along the side of my body and stretched my fingers outward and slid my hands back and forth. I felt linen material underneath. I squeezed my eyes shut even tighter. Slowly, I turned my head and opened my eyes. The moonlight shone through the curtains as they floated gently on the evening breeze. Whew! It was only a dream.