Shadows will breathe

Shadows will breathe
"Careful. Evil has a way of making friends with the good and dragging them into the darkness." ~ Dr. Al Robbins

Friday, October 30, 2015

Like A Thief In The Night

The following is an excerpt from a novel I am currently working on.
It is also a true tale from my youth.  
I think it's perfect for this time of year.
Perhaps you can relate to my anguish?  

I can remember the very day that I came to hate my sister. 

It was the wee hours of the morning, November 1st, 1988. 

I was ten years old. 

Even though I was thoroughly exhausted from a night of trick-or-treating, I could not sleep a wink.  All I could think of was my basket of goodies.  Our parents, being parents, would only allow us a couple of chocolate treasures before we retired and I knew the rest would be dispersed in increments over the next week or two.  I, however, dreamt of consuming it all in one sitting.  It’s all I could think about really.  Oh, the treasures that my pink satin pillow case – quite the makeshift candy bag in the 80s- held were endless.  I’m talking a chocolate empire that Willy Wonka himself would envy.  Pounds of candy and carbs awaited me; urging me out of my slumber; begging me to succumb to a sugar rush.  I didn’t even try to resist.  I had already waited for hours since I was sent to bed, tossing and turning with the thoughts of peanut butter cups in my head, (they were my favorite) and as soon as my parents stopped being responsible and headed to bed, I could sneak out and find my chocolate Heaven.

So, I listened, impatiently, as my mother cleaned the house.  I waited, anxiously, as my father wrote out some bills.  I pretended to be sound asleep as my mother checked in on me to make sure I was safe and asleep.  At ten, I was an excellent actress.  I had the breathing pattern down, and the rested eyelids.  (That was the biggest trick, never let ‘em see you blink.  If they did, it was a dead giveaway.)
I played unconscious as my mother kissed my cheek and shut my bedroom door. 
I smiled.
I listened as she brushed her teeth.  I heard the water running and knew she was rinsing her face.
It wouldn’t be long now.
Footsteps down the hallway; a click of the light switch; the creaking of the bed as my parents found their comfort.  Soon, I heard my Dad snoring away.
Then, it became silent.
It was time. 
I sat up.  So close was the reward for my patience now.  My mouth watered, almost ached.  I strained my ears through the silence. I placed my feet on the floor.
I paused. 
I lifted myself out of bed.
A creak echoed from my bunker.
I held my breath.
I inched my way to the door, emulating the movements of a burglar.
I listened for any sign of life.
I grinned and slowly opened the door.
I crept ever so slightly down the hallway, like a slug across pavement – stopping after every couple steps for any sound.  None came.  I continued on.
I stared at the flight of steps that lay before me now.  Somehow, there seemed to be more at this time of night.  As my foot hit the first step, a piercing boom echoed through the house. 
I froze.
Another boom.
And another.
The grandfather clock chimed over and over again.
My skin boiled goosebumps.
A cough seeped from the end of the hall.  My eyes jutted wide open in fear.
Another cough.
I silently prayed for an invisible cloak.
Crouched and ready to pounce down the flight of steps, I waited.

I waited another minute.

All quiet.
I slithered down the plush steps that took me into the kitchen.  I forced my legs to slow down as I passed the white enameled countertop.  I threw caution to the wind in passing the stove and veered into the living room. 
Half.  Way.  There. 
I made myself stop.  I had to control my breathing that now took a life of its own. 
My heart pounded against my chest. 
My blood pulsated through every vein.
A thin strand of light reflected through the curtains from a street light outside.  It illuminated my way to the candy bags.
I was so close to the treasure now.  What would I indulge in first?  The Kit Kat that Mrs. Wilson gave me?  Or that huge pumpkin cookie?  Mrs. Wilson was such a nice lady with her white gloves and endless bowl of goodies.  Just hours ago, I stood at her front door unable to choose between her homemade sugar cookies or the full size Kit Kat bar.  It was a tough choice to make at ten.  It took about five minutes of me going back and forth, before she offered me both.
And just like a thief in the night, I was at my stash.
Giggling, I knew all those horrid Halloween costumes my mother squeezed me into was worth it.  Those homemade garments of torture – the white sheet with eyes cut into it (and they were never cut big enough.  They were two of the tiniest holes that were ever manufactured by a pair of scissors and the sheet never stayed in place so it always slid off my face, causing numerous injuries to my body as I ran into people, porches, and walls.); Or how about the year I wanted to be a princess but couldn’t fit into the dress so my mother stuffed me with pillows to “hide” all of my baby fat (ridiculous); Sometimes, she would just throw excessive make-up on me and my sister and some of the highest heels ever made and send us out into the neighborhood.  (Hmmm… now that I think about it, that may not have been the safest idea).  Anyhow.  The haul from those humiliating costumes was well worth the suffering.  I had a pillow case brimming with rewards. 
Rifling through the sac, I decided on the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  So I dug deeper into my pillow case…
And my hand felt something gross. 
Something slimy and unexpected.  I let out a yelp.
I pulled back my hand and held it into the stream of light that shone through the front window.
Was it blood?
Maybe snot from the dog?
It was chocolate.  Melted chocolate?
Terror consumed me as my mind raced with horrible thoughts.  What if my sugar treasure had all melted into some sort of awful clump of crap?  I dumped the stash onto the floor.
To my surprise, out tumbled my beloved Kit Kat, a pound or two of tootsie rolls, a mound of hard candy and lollipops, a bunch of a gum, one bright orange pumpkin cookie and 4 mangled Reese’s bars?
“What is going on?” I whispered to the night.  Then, understanding came into play.  Didn’t my sister express her love of the Reese Peanut Butter Cup all during our trick-or-treating run?  Hadn’t she explained how she loved the ridged edges of the candy cups?  Didn’t she go missing after dinner for a bit?
I would bet my whole sugar sac that my sister actually went through my stash - and since Reese’s were her favorite - ate NOT the whole thing, but only the edges of each cup!  I stare at the clumps of melted peanut butter and chocolate in my hands.
“Noooooooooooo!!!!” I screamed as if I witnessed a bloody murder.  “No.  No.  No.  No.”

My parents scurried down the hall, voices, muffled and drowsy, rising in panic.
They reached the living room area and flipped on a light.

I stared at them through raging eyes.  “She’s dead to me.”

They stared through me in disbelief.
And I’ve been plotting my revenge on her ever since.
From "I Dream In Blood; A Horrorography." by d.p.bertison

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