I can't remember exactly what age I was when this happened, but at a rough guess I was between 10 and 12. My parents had bought me a dog, Dasha, in 1984, and he became my best friend. I'd take him for a walk before I went school and couldn't wait to finish my lessons to run and play about with him.
Before other houses were constructed in the area, there were - and still are - plenty of playing fields, which were once mining ground. When I was 8 years old, I'd actually injured myself bad when playing on the old coal humps, but this didn't put me off using the area as my playground.
One summer evening, I'd finished running about with Dasha and was making my way home. It wasn't too far away; in fact, you could see the back of my house from the fields, but couldn't gain access to the rear cul-de-sac from the main road. To get back home I'd have to cross what was the main road, before the bypass was built, to get to a side street that led to the street my parents' first house is situated.
There weren't too many people about this particular warm evening, but it wasn't too quiet. Plenty of cars were travelling along the main road and the odd person was tending to their garden. I walked a few yards along the road until I stopped on the grass verge, opposite the side road, waiting for the traffic to clear so I could cross.
Half a dozen or so cars were travelling on the road, in both directions, and I don't know why, but suddenly, a voice whispered in my ear, "Watch out for the next car that comes over the brow of the hill!" I was completely stunned. No one stood on the pavement next to me and I instinctively knew this voice was a message. At such a young age, brow wasn't a word I'd used for a dip in the road. There were plenty of other cars using the road so why I'd be warned about a car that had yet to appear, I'll never know!
I immediately stepped back off the grass verge, as close to residents front garden walls as I could and gazed towards my right. A brief gap in the traffic and I watched and waited. Then the car I'd been warned about appeared. I kept Dasha on a tight leash, close to me, hoping he'd protect me. I didn't take my eyes off the car for a second, hoping it would pass me by without incident, but it didn't.
The middle-aged male driver saw me and slowed down. His glare was strange and made me nervous. My heart raced and my legs trembled. Could this ghostly voice be right? Was there something about this driver I needed to be aware of?
The driver pulled in at the kerb, level with me. He then leaned across and flung his passenger door open, his arm stretched out as if to grab me. I panicked, but this ghostly whisper had given me a head start as I was no longer on the grass verge and I got in position to run.
Spotting a car in one of the driveways a few houses down, I chose to use this house as my sanctuary. I don't know how my hand didn't break through the glass of the door I banged that hard, but I wondered if anyone was going to answer. It seemed to take forever.
I could hear a family talking and it was coming from the bathroom area. I squeezed through the slight gap in between the outer porch and the boundary wall and banged hard on the bathroom window at the side of the property. I was screaming, "Help me, Please. A man is trying to get me in his car!"
A man and a woman ran to my rescue, wondering why a strange young girl was screaming for help in their garden. At this point I was sobbing and trembling. The man of the house looked angry at what I was telling them and rushed to the front of his house. The man in his car was still sitting there with his passenger door open. He must have expected me to only stay in the grounds of this house for a moment before walking straight into his grasp. The man from the house got angry with him and I remember him swearing a lot. The driver quickly shut his car door and sped away.
The woman of the house kindly walked me back home and explained to my terrified parents what had happened. I was so grateful to these people who had assisted me out of danger and assured my safety, but even more grateful to this ghostly voice who had warned me about the car that was yet to appear at that point.
I dread to think what would have happened if I hadn't have had this warning and wonder if I'd have still been alive today.
Thanks for reading,