Monday, August 22, 2011

Past terrors infiltrate present pleasures

The other night my wife and I were relaxing, watching a bit of television. Although it's was a Saturday, we had decided to retire early and just relax.

Using the remote, I clicked through the channels looking for something interesting to watch. i started high, HBO, Showtime and the like, before moving to regular programming. I finally settled on the show, Ghost Adventures on The Travel Channel. I like The Travel Channel not because of the exciting places they show, but because I am a fan of Anthony Bourdain and his show No Reservations. It was what I was hoping to find a rerun of.

Instead we watched Ghost Adventures. I don't want to bore you with the details of the show. Especially since I am not writing a revie, nor am I trying to convince anyone that ghost exist. Not my place. Instead, I want to share a story with you.

Watching the show brought back vivd memories to an encounter of sorts that I had. It was several years ago, 1995 or 1996 and I was still living in my parent's home. At the time I was going to school and working full-time. My parents had agreed to let me stay, rent free, until such time as I completed, or left, school. It was a good deal for me.

My bedroom was situated at the back of the house. Directly in front of mine was my sister's room- which she shared with her best friend, my future wife.

Directly across from my room is the bathroom. When both doors are open I can see into the shower through the space between the inside corner of the door and the wall.

On this particular night I decided to play music as I tried to sleep. I threw a cd into the disc player and hit play. As the music was starting I pulled the blanket up, rolled onto my front and closed my eyes. Knowing how I was then I would imagine it was after 1 in the morning. I can't say for sure.

Eventually I drifted off to sleep. It was fear that pulled my from my sleep, yanking me out violently. My heart was pounding, my limbs trembling yet frozen in place. What was going on? I couldn't move at all, not even to turn my head to look around my room. Something was there.

By moving my eyes I could see a red number appearing to float in front of me, "5". It hovered there, blinking. still I had no idea what was going on. The door to my room was ajar, as was the one to the bathroom allowing me the glimpse into the shower I mentioned earlier. There it was. In the tub. Staring at me.

At first all I could see was the outline. It was dark, yet whatever was in the tub was darker still, dark enough to standout. I could feel the fear ripping through my body. Something was not right and I wanted out there. Still I could not move. I tried to lift my arms, my legs, to drag or roll myself from the bed in an effort to break the paralysis. Nothing worked.

I tried to call out, to scream for help, but only my soft, muffled screams of terror could be heard. And only to me. In my mind I was screaming, calling for anyone, someone to come help me. To get me away from the obvious threat that came from the bathroom. Still, only the muffled cries of help.

I ripped my eyes off the image in the bathroom, looking for someway to help myself. There had to be something I could do. But no, there was not and still the number five flashed before me, causing even more terror than before.

I looked to the bathroom. A strange orange glow lit the bottom half of the face of whatever lurked in there. Bone. I saw bone. The bleached clean bone of a skull, grinning wickedly from the grave, glowing as if drawing on a cigarette.

In my mind I screamed. A blanket of evil, of fear, of hatred covered me. I couldn't move, I couldn't speak. I could do nothing.

I don't know how long I lay there before the thing faded away, and I faded back to sleep. When I woke up everyone in my house was gone having left for school or work. I realized quickly that I could move so I jumped out of bed and began getting dressed. I wanted to leave now. As I was getting dressed I began to feel the fear slipping some. Maybe it was all a night terror. Something I have from time-to-time. I sat on my bed and when I see a blinking out of the corner of my eye. There it is, blinking red, the number five.

I quickly finish getting dressed, grab my keys are run out the door. The one place I always felt safe in didn't feel quit as safe. But this wasn't the first time. And ultimately, I only have myself to blame.