Embracing the world with positive creativity since Sept 2007.
Monsters are real and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win… ~~Stephen King
A long time ago when I was barely five years old, I lived with my parents and sisters and brother in an old brick house. I remember tall ceilings and colored glass windows. The outside walls were gray. And the windows so tall – they almost reached the ceiling. I remember tall metal shutters.
Red markings on the vanilla colored sidewalks, told a tale of children playing hopscotch, often until dark. We liked play until the moon showed its face; that meant being almost grown up.
I was told that wasn’t wise. Grownups told me monsters lived in the dark; evil monsters that watched children play and then ate them alive.
But hide and seek – come and get me if you can, daring the adversary was a fun little game particularly after dark.
Then came a bitter cold and windy night. I remember how very cold it was, even inside the house. My sisters and I were put to bed, covered with blankets all the way up to our necks. They believed in evil monsters and they always came home before dark. But I didn’t. I said it was nonsense. I dared the monsters and I dared the dark. And I remember a dream where an old woman screamed: “You will die! The shadows will take you one day, and you’ll die!”
One night when the house was silent and dark and cold, I didn’t hear the usual chatter coming from my parents’ room. I just remember feeling cold and very frightened by something… a shadow, it seemed. I sensed movement in the room. How could that be? My sisters slept on. Yet something was moving about. I listened, I waited, and soon I caught a glimpse of a shadowy whooshhh going past my bed. Then I saw them creeping about the high, dusty ceilings and suddenly the whooshing stopped. It felt as if someone had sucked the air out of the room.
I looked around. My sisters were still fast asleep. I thought perhaps my mind was playing games with me.
I was to see the shadows often after that. Their visits happened at random times, but later I felt their presence almost every night.
Sometimes they were monsters, and sometimes wolves. The wolves would sit in mid-air like floating statues, shifting their beady yellow eyes from side to side as if searching for their prey. But the monsters were liquid-like. They would slide down the walls and crawl across the room, and one night two of them climbed up my bed and wrapped themselves around me before I could even move. They slowly began to tighten, and I screamed and screamed. I couldn’t stop them.
My sisters slept on, despite my screaming. Was this a nightmare? Was I actually asleep?
The monsters squeezed tighter and tighter until they finally cut off my breath. I was gasping for air – let go of me. Let go! But they wouldn’t. They squeezed until I couldn't breathe any more.
One of them crawled up on its huge belly and licked my face. Impossible. I could see it as if suspended in space, though I clearly saw I was still in bed, covered by blankets up to my neck. I was outside myself hearing myself scream. I called my mother, I called my father, but no one ever heard, and no one ever came. And soon all was silent, except for the thread of an old woman’s voice saying: “you will die… you will die…”
I remember when I was six in that house, and I remember when I was seven; and I remember being eight, but not there. I wasn’t eight in that house, because it was then that I joined the shadows and climbed the walls at night to be with the monsters and wolves and the dust, and from there I'd watch myself cry louder and louder and louder every time, in fear of the dark, and scream to no avail, because no one ever heard, and no one ever came for me…
…and then one day I was nine, and then I was twelve, and then I was old and still afraid of cold and dark winter nights.
Carmen Ruggero @2012