Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sharing Memories - Afraid of the Dark

On the  Olive Tree Genealogy Blog the  Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey for this week of March 2012 is "Things That Go Bump in the Night".    She told a story of how her brother had hid under her bed and after she retired for the night, he got up from under the bed and put his hands around her neck and pretended to .... well you know the rest of the story.

Things That Go Bump in the Night

What is it about older siblings and the desire they have to inflict terror upon their younger sister or brother?  I, too, have that sister.  Back when we were kids, Saturdays were for watching TV.  Cartoons in the morning and if the folks were busy or out for the day, the neighbor girls would come over and we'd dance to American Bandstand.  But on some Saturdays we would watch the movies on TV.  Sometimes they were about Aladdin and his magic lamp or Hercules or other magical heroes.  But the ones that frightened me were the monster movies of the '50's and '60's.  Frankenstein, Wolfman and the most frightening of all, The MUMMY!  You know the scene, where it's during the night and he is shuffling down the hallway to where the heroine is sleeping.  And she awakens to find him looming over her and she faints, allowing him to pick her up and shuffle off (to Buffalo?)

My biggest fear was that the mummy would come to take me away during the night, and no one would be able to save me.  Our house had a long hallway that had my parent's bedroom on one end and a T-square layout at the other, leading into a bathroom, a bedroom or the kitchen on the other.  But in the middle of the hallway was the doorway to one small bedroom, mine.  I used to share this room with my sister, but somehow I think she had graduated to a basement room by this time and I had the room to myself.  I went to bed that night, dreading the darkness and sleep, knowing beyond a doubt, that The MUMMY was going to make a visit that evening and steal me away.

I remember laying on my back in my twin size bed with my arms straight over my head, but positioned under the pillow so no one could see that they were not down by my sides.  I had a tight grip in the headboard, confident that the MUMMY would not be able to break that hold and steal me away.  The hallway light was on and my door was slightly ajar so that the light would not keep me awake but I also would not be in total darkness. 

I remember trying to will myself to stay awake, but worked very hard on my breath control so as to sound like I was asleep.  Then I heard it!  The step-shuffle that only a MUMMY can make.  Step with one foot, dragging sound of the other, step, drag, step, drag.  The sound came closer and closer to my door and I felt that I was destined to die that very evening.  The steps stopped right outside my door, and ever so quietly the door was pushed open.  I would not look as I knew it was the MUMMY.  If I only kept really still, maybe he would go away.  But no, the creature came to the side of my bed, touched my sheets and I SCREAMED!  My sister, Rae, laughed and laughed.  I cried.  And it took many years to forgive her.

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