The house is old. It was old when I was a kid and it’s a lot older now. I just turned 59 and I am writing about things that happened over 50 years ago.
My whole house had hardwood floors.
The old kind. Dark wood worn smooth by workmen at first but then by the thousands of footsteps, broom sweeps and stocking feet sliding from one end of the room to the other. The house sat on a large lot, back off the road a little bit. It had a wonderful wrap around porch and there was little traffic on that road back then.
My room was off the central part of the house. My two brothers had to share a room with bunk beds but I was the oldest and had a room to myself. A desk, a dresser and a twin bed. A large, dark wooden door opened out of a closet big enough to house monsters. Under the bed was a trap door. It was a funny sort of door that you could not see during the day but at night I knew it was there.
That is where the mummy would hide.
Being a night owl has it advantages. I used to stay up and watch the Friday night showing of Sammy Terry’s Nightmare Theater. (Sammy Terry sounds a little like cemetery, don’t you think?) Anyway, I loved staying up watching this show and I remember The Creature, The Mummy, Frankenstein, Dracula and all the others. It scared the dickens out of me. I loved it but then I had to go to bed.
I would turn off the TV, walk quietly to my room so not to wake up anyone, turn on the light and close the door. I would read for a while (usually some sort of science fiction book) and then finally turn out the light.
I would lay there in the dark. Really dark. Not dark like in Atlanta but dark like in the middle of nowhere. No light from the outside unless the moon was out. Dark. Then the creak of that trap door would alert me to the Mummy. I spent hours laying really still, cold sweat pooling under the small of my back as I strained to listen to see if I could hear the bandages rubbing across that hardwood floor.
Sometimes I would fall asleep and wake with a start from what felt like I was falling. Falling into the trap door? Not sure but waking up stopped the fall so I found I was still bed. Clammy from the cold sweat but still breathing and I know my heart was beating because it was so loud it drowned out the bandages sliding out from under the bed.
There were times I would see the Mummy in my dreams and it would be chasing me wearing some sort of goofy glasses (think invisible man) and just as he would reach out to grab me I would wake up and finally turn on the light to see if the trap door was open.
Scary, huh? Well, it was to me back then. I guess I wanted to share this tonight as I think about Halloween coming up.
What are you afraid of? What recurring nightmare do you have? Live? Is there something you are afraid of that if you turned on the light would find it has no power? It is simply not there?
That movie had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. White knuckled and enjoying every minute. I was 25 years old and thought I was past the trap door and all that. I got back to the hotel room and turned out the light and immediately saw one of them hanging over the bed in the dark room!! On with the light!! Nothing. I did that about twice and then I called Nettie. She worked the front desk at night and did the books while we all slept. I asked if there was coffee and if she had time to talk for a few minutes. There was and she did. We laughed at my fear and I was finally able to get some sleep.
Silly, huh? But taking a few minutes to calm down, talk to a friend and remember, it’s just in my mind helped a lot. I suspect that is true of the things you are afraid of. Fear (worry) is interest paid on a debt you probably don’t owe.
Do you have someone to talk to about your fear? Someone to get a coffee with and share the silly things that scare you? If not, I hope you find someone and deal with the stuff you are scared of. Remember that most of what we fear never comes to pass. Think about that. How many things you worried about ever happened? Yes, I am sure a few but most never did. Don’t let the fear stop you. There is too much to do and enjoy to let something that probably won’t happen stop you.
Call your friend, maybe get together and hand out candy to the little zombies and mummies. Could be fun!!
Thanks for Listening,
- Sunday – One Thing!!
- Tuesday Night Tunes – Empty Northern Hemisphere