Past the white bike, under the double bridge, over the train tracks and across from the construction vehicles. That's all I remember on how to get to my uncle Cheese's house. His name was actually Scott, and he wasn't really my uncle. He was dating my aunt Nancy and I loved them. Their house, however, that was a different story. I was still nine years old, the same summer as the bank man chasing me from the Tea Room. My sister and I were excited to spend time with our aunt and uncle in their new home.
I suppose it wasn't so much the house that scared me at first. More like what was in it. We settled in that first night and ordered pizza. We played games and watched movies. My uncle would have to get up early the next morning for work so at around midnight (what I thought was late back then) we all decided to call it a night. We headed up the stairs slowly; I let my sister take the lead. It was dark so I stalled several times until I saw the lights ahead turn on. Relief came over me as I stepped into what would be our room.
My aunt was a flight attendant, flew internationally. As part of the job she would have long lay overs where all she would have to do was shop. Her favourite place to go was Egypt. The culture and the people fascinated her and she more or less became obsessed with it. Every trip she took there would supply her with tens of twenties of smaller items and at least one large one. The room where we slept was filled with Egyptian paintings, statuettes, musical instruments, and hieroglyphics. There was so much to look at that I was excited to fall asleep in there that is until the lights went out.
My sister fell asleep quickly though I tried my hardest to keep her attention, to talk to me as long as possible. It was no use. She was gone and I was now alone. The blanket was green and knitted. It seemed no matter how hard I tried I could not layer it enough to shelter me from the room. Hours passed me by. Above the covers I starred at the ceiling trying to avoid the things moving at the corners of my eyes. The ceiling could not shelter me from the sounds. The room slowly started to fill with sounds of the instruments lightly playing themselves. There were sounds of voices that I couldn't understand. I sat up and looked around the room. Everything was untouched! Who was making the music? Who was talking? It seemed for hours the music would start, and stop. Start and stop. I even left the room several times to see if music or a television had been left on somewhere else in the house. Up to three searches left me with nothing but the sounds in only that room. Fear and curiosity more curiosity than fear I suppose. I stepped back into the room and listened to the voices and notes. And only when I stepped out did the music stop to a sickening silence.
My eyes adjusted to the little light the early morning could provide and I stared again at each of the little men on the walls and on the shelves. Slowly... They began to move. Their eyes followed each other, and myself, and my sister as she adjusted in her blanket. Fear slowly started to overpower my experimental curiosity. Statues do not move. Even as their eyes gazed at me I felt no reason to flee, to run. The music started to sooth me even. Crack. I heard it clearly. Crack. I heard it again. There was a statue, a larger one that had kept my attention most the night. The crack came from around him. Many little statues were placed around him (my aunt's twisted symbolism. She may not have gotten the gift but her weirdness was off the meter).
The voices got louder as the drum beat quickened, and then I saw it. Their arms began to break from their bodies. I screamed and jumped from the bed and ran for the door. Breathing heavily I felt dizzy, unbalanced. Before I could step foot into the hallway a woman stood waiting. Starring sternly at the statues and decorations. It was almost as if she was silently lecturing them. Her eyes we deep brown, almost black and they sparkled.
Her makeup was nicely done. Her hair straight and held back by a golden band, hardly dressed at all. As my eyes fell upon her she looked past me, at the room and all in it. The woman didn't notice me there, or my sister lying oblivious in the bed. She only saw the room and her objects. I closed my eyes tightly in hopes that when I opened them she would go away. She did not. "hello?" I spoke. Still the Egyptian woman could care less of my existence. It was at that moment I no longer felt afraid of her.
Elegantly the woman turned on her feet and walked down the stairs slowly vanishing into a light mist. Just like that, I was alone again. The sounds of the music were gone, and the voices faded. It was silent. Though the woman didn't scare me now, I still feared the noises and artefacts. I stayed in the hallway until my uncle got up for work. When he asked me what I was doing I remember I stalled. I didn't know what to say. What was I doing?
There was no one in the room, and I had just seen things move. My mother would understand but no one in that house would. No one in that house had been through it before. My aunt and my sister were born lucky. They didn't have to deal with it. But still, I was nine. Little kids are supposed to be scared, I thought. "I don't like that room. I don't want to sleep in there" I told him.
He smiled some and took my hand. What he told me next made me feel normal for the first time in a long time. He told me..."I don't like that room either, weird things make for a difficult sleep" he told me looking back at the room. He never said it word for word that he experienced something in that room but in his eyes I could tell. My uncle led me down stairs and set me up on the couch. He kissed my forehead and left for work. The sun was up, and the day was starting and I well... I was just getting to sleep. Every so often looking at the foot of the stares hoping to catch a glimpse of the mist.