Friday, October 29, 2010

True Story

Sorry I've been away for some time... tons of papers to write that affect my degree plan. Anyhoo, being that it's Halloween time, I figured that I would regale my small audience with a tale that I have limited to only close, personal friends... like those of you who follow my adventurous tales. I was living on Elmendorf AFB in Anchortown, AK. My closest sister in age had complained to my dad that she thought someone was lurking in our duplex basement house. Being "the favoritest" of my dad's six kids, my sister got her way when she requested that I sleep on a military-style cot in the basement in an adjacent room. The house had only one bedroom in the basement. There was a half bath and a kind of living room with a washer and dryer room on the way to the upstairs. The year was 1991ish, I don't recall the exact year, all I know is that I was in high school. After much protesting from me, my dad all but ordered me to sleep in the basement in the living room. I have always believed in the unknown out of principal: if it couldn't be disproved, then it must exist. Well, before complaining to my dad, my sister had accused me of turning off her stereo and turning off her bedroom lights while she was brushing her teeth in the half-bath before going to bed. I adamantly stuck to the truth that I never did the things that she claimed that I did to no avail. She had confided in me that she heard children's whispers and quiet laughter during and after these occurrences. Needless to say, I was freaked-the-fuck out at what my sister had told me. I agreed to sleep in the basement for fear on my dad's wrath if I didn't oblige. I decided that I didn't want to experience any kind of encounter with "the dead children" no matter how friendly they might be. I plugged a set of head phones into the stereo in the downstairs living room that I was to sleep in. I had the volume up high so as to not hear the ghost's whispering or giggling. I, being raised a Catholic, said a prayer to the children, "Please, children, I mean you no harm. I am only here because my dad told me to be. I don't wish to interfere with you, nor do I care what you are here to do. Please leave me alone and please stop messing with my sister. We are Catholic and we know people who can exorcise you from this place... not that I would tell annyony of your existence... it's just that I don't really want to be here and that if you would stop what you are doing, then we could all get along. Sorry... Amen, I guess."
        I fell asleep to a mixed tape that I had  created with numerous versions of "You down with O.P.P.?" and the like. All of a sudden, just before I lost consciouseness, the stereo turned off. "Ha, ha, verry funny Todd. I know you're down here." My younger brother had inquired about my absence from his room and figured out that I was on "ghost patroll." No laughter answered my response. Strange. I removed my headphones and walked towards the hallway leading to the up stairs. Nothing. I noticed faint footprints on the concrete floor. They distinctly belonged to children and led away from the bathroom. I quickly made the sign of the cross over my abdomen, forehead and shoulders. I ran back to my cot and covered my head with my blankets. "Please, ghosts, I don't want to interfere. If you let me be, I'll let you be."
       I woke the next morning weary and unsure. I reported to my dad that I hadn't noticed anything out of the ordinary. My sister and I caught the bus to school without a word.
     I skipped the last two classes as usual, and decided to see my dad at work at the base hospital. I entered his office and decided to ask as to why he wanted me to sleep in the basement the night before. His answer came in the form of a question, "So, did you see or hear anything? Are you sure you didn't you notice anything out of the ordinary?" Not wanting to sleep in the basement again, I answered that I hadn't. I did, however,  inquire as to why he was asking such questions. He told me that he had checked into the history of the duplex we were living in. It turned out that there had been two young children who had died in the very same house. Ten years earlier, a young mother had decided to give her children a bath in the basement. The bathtub having been removed and a shower stall installed when we lived there. She had apparently left her two young children, a three year old boy and four year old girl, in the tub as she answered the door upstairs. The two children had drowned before their mother could return to check on them. When my dad told me this my face must have gone pale because he asked me what was wrong. I told him what I had seen and what my sister had heard. The wet footprints and the childrens laughter and whispers. He told me not to worry about it. WTF, how could I not? Six months later, we moved out of the duplex and it has since been torn down.

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