The Shadow (Ep. 6, Pt. 1)
Episodes of the Strange - Ep. 6, Pt. 1
When I was eleven years old, I went to live with my grandmother. We lived in the house that she called home for thirty-eight years or so along with her many antiques and a few other family members. A time came for the local area to upgrade from its former self to a newer look. The road that ran in front of my grandmother’s house for so many years that once was dirt, became a paved roadway before I was born. So, for as long as I can remember it was a two-lane road that was soon to become four lanes of crazy traffic. She sold her house and property for apparently a decent amount because, in the Spring of 1984, we moved from North Carolina to Tennessee where we could be closer to the family that we did not get to see that often. I felt special because of being in the sixth grade for only around two months, but hey I passed so cool beans.
Summer arrived with the excitement of no school and sleeping in… ha-ha, so much for that, because my Grandmother Zayedie had other plans like mowing the yard, taking out the trash, vacuuming the rugs, washing dishes and all the other glorious duties that come along with the cleaning. Well, at least it was home and that is where we planted ourselves for many years to come. Once our stuff got settled into our rooms, the house was ready to live in. I loved that house because it was the nicest house, I had ever lived in. It was what my grandmother called a tri-level house with plenty of room. One evening while we were down in the family room talking about events from during the day, the lights started to flicker. I gasped and froze in place when the lights went completely out. It was so dark and felt like all the scary things of the darkness were closing in on me, wanting to grab at me and take me to someplace unknown and cold.
“Now Rebecca, calm down. It is just the power going out and it will come back on soon,” Grandmother Zayedie said.
“It is so dark and quiet, it’s creepy,” I said to her while sitting so still, that I pretty much started to break a sweat. The lights came back on and I sighed with relief. When I could breathe again as well, and all my muscles relaxed at the same time. I looked at Zayedie and she had a smile on her face, then she giggled in amusement. We headed to bed soon after the area around felt more at ease. There were things to get done, and an allowance to be made.
The next morning, I had to wake up bright and early, for it was time to mow the grass. As an eleven-year-old, oh the joys of mowing.
“Rebecca, get up and go cut the grass before the heat of the day,” Zayedie said, as she stood in the doorway of my bedroom.
“Ughhh… could be heard coming from underneath the yellow comforter that draped across my antique twin bed that had a tall wooden canopy-like thing at the top. I was not up and out of the bed until I heard the pull-down shade raise up and the light of the early morning slap me in the face. As I got up, got dressed and headed down the stairs toward the laundry room, “One of these days I am going to like mowing. Someday, just not today,” I said to myself as I headed out the backdoor to get the mower. Even though it was early morning, you could feel the temperature rising as the sun rose higher in the sky. Small beads of sweat began to form all over me as I got the job done that was asked of me.
Once the mowing was done, I took a shower to feel fresh again. As I got dressed, I thought I heard whispering. I heard Zayedie’s television but what I had heard was a separate sound. As I slowly wrapped my hair up into a towel, I walked into my bedroom which is directly across the hall from the bathroom. Well, there was no one in my room and certainly no whispering. I went on about my day doing my daily routine downstairs, which usually consisted of listening to music and drawing different posters for class credits. On this day to my surprise, I got to skip out on going to the store with Zayedie and stay home. Well whoo hoo, I cranked up my small radio boom box and jammed out to the hair bands of the 80s. Ha-ha, it felt good to feel free for a little while. So, while I’m feeling fancy-free and happy, there was a loud bang that came from upstairs. I stopped quick and turned down the radio. Of course, I was afraid to turn off the radio for the fear of maybe hearing something that I didn’t really want to hear. As I sat and listened all was quiet, so I sat outside and waited for Zayedie to return home.
“Well, why are you sitting outside Rebecca? Zayedie asked as she got out of her car.
“Well there was a loud bang that came from upstairs and no one else is here but me, and now you. So, what was it? I got scared so I came outside,” I told her with a shaky voice.
“Oh fiddle, there’s nothing in the house,” Zayedie said as she entered through the sliding glass door which leads to the family room and laundry room. She put her purse down onto the arm of the couch and pulled out her .38 revolver. She turned and looked at me, then proceeded upstairs.
“Alright, if there is somebody in here, you better get gone and quick, or I’m going to blow a hole right through you,” she said as she started up the first set of steps that lead to the kitchen. She was not one that was ever afraid of using her gun. Believe me, I have heard her shoot it plenty of times and even one time through an inner door of the house because it sounded like someone was on the other side trying to force their way in. As she made her way upstairs with me not listening and trailing in behind her, she checked every nook and corner of the entire house… and nothing. Just empty rooms with furniture.