Sometimes ideas happen and you have to get the words down. I don’t have a story for this to fit into. It is pure discovery writing. So I thought I would share. No title, just 800 words of ideas and thoughts…enjoy.
I don’t remember the first time it happened. Not really, but I recall an event when I was nine. A cousin had been visiting. Just two young girls playing, driving my mother crazy during the day, giggling and causing my father to gruffly demand that we “go to sleep” at night. It was at night that they came. In the middle of the night. In that dim half toned light of blues and greys they came and sat on the edge of the bed. I woke but could not move. Fear holding me in place as I watched them hover over first my cousin then slowly around to my side of the bed. Fear froze my movements. Fear caused me to breath carefully unless I showed them I was awake and could see them. Them. Those hovering black shapes in the night looking down at us from the shadows.
In the morning I asked my mother if dad or her had come upstairs to check on us during the night. She said “No, Why would we do that?” Then giving my cousin and myself the eye questioned. “What did you girls get into that we would want to check up on you?” Of course we denied it. Of course I denied it since my cousin looked at me like I had lost my mind.
Later, while we were climbing a tree she questioned me. “What was all that thing about your folks checking on us? What is up with that?”
I had been wanting to share my information with someone and here was someone. “Something happened last night in the house. Something scary.”
Finding a perch on a branch, sitting there with her legs swinging she motioned for me to continue. “Go on, what, tell.” Her words that magical key to release these visions that had caused such fear, such terror in the night.
“Last night after we went to sleep. I woke up. It was the middle of the night.” My voice grew softer, as though saying the words would release the horror of the night back on us here in these woods. “And I woke up. Thought I might have to go down stairs but there was two things,” Things that word that separated human from other slipped out. I did not know what they were. But once I separated out my parents it could not have been another human. The things were larger than a kid. Larger than my baby brother at least. “They came in and stood over you. Then they came around to my side of the bed.”
My cousin’s eyes grew wide. “What happened next?” There was a gleefulness to her question. As though somehow this all happened for her enjoyment. I did not understand it at the time. Not then.
“Nothing. I did not have a weapon. But tonight. Tonight I am taking the baton to bed with us.” My mom had gotten me a set of batons to practice twirling with the prior Christmas. Those batons became my weapon of choice. Being a girl I had not gotten a baseball bat, or a b. B. Gun. But I had two feet of metal with soft rubber ends, balanced and ready to be used to smack some thing on the head when they returned.
“Oh tonight. Okay tonight I will help you.” My cousin quickly agreed.
That night I slept soundly. Nothing woke me, probably due to the fact that the prior night I had lain awake for a good portion scared motionless in the dark.
But not my cousin. Or so she claimed. The next day we went back out to the tree, scaling the limbs till we found our sitting spot. “I could not get you awake.” Was her first word, excitement and that bit of fun in her voice. “It was not people.”
I leaned forward almost toppling off my branch. “It wasn’t?” I did not want to hear that, but I knew it was true already.
“No what I saw was a big white horse. I tried and tried to wake you. But we went for a long ride and rode and rode.” She leaned back and grinned. “See it was a magical horse.”
And in that moment I knew. I knew as her story became more and more fanciful that she had decided that I had been trying to tell her a story the day before. I knew that she had not believed me. Had not believed the story of the dark shapes. Those looming dark shapes that were not made up of any objects in the room morphed by shade and shadow. I knew in that moment what every one of us fears. That the shadows and shades were real, but no one would believe us if we told of them.