Decided to submit two stories back to back, as they happened in around the same year and at the same house. Chalk Man, is the third ghostly encounter I remember in this house.
Must have been aged 4-5 when this happened. Occasionally I'd wake up in the middle of the night when Mum and Dad were asleep. Sometimes I'd sneak out of bed and walk around the house to experience the way it looked and felt with all the lights off. Loved doing this. To this day I love turning all the lights off and just hanging out in the dark. Sometimes it's scary but mostly it's enchanting.
One night I either woke up or was woken, not sure. I remember hearing sounds coming from down the hall as soon as I awoke. It sounded like someone was moving about in the house. Maybe it was because I could see from my doorway that all the lights were off, but I felt the noises didn't sound like Mum or Dad. My curiosity peaked instantly and I got up to take a gander.
My room was at the end of the hallway, I could see the kitchen from my doorway. Nope, nothing going on in there. Then I looked across to Mum and Dad's room, their door was closed as normal, it wasn't them.
I ventured down the hallway s-l-o-w-l-y. The sea grass matting underfoot made the most noise when one wished to be stealthy. I quietly neared the lounge at the far end of the hallway, growing impatient with my stealthy slow pace. Finally at the lounge entrance, I was surprised to find the lounge room very dimly lit. It was unlike any other light source. Very unique, akin to moonlight only duller. Not a moment after taking in the lounge room in this new atmosphere, did I spy a very tall, lanky stick figure of a man. I say 'man' but I really have no idea. All these years I think of 'him' as 'Chalk Man' because he reminded me of a huge chalk drawn stick figure made of incandescent fog. Chalk Man was much brighter than the rest of the room but he was still very dim. I wasn't the least bit afraid, oddly enough. He was using one of my toys.
This toy was a pen-like device which was battery powered and paired with a book. It was an educational, interactive toy. The book had a bunch of puzzles and whatnot in it. The pen, which had coloured lights on it, was placed on black panels beside the puzzles and would light up green for correct and red for wrong answers. This pen didn't write as it had no ink, instead there was a sensor pad at the tip. It was quite a large pen, wide, black with decorative coloured stripes and little green and red lights. I loved this pen and would use it like a librarian scanning all my books and shelving them. Fun times.
This pen also fascinated me as I could never figure out how it worked. I stuck that thing on every object and it always lit up red for wrong. The only time it lit green was on a correct answer in its accompanying book.
It seemed Chalk Man had the same idea, as he was stooped over the TV touching the video machine with this pen. I stood in the doorway dumbfounded. Chalk Man did the same to one of the stereo speakers and the record player, or amplifier it might have been. When he got to the record/amplifier area he turned around to face me, while still stooped over. He definitely saw me as I was still standing in the doorway befuddled. I felt self conscious, so stepped behind the door and peaked at him. He kept on touching things with the pen. Then he came to an area I couldn't peak at comfortably from behind the door. I grew scared as this area was closer to me and from my angle he would soon be out of my view, directly behind the door I was peaking from! Before this could happen I ran back to bed and pretended to sleep in case he came in.
I didn't realise, until I was a teenager remembering this, that Chalk Man seemed to only be interested in touching electrical objects with this pen.
The next morning I headed straight to the lounge to find my pen. Found it on the rocking chair, thought that was an odd place for Chalk Man to leave it, but was instantly distracted by it lighting green when I used it to touch the chair!
Ever since that night the pen would light a 50/50 mix of green and red for any object. Maybe Dad put new batteries in it before I got up and its changed functioning behaviour was a coincidence. But I like to think Chalk Man had something to do with it. Though I haven't a clue what.
I must have been really going heavy with the pen that morning. Because eventually Dad got the book and sat me down on the floor with it. We went through the book together but I kept touching Dad's knee with the pen which was lighting green. I looked at Dad as if to say 'isn't that amazing'. Dad stuffed the pen up his nose and pulled it out his ear (visual illusion). This made me laugh.
Later that day it rained pretty heavy. The light outside was dark overcast mixed with glowing brightness. It's a very unusual light that hardly occurs. It's different to average overcast and brighter than a dark storm. It's such a delicate light which lit the house beautifully.
I was in the lounge, still mucking about with the pen. Alone in that room I stood watching the rain pour down outside. I thought about Chalk Man, pondered telling my parents. Weighing up the options, I decided if I said anything they'd think I was just talking nonsense. I was okay with that but decided to keep this to myself. Looking around the room, noting how the light was, I felt all grown up in this moment.
For some reason this rain storm memory is one of the most vivid from my childhood. I remember it like it was yesterday and like I was who I am today having that moment of contemplation. In a way I believe something in me clicked into place. It was very peaceful.
Thanks for reading.