Mine and Clint's first house together was a two bedroom one bathroom trailer house that was beyond old, it was ancient. It didn't even have the equipment for central heating or air. The house was furnished, which was great because we didn't have much furniture. I had left mine in Texas at my Dad's hunting camp and since Clint had been living with his father he didn't have anything of note.
We moved in the day after seeing the place. The rent was cheap for being fully furnished and we planned on moving as soon as we had enough saved for a nicer place. The owners had built an extension along the front of the house. Two thirds were enclosed as a porch and laundry room and one third was a built on living room.
The first two nights we spent there were hectic. Getting clothes and toys unpacked, setting up utilities in our name and making the house our home. Clint went back to work and Hope and I were left there. When Clint was there that first couple of days, nothing happened. Life was great I was in love and had finally found a man that I shared tons of common interests with.
Hope, my daughter from a previous marriage, was taking her after noon nap and I was in the kitchen area playing Yahzee at the kitchen table. I had the radio turned down low but I could still hear the rock and roll streaming through the speakers. I was completely submerged in counting my sixes and rolling for a straight when I heard my name coming through the speakers. It was a static electronic voice, like those of an answering machine. I dropped my dice and strained my ears. When I closed my eyes to focus on what I heard the same scratchy tech voice as it said my name again. My heart became to pound so fast and hard I could see each beat through my eyesight, like my vision was bouncing. Each muscle tightened in my neck and shoulders as if I were carrying the weight of the world on my back.
Then the music volume changed without me touching the radio. I watched as the knob turned on the CD player slowly turning the music as loud as the radio could handle. I felt an overwhelming electric shock of anxiousness and agitation. Something was in our new home and it wanted me to know it was there. I felt my hands start to shake and my breath became shallow. I couldn't move. I could but I dared not, I had no idea what would have happened.
Hope startled me and it by trampling her way into the kitchen her big blue eyes still hazy from sleep. She was rubbing her lazy eyes with the backs of her fists the raised music woke her before she was ready to get up. Then just as quickly as it came the moment was gone. Nothing but me, a tired two year old and a radio blaring rock and roll was there.
I forced a smile to Hope I didn't want to alarm her and apologized for turning the music loud. I lied to her and told her it was my favorite song and I forgot she was asleep. "Silly, Mommy," she replied as I swept her into my lap. I felt as if I was protecting her with her sitting on me but I now know the comfort was not being alone. I turned off the radio and unplugged it completely. I had enough of the radio.
And, that was the first encounter I had with what ever was in that house. The second came a few days later. I had already called Clint on his cell phone and told him about what had happened. He told me to try to communicate with it next time. See if it wanted or needed anything but I told him I didn't want to do that. That would be welcoming it in a way that I was uncomfortable with.
Later that night I awoke to Hope screaming from her bedroom. I was in the habit of leaving the bathroom light on, Hope was potty training and she was waking up in the middle of the night to go to the potty by herself. I would usually hear her and stand outside the door with a pride swollen heart so I could reward her with her handful of M&Ms and a big hug and kiss of approval. I had never heard a scream like that coming from her and it alarmed me to the point of madness.
I flew out of the bed quicker than the speed of light and darted down the narrow hall past the lit bathroom to her bedroom. She was sitting with her knees folded into her chest and her back against the wall. She was pouting, her usually bright eyes glaring at me with anger.
I rushed by her side and sat on the small bed next to her, "What happened, Hope, did you have a bad dream," I asked as I tried to stroke her long blonde hair. She pulled away from me and continued to pout. It was cold in the room. It was cold in the whole house but it was the end of February so I didn't think anything negative about it.
The two of us sat in silence for a few minutes before she looked at me and asked, "Why did you take my blankets?"
I smiled. I would be angry too if someone had stolen my blankets in the middle of the night so I bent down to grab the blankets off of the floor, which is where I assumed they would be. Hope is a rough sleeper and she has always kicked her blankets off the bed but they weren't there. I sat up a little alarmed and told her that she must have moved them. She insisted that I stole them again so I told her that we would go look for them together. She was still angry with me and insisted that we go in my room first. I knew that the blanket wasn't in my room but I humored her just the same. After she searched my bed and the floor she grabbed my hand and led me down the long narrow hallway into the kitchen.
