Before I start this portion of my story I suggest that if you don't wish to be left in the dark please refer to "The Plaid Blanket", the stories coincide during the same time frame and period. Thank you for your patience.
My eyes popped open to greet the new day with a hearty stretch of my back and legs, today was going to be wonderful, I had taken control of my house. I had drawn a line in the sand setting boundaries for Hope's night visitor and I was feeling pretty proud of myself for taking action. Clint was docking in Venice, LA and soon he would be calling for me and Hope to drive there and pick him up. We hadn't seen him in twenty one days and his week off we had scheduled abundant family friendly activities such as taking Hope to the park, going to Harvey to the movie theater to see the latest Harry Potter film, and we were to have some of Clint's friends come for dinner one night.
As I rolled onto my side and hugged the comforting softness of Clint's pillow I quickly noticed that Hope was no longer in the bed with me. She must have gotten up after I fell asleep and went back into her room. I felt a slight burning sensation of a disapproving gaze dancing along my skin. The rush of tingles that ascended from my tailbone to my neck caused my muscles to tense and my breath to quicken. Someone was watching me. I would often get the strange feeling in this house, not just during the night but also during the day as well and I could be in a room full of people it didn't just happen when I was alone.
I didn't want to glance in the doorway but something urged me too. I slowly rocked my self to the right and positioned myself to be laying my back. The thin sheets and thick comforter brought me no solace or comfort as my eyes fixated on the fuliginous form across the room from me. It was not a shadowy looking apparition but more of a smoky one. It was as if light could come through the body but the light changed colors as it did so. The beaming bulbs' rays shined from the bathroom and went into the hazed creature as brilliant and bright as the sun but soaked into a muted silvery deep purple that reflected on the laminated floor.
I stared and watched as the long tentacles colored in a grey but bluish reflected light danced on an invisible breeze around the creature. I stared for what seemed like an eternity. My eyes were burning from exhaustion as I tried to understand what stood before me. I had to be asleep still. Things like this just don't exist. I had seen other spirits and demon like creatures before but none were as glorious as this one. It did not have eyes or limbs that I could make out but it was a marvel to look at. Its' human shape could never be mistaken as something else.
I could feel my heart beat quicken with each shallow breath and I could hear my breath so loudly that I would have placed money that anyone in that room could have heard it within my pounding chest. A thick blanket of cold enveloped my body as the tiny hairs on the back of my neck tickled with the goose bumped skin. I could move I just didn't have the will. I got the feeling that it was letting me know it was there and could not be ignored. An unusually thick scent of wet Earth and sweet clover causing my stomach to turn as it hung in the air and caused my lungs to ache.
As the phone began to ring I kept my eyes on it, the tolling bell did nothing for the moment but caused a headache for me. I ignored the phone and watched as the darkened figure fade slowly until its presence slowly dispersed into the air surrounding it. Like smoke on a breeze.
And then it was gone. I picked up the phone and dialed Clint's number after speaking with Clint for several minutes I had calmed down. He explained that he hadn't made it to shore yet but he wouldn't be long that me and Hope should start getting ready. I walked into Hope's room and she was sitting on her bed Indian style talking with her imaginary baby doll. She had plenty of baby dolls to play with but Hope had made an imaginary friend that she described as being a baby doll. Since she was so young I had no objections at the time. She was an only child at that time and I was told it was normal for children her age to form friendships with imaginary people as a way of coping with being lonely but Hope also had the added stress of moving into a new house to become a family with Clint. I thought she had an active imagination or a healthy emotional outlet in her new friend.
We began our morning routine, getting dressed, making beds, eating breakfast, and brushing teeth when Hope looked up at me and asked, "Mommy, you saw him didn't you?" I smiled a little dumbfounded and avoided the question. "Let's call Clint and see if he is ready for his girls to pick him up," I stated with a smile and grabbed Hope's hand as we walked into the living room quickly.
The drive to Venice was short because my mind was on other things and when I finally got to wrap my arms around Clint's neck and feel him next to me I felt the anxiousness melt away from me. He would protect me and Hope from the preverbal things that knocked in the night. Clint is my knight in shining armor.
The next couple of days were completely normal, other than the blanket in the tub but that was something we were accepting we just had to get adjusted too by then, of course it was still new and Clint often said it gave him the "heeby jeebies". I didn't feel eyes on me, I didn't see anything so I naïvely thought that maybe the spirit was going to leave us alone. We were just there becoming a family together.
On Clint's fourth night home the quietness stopped. We were all piled onto the couch snuggling underneath a blanket watching a cartoon movie, Road to El Dorado, when the light in the kitchen snapped on by its self. Hope laughed and claimed it was her "Imaginary Baby Doll" wanting a snack. I was alarmed but Clint remained cool and comfortable. He told Hope she was probably right and then explained that he thought a snack was a good idea. The two of them acting as if it were nothing made me a little nervous. While the questions in my mind were all curiosities and negative thinking their focus was on popcorn and hot cocoa.
Clint asked Hope to help him in the kitchen and I sat petrified with my knees bent to my chest. A few seconds after they went into the kitchen I felt the same cold stinging my skin raising the hair on my arms and the back of my neck. It was not the "blanket ghost" this was the indescribable human shaped one. Realizing I was alone I jumped to my feet and half ran into the kitchen. Hope and Clint were giggling uncontrollably as I hurried into the kitchen, my heavy feet knocking the wooden floor with a perfect pity patter. "Mommy's scared," Hope smiled as she gave me a hug of courage.
I whispered to Clint that I got the same feeling I had the morning he got home and he kissed me on my forehead. After the bag of extra buttery popcorn was popped and poured into a big teal colored plastic bowl and the mugs of hot cocoa had been tipped off with whipped cream and sprinkled cinnamon the three of us headed back into the living room. Clint followed us out but before leaving the kitchen entirely he said into the openness of the house, "Please, who ever you are, don't mess with the appliances or lights it's not safe for us."
After we were done watching the movie and bonding over popcorn and hot cocoa it was time for Hope to go to bed. Clint tucked her in while I stood outside in the hallway listening to the story he decided to tell her, it involved her imaginary baby doll and a few of her other stuffed animals. I remember standing there leaning up against the wall and listening and smiling until the same hazy smoky creature was floating in the doorway of mine and Clint's bedroom. It was just as ominous as before, just as beautiful and curious as I remembered. I poked my head in Hope's room and motioned for Clint to come see.
He walked slowly into the hallway and grabbed my hand. His jaw clenched and I watched as the muscles in his arms rippled to his shoulders his body was straining. Even the grip he had on my hand was shaky and I knew he saw it too. Then it disappeared just as quickly as it came.
He glanced back at me and smiled with an eerie astonished toothy grin, one to date I have never seen pass his lips since. He pulled me into the kitchen and clicked the light on. "Our house is haunted," he gasped as he began to laugh. "We have to ask about who lived here before we did."
So that's what we did. The only information that we could get about the house was that it had been repossessed in early 1970's. The owner, who will remain nameless for his privacy, had bought it ten years before we moved in but never lived in it. He always used it as a rent house. He said that other's had claimed they seen a little girl there and a man who was aggressive. He said the little girl would take things and hide them in the tub and the man was known to touch or push people. He couldn't tell us anymore than that. While these were a few of the first encounters many more took place. There were more than two creatures in the house. There were at least five. Most of them were passive but there were three that were violent. While I was never attacked there were several guests of ours that were and Clint was as well.