n 1961, the world was a different place. I had roller skates with metal wheels, one bike, and no reason not to use my imagination. I had a library card, and I frequented the neighborhood park. No one was out of shape, and the kids played outdoors most afternoons. We didn't watch much TV, and we had lots of adventures.
We would go down to the end of the alley, and climb the aged eucalyptus trees. I pretended to be a pirate sailing on a great ship, and other times, I was an acrobat in a traveling circus.
As a young child, my eyes didn't want to miss a thing, and it was hard for me to sleep at night. This was the most exciting time of all. You see, I was just learning to use my gifts, and it was fun to sit in the dark, and see what wandered by.
Pretending to be asleep, I would listen for my Mothers bedroom door closing. As soon as she finally went to bed, I would hop out of bed, and climb into the window seat by my bed. Staring out into the darkness, I searched for the wandering spirits. I felt safe doing this, and none of them ever tried to harm me.
They just stared back, aware I could see them, but they only looked away. I saw them coming and going, wandering and entering the residences around our house. Every once in a while, A Ghost would wander through our house, but by the time I sneaked out of my room to look for him or her, no one would be there.
It was a nightly game for me, but I was a kid, what did I know? The first time I saw the Ghostly apparition of a dog, I wanted to call him to me. He was so handsome to look at. I think he was a golden retriever, but he might have been some other breed.
His coat was a silky sable color, and he looked like he was smiling. He passed my house the first time, running along at a fast pace. He saw me staring at him, and he stopped to wag his tail. He looked like he was looking for someone, and off he ran.
My nightly window watching became more intense, and when I didn't see the Ghost Dog go by, I stayed up far too late while trying to catch a glimpse of him. I pretended he was my dog, and was heartbroken when he didn't show.
My Mother wondered why I was so sleepy in the morning, but I couldn't tell her. She would get mad at me, and I would be punished. I had been staying up later and later, and one night, the Ghost Dog stopped at my house. He stood on the front lawn, and wagged his tail at me. I think he wanted me to go outside. Stupidly, I went.
The moment I sneaked out the back door, I knew it was the wrong thing to do. I was cold, and the grass was wet, but I hadn't thought to grab my robe-or put on my slippers. I just wanted to pet "my dog ". Quietly, I walked on my tip toes. Didn't want Mother to hear me outside, so I was very, very quiet.
When the Ghost Dog saw me, He turned toward me. He was a big dog... Almost as big as me! I stopped walking, and didn't know what to next. Never having owned a dog before, I was unsure how to make him come to me. He lowered his head, and sort of growled. This couldn't be right, I thought. He was a nice Dog through the window, but standing a few feet away, I wasn't so sure any more. His ghostly body had taken on a darkness, like he was dripping in shadows, and I didn't like it.
He took one tiny half step toward me, and I took a step back. His Doggie smile, now took on an evil grin. You are probably wondering how a Dog can have an evil smile, and believe me, if I could explain it better, I would. It was just-evil. Take my word on it.
The growl became guttural, and I knew he was going to bite me, so I turned away, and ran. I could hear him right behind me. I knew if I stopped to catch my breath, he would catch me and hurt me. I rushed through the back door of my home, and slammed it shut. Of course, I woke my mother, and she was pretty upset at me for going outside. I was breathing fast and hard, and vowed not to share this with anyone. Not even my own Mother.
She dragged me by my arm- back to my room, and after a stern yelling session over the dangers of leaving the house, blah-blah-blah, she tired of lecturing me, and left my room. As soon as the click of the bedroom door hit my ears, I was out of bed, and staring out the window. At first, I didn't see the Ghost Dog. He came out of the shadows as soon as he saw me.
He bared his teeth at me, and saliva was dripping from his jowls. His eyes had taken on a glow, and he looked... Possessed. Of course! It made sense to me now. This wasn't a Ghost Dog at all. It was a deceiver, a liar... A Demon! I listened, and I learned a lot in Sunday school, and I would never go outside at night again.
This girl can wait, as long as it takes. The Ghost Dog wouldn't get his teeth into me. I wasn't so anxious to have a dog, real or otherwise, after this experience...
He came around for another week, but one night, I didn't see him any longer. He was gone for good. I didn't miss seeing him out there, in the dark... Pacing back and forth, daring me to come outside...