Happy Birthday. It was the first birthday that I spent away from home and I wasn't particularly excited about where I was. My father had court in Indiana against his ex he happened to have a son with many years ago. So he and my mother had to drive there and deal with it leaving my sister and I back at my aunts house. I had learned my lesson last time that the guest room was not for me. Though the woman in the door way was beautiful and intimidating the room itself was full of things that struck fear in me.
Since my last visit to my aunt and uncle's house I hadn't been enthused about being there. While they played games I would quietly participate but glance at the stairs between every turn. While they watched a movie I hide under the blankets and fear the sun would be going down soon. And when it did my uncle took my hand and lead me up the dark stairs. "Don't worry, you won't be sleeping in there" he told me. My aunt didn't understand why I wouldn't sleep in the room but my uncle was more than helpful.
He laid a bed down for me on their bedroom floor and that is where I would sleep for the night. The carpeting was cream and lightly shagged and in made for nice support on my back, partnered with two or three comforters from the hall closet and six hardly used pillows. I never sleep with any less. I laid awake. I didn't fear the room at all but it was still not home so sleep still came with a struggle. Eventually the busy day won the battle and I drifted to sleep that is, until my uncle got off to work.
I smiled happily and hugged him goodbye before climbing in his side of the bed, dragging and piling the six pillows along with me. Under my head, legs, on top of my stomach. Once awake I was never able to fall back asleep. I was both a morning and night person and my energy was a force to be reckoned with on any occasion. So I laid in the bed and as quietly as I could I began to play with my stuffed animal, talk to him and listen to the morning birds outside. As I listened to their chirps and flutters something sounded out of the ordinary. Laughter. Little girls.
I slowly snuck out of the bed and peered out the window but it was far too early for the neighbor children to be playing outside. And besides that they had sons not daughters. The laughter started to become more defined and closer. It echoed through the hallway and stopped. I turned slowly and looked at the door frozen in place. My sister was too old to sound anything like that and she and I were the only young girls in the house as it was. My feet began to take me to the door, as I turned the corner I saw shapes sitting on the floor by the bathroom.
Two young brunette girls with ponytails around my age in light blue and green laced dresses sat and played patty cake. When my eyes hit them they looked up and smiled at me. I had this feeling before, it was unmistakable. The woman in my closet when I was little gave me no fear, she gave me comfort and made me feel safe. This... This was the feeling like The Bank Man had given me just last year. Fear. Undoubting fear. Though they smiled politely and in my mind I heard their voices ask me to join them I knew.
The girls that sat in front of me were not girls at all. They were evil. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Preparing myself to tell them to go away as I had learned from my mother but when my eyes opened they stood now right in front of me. No time, none at all, not even to scream. I turned and ran to the bed and covered my head crying. I knew this game, why bother waking my aunt, as I had tried to wake my mother when I was two, or my sister when I was nine, and see them sleep clueless and peacefully. Why should now be any different age ten. Try to wake my aunt and watch her sleep clueless and peacefully.
It wasn't that I wanted them to see it too. It was that I knew if someone else was awake it had a better chance of going away. While under the blankets I hid and listened to the silence, even the birds seemed hushed, music started to play. No, anything but that music. I grinded my teeth. The Egyptian music lingered through the closet doors and words I didn't understand accompanied it. "not this!" I said. Silenced by fear once more. The music began to morph, into something familiar, but not scary. Aladin. Music from a Disney movie. Then another, The Lion King, Then The Little Mermaid.
I sat up and started to smile, it was reaching out to me as a child, but then again so were the two girls in the hallway, the smile vanished. "NO" I crossed my arms as though I had something to prove. It wasn't going to get me, I was never going to trust it. The music got eerie once more. And words I knew began to come from an unfamiliar voice. "the devil is good, the devil is great" too much. It was too much to handle on my own, I screamed at the closet "NO no no" while the tears rolled down my face.
I shook my aunt, harder than I had ever shaken anyone ever before. Crying harder than I ever have. Begging her to please wake up. I expected that when she did the music would stop but it didn't. She rolled over and looked at me "what's wrong?" she asked. What's wrong? Was she serious?
"Don't you hear it? The music!" it was getting louder but to her everything was silent.
"What music? I don't hear anything" she stopped and listened "there is a train coming, do you hear that?" I had lived by trains my whole life. This was no train.
"No! Its not a train its music its..." and just like that. The music stopped. She pulled me close and held me. That very same day I heard her on the phone with my mother telling her what happened. My mother was very supportive when I got home, but that was the day I told her that I would never be back past the white bike. Under the double bridge. Over the train tracks. Across from the construction vehicles. That's all I remember on how to get to my uncle Cheese's house. And I am sure that as the years pass further I will think about that house. I will think about the nights I spent there. I will think about the girls. And I will think about the night that I escaped the Devil in the closet. See you next time on my Ghost Stories.