I clicked on the light and the blanket wasn't on the table, cabinets or the computer desk. I wasn't expecting the blanket to be in the kitchen but if it gave her piece of mind then I was happy. I thought for sure that the blanket was probably in the living room. Hope had gotten up in the middle of the night several times before and snuggled on the couch but she usually didn't end back up in her bed. I figured she had probably gotten up, snuggled on the couch and just forgot her blanket there.
I grabbed her hand and we walked into the living room and I clicked on the light. The blanket wasn't on the couch. I started getting confused. It hadn't been carelessly left on the floor or the couch. I was starting to wonder where the blanket was. I couldn't help but think of the things that had happened in the kitchen a few days before and I was nervous of what was happening.
I asked her if she wanted to come and sleep with me something I never let her do. I am one of those parents who are afraid to sleep with their children, what if I roll over and smother them in the middle of the night? She was happy to do that so we went back to my room clicking the lights off one by one except the bathroom light. I asked her if she needed to potty and after she told me no she crawled into my bed and snuggled under the heavy blankets and thin sheets.
I walked decided to go to the bathroom before heading back to bed and was amazed at what I seen. Hope's thick Power Puff Girls comforter was folded nicely and placed in the bathtub. That was strange. Hope couldn't fold a comforter of that size. She couldn't even fold a hand towel for that matter. I knew I had tucked her in with her favorite blanket and I knew she didn't put it in the bathtub. I tossed the blanket on her bed and hurried back to mine where she was already sleeping soundly.
After that night Hope would wake up around two fifteen every night complaining about her blanket being stolen while she slept. She wasn't entirely wrong. It was always moved into the bathroom folded up nicely and laid in the bottom of the bathtub. This continued for three weeks. Every night I was woken up by Hope's angry shouts which were growing a bit more aggravated with each night that passed. I had gotten into the habit of tucking an extra comforter over the foot of the bed where Hope slept but every night the Power Puff Girl blanket was moved from her room into the bathroom. In fact I couldn't help but take notice that the blanket which was fitted over the top of the foot of the comforter was never disturbed.
Finally, it was the night before Clint was going to be able to come home. Hope and I were excited and I was up late making sure that everything in the house was perfect for his arrival. I was overly giddy at the thought of him coming home and had trouble sleeping. Hope was tucked in for the night and I was sitting in mine and Clint's bedroom flipping through the channels on the television when I got this feeling that someone was watching me.
I could feel eyes fixed on me. I glanced toward the hallway half expecting to see Clint, maybe he had gotten off early and there was a small shadow standing between the bathroom door and mine. It was taller than my daughter. I didn't get an angry frozen rush of adrenaline that I've experienced before when I seen shadows but a warm soft comfort coated me. It was like a beam of light warming my skin.
Then it seemed to melt into the air just disappearing right before my eyes. I did not see the figure out of the side of my eye, it was straight on. My vision couldn't have been playing tricks on me. I was wide awake and I know what I saw. It was there and then like ice melting its form and shape melted into the air.
Then just as every other night Hope began her frantic temper tantrum in a fit of anger over her blanket being stolen again. I rushed into the bathroom and grabbed the blanket out of the tub and went into Hope's room. I tucked her in again and sat on the corner of the bed. I didn't have any negative feelings at all. And, then I decided to take control. Hope was losing sleep and getting more aggravated with every night that passed that her blanket was stolen. I sat there listening to Hope's long heavy nasal chipped snores and smiled.
I used a very calm but demanding voice much like my "Mommy means business voice,""This blanket is my daughter's. Her name is Hope and you are more than welcomed to be in here with her while she is sleeping. But, I would greatly appreciate it if you would leave her covered at night. It is winter time and I don't want her getting sick because you like her blanket," I paused and took a deep breath listening to the house for any sign of life other than Hope's deep breathing and my heart racing. I pulled the plaid comforter from the foot of Hope's bed and folded it nicely and sat it back in place. "If you want a blanket you can have this one. It's yours, a gift from me and Hope to you."
The next morning after picking up Clint I told him about what I had done. He told me that he thought that was a great idea. The next night Hope was not woken by being cold. She didn't wake at all in the night. But, the blanket that I left folded at the foot of her bed was moved into the bathroom and left in the bathtub every morning when we woke for the remainder of our time there. Seven months of waking to find that folded blanket and when we moved we left the blanket folded up nicely at the foot of Hope's bed. It was the little girls' now and it was a parting kindness left just for her. But, that wasn't the last of the encounters we had there. I'll post the other encounters there later.