There are other memories, not so much bad memories, but ones that I believe formed my interest in the horror and fantasy genre.
The first one, being the big bad wolf. Now I knew he wasn’t real…but. I was a small child and again these are memories from a long time ago, before I should be able to remember things, but for some reason, I do. I would have to say I was about 4 years old at the time, and had recently watched this cartoon about the three little pigs. I have always had a thing with being in the dark (thank you Annie, my one time babysitter that used to lock me in the closet for crying), but sometimes in the night, you gotta go to the bathroom, afraid or not. The bathroom was only across the hall and down a little ways, so I don’t actually know what took me into the living room that night. It was past the bathroom. Maybe it was a noise, maybe it was just to make sure all was right in the world. For whatever reason I stepped my barefooted way down the hall and into the moonlit living room. There on the wall, was a shadow of the big bad wolf, up on his hind feet, he hands before him in claws. He was in the house! He was going to eat me, just as he did the little pigs. I screamed the house awake, and sadly, didn’t make it to the bathroom. Lights were flipped on, tempers flared, and all thanks to my over active imagination, and a hanging ivy plant in the big window. To this day, I don’t often get up out of bed in the night. I also still have my nightlights and small lights left on throughout the house. I really don’t like the dark.
The next memory is a basement. It was a nice basement, big, and bright. It had a work area for my dad to do his woodwork. It had a nice big laundry room that was usually chock-full of dirty clothes all over the floor. Then, just under the stairs, was a full playhouse. It was made of wood, with little window shutters, and a door with a real handle and knob. There was a pathway and driveway area where we were able to ride our little bikes and big wheels. Inside was a child size stove, sink, refrigerator, the works. There was even a small round rug on the floor. Being downstairs was great fun…if I wasn’t alone. If my sister was down there with me, even if she was locking me out of the house, or not letting me ride in the fire truck with her, I was happy to be there. If my dad was in the next room working, I didn’t mind being down there. However, I would never go down there, alone. It wasn’t anything I can put my finger on. It was a heaviness in the air. It was a hum against my skin. I can still remember the feel of the hinky touch of something down in that basement. I remember one time, that my sister left me down there. She said she would be right back. Yeah, right. I sat on the little rug, eating the pack of pilfered Oreos that I had snuck downstairs. I was happy, content. Then the heavy feeling waved over me. I remember falling completely still. Like a spooked rabbit in a field, I was like stone. My skin grew cold, and I was honestly terrified. So afraid I couldn’t even scream. The oreo in my mouth, yet to be swallowed turned to cement on my tongue. Then the weight was gone, just as quick as it had settled upon my shoulders, it left. I can still see myself as I slowly stood up from my little rug, and calmly walked up the stairs, leaving my stolen oreos where they sat on the rug. I don’t think I ever went down there again. We moved away from that house, soon thereafter. If I ever catch a whiff of saw dust, the memory that comes to mind, is this one. Every dag-on time. As an adult I once asked my mom about that house. She said she didn’t like going into the basement. It wigged her out. I wonder if that is why the laundry was always piled up down there.
Moments of childhood terror, I had many of them. Next week, you will hear about Charlie, my imaginary friend…or was he?
Too be continued…again…