This week’s short story topic: A Good Reason to Be afraid of the Dark
- Killer whale
I felt like a fool cowered under my quilt like a scared five-year-old. Only I wasn’t five anymore; I was thirty-five. There was no bargain with mom to leave the lights on; no canned response from mom praising me at what a big girl I was and that I didn’t need the night light.
I took a deep breath. Mom was right, there was no need to check for monsters under the bed, I was tired, and my imagination was on overdrive. A dim light filled the room from the street lamp across the street. The objects in my room took on an eerie shape. The heap of laundry looked like a baby killer whale; my white t-shirts formed the white underbelly of the Orca. The white pants I dyed black due to a ketchup stain formed the top of the Orca. Then I heard it again, the heavy breathing from underneath the bed. I kicked off the covers and ran out of the house. I raced over to my neighbor’s house and pounded on the door.
“Someone is in my house, let me in,” I screamed.
She opened the door, pulled me in, and locked the door.
“We need to call the police,” she said. Her eyes were wide with fear.
“I heard heavy breathing underneath my bed. I’m not sure if I imagined it.”
“We are in danger,” she said, “There is a depraved janitor on the loose and he killed his entire family. It was on the evening news.”
She reached for the phone.
“Do you have a gun?” I asked.
“Upstairs in the nightstand.”
I took the steps two at a time. It turns out I had a good reason to be afraid of the dark after all.
I’m reading this fantastic book called ‘The life-changing magic of tidying up.” I’ve done the annual sweep through the house and donate before, but she has a slightly different approach to letting go. Touch it, and if it doesn’t bring you joy, let it go. I cleaned out my office today, and I have to admit it feels better in there.
My husband and I were talking about the book with friends during a birthday dinner and the subject of birthday gifts and Christmas gifts came up with a sigh that it will just pile more stuff into the home that we are trying to minimize.
My husband and I decided from now on our gifts to each other would be towards making memories and not acquiring stuff. We agreed to gift each other a snow-shoe tour for Christmas at Mt. Hood. I’m so excited. We did this last year in Bend, Oregon and it was so beautiful.
I started thinking of all the times my in-laws and sister call and asked: “what is on the list for gifts this year?” This year I want to build a go-fund-me site for the family to add to instead of gifts. The site will be used for vacations. What do you think? I haven’t brought it up. Do you think this would be disappointing for them? How do you feel about it? Should I just say, visa card to be used on vacations?
Let me know what you think!
I’m behind on my short story! Last week’s story had to be about Time Travel and it had to include the following:
hurricane, email, launder, pastry, garlic, staff, germs, gallery, brace, share
Nora took a large bite of her favorite beef and garlic stuffed pastry. She wanted to share it with her husband, but it was too delicious. Nora took another bite, and a chunk of beef fell on her white blouse. Dang it, she wanted to wear it to the movies tonight and didn’t have time to launder the shirt. She threw a vest over it and had hoped the trapped stain would breed any germs before she got home.
Nora was checking her email to confirm which theater she agreed to meet her staff when the weather alarm sounded. She braced herself in the doorway, but it was too late. The hurricane tore through the house lifting her with such a force it tore a hole in the quantum field. She landed in a Salvador Dali art gallery. At first, she thought she had fallen in a museum until she saw a sign announcing Salvador Dali would be donating his 1933 Atmospheric Chair painting for a charity ball to be held December 10, 1934. She not only traveled through time, but she also landed in another country.
Nora looked up and saw a smoky haze around Salvador Dali’s painting ‘figure at a window.’ She had heard pictures can be openings to other dimensions, but never believed it. She had the same art at home, a print of course. The window in the painting had a shimmery light that was not part of the picture. She reached out to touch the painting, and her hand went through the window as if it were open. She placed a chair underneath the canvas and climbed through the window. She landed in front of her house, or what used to be her house. It was a pile of rubble. Her trip through the vortex had spared her life.
I just got back from Greece. What an amazing and relaxing vacation. I wanted to share a few of my favorite photos. My mother-in-law below after a hard day of picking grapes.