Image from WeHeartIt - Karissa Carlson Photography
In the middle of the night I wake, I'm not sure why, but it happens all the time. I realise I'm lying in my bed facing away from the door, so I turn back over quickly. It's dark in my room, but through the open door I can see my parents' open bedroom door across the narrow hallway, and the glow emanating from their room, cast by the streetlight out the front of the house. Why don't they close their blinds so the light doesn't come in? I don't know, but I'm glad they don't, I don't want it to be completely dark in the house.
I'm listening for sounds, more and more intently. My ears are searching, it's like they have an invisible extension that can move through the house, down the hallway, room to room, checking for sounds. There are the usual cracks and groans of the house, although I never quite believe that as a logical excuse for those sounds. If the house is creaking and groaning that much, surely it's not safe?
And then, before I've even realised that my eyelids have drooped closed, I hear a low, hushed, hurried mumble, "Ev...rm....mer.....hssh". So low, and so fast, I can't make out the words, but I know the voice is feminine. My eyes have opened wide now, and it's my eyes that are doing the searching, focussing without blinking on the open door. Then, in answer to the first voice, a masculine, low, hushed, hurried mumble, "Er....on....ish....m". I can only make out parts of words. My arms break out in goosebumps.
My eyes are still searching the open doorway, I don't really want to see anything but I can't help but look. What's that? At the side of the doorway? I thought I saw a shadow creeping around the doorframe! I stare so hard at the spot where I thought I saw the shadow, that I can't be sure what I'm seeing anymore. I think I can see a black mass, but my eyes are probably playing tricks on me now. It's so late in the night. No wait, no, that's definitely something. There's a black shadow, getting bigger now, coming out from behind the wall. I close my eyes and press them together hard, and when I open them up again, the shadow is gone. But I don't know where.
This week at Write on Wednesday, we're talking childhood fears. Monsters under the bed, shadows on the walls, people hiding in the cupboards, etc. As a kid, I had a very vivid imagination, and my nighttime fears would always seem absolutely real to me. I always checked under my bed before I hopped in at bedtime, and would also always lift up the sheets and pillow and check underneath for spiders (I still do this today, but before you scoff at me, I've actually found spiders in my bed this way at least half a dozen times! So there!).
The scene I've described above is a recurring one that would play out again and again when I was young, and I always remember the voices. It's hard to describe the actual sound of the voices in writing, in reality they spoke so quickly they were almost missed, and very mumbled, almost like you were overhearing someone talking in another room. I remember that for a long time, I was more bothered by possibly seeing something in my room in the night, hearing things wasn't as scary too me. It was a while before I really wondered what the sounds were and why I was hearing them. I came up with an idea that perhaps they were ghosts, or maybe a "nicer" possibility - my guardian angels watching me and talking about me.
It's interesting, the things kids can conjure up, especially when their minds are so innocent and young. Where do these imaginings originate from?? Just to reassure you, I haven't heard them for a long time!
Did you have vivid fears/nightmares/imaginings as a child?