In 1953, my mother moved to Phoenix, Arizona from Colorado with my sister, my brother and I into a duplex in a poor neighborhood and on the fringes of an industrial area in Phoenix. I was seven years old. Our duplex was the third house away from the rest of the neighborhood separated by a dairy, a few other businesses and surrounded by the railroads, a brewery, a slaughter house called Cudahy Meats, and other industrial businesses. We moved into the right side of the duplex composed of three rooms.
Front room, a big middle room, and a small kitchen on the back and we all slept in the middle room where there was a door in the middle that led directly to our bathroom, which was outdoors and an outhouse. The other side of the duplex was empty.
My mother and my sister slept on a bed, and my brother and I slept on a mattress on the floor. The night we moved in half the block across the street was on fire with a building burning and firemen and police all over the streets.
My mom rented the duplex, site unseen to move us from Colorado to Phoenix.
Although very poor, we still had wonderful times there. Our evenings were filled with good home cooking, and our days were filled with fascination about our new neighborhood. My brother and I spent every new day exploring our new neighborhood.
The first place we explored was the other duplex. Unfortunately, it was boarded up and there was a piece of paper taped on the front door and the back door that said "NO TRESPASSING!" b the City of Phoenix Police Department. Everywhere we went in our neighborhood exploring was an incredible experience. At night when we went to sleep, I could hear the sounds of train whistles in the distance and from the brewery down the street. The sounds from the brewery at night were all heavy pieces of equipment and machinery being moved and the sound of steam hissing in the night. They had a distinct sound of echoing late at night as we went to bed. Sometimes you could also hear voices of men working. Yet, it was a peaceful sound that we ell asleep to every night.
One of the fascinating experiences about living in the desert was the dust and lightening thunderstorms in the evenings. We loved them. It just meant hunkering indoors and eating watermelon and looking out the windows at the lightening show. Our middle room door was only secured with one of those hook latches. That was in case my mother or my sister needed to go to the bathroom at night. Neither my brother nor I used the outhouse at night. We both hated it. We had a Folger's coffee can next to our mattress on the floor where we slept and could pee.
One night when we all went to bed, I heard my mom and my sister talking on their bed and ruffling the sheets as they finally fell asleep. I fell asleep, and awoke in the middle of the night because the wind had picked up outside and was rattling the windows and doors. The door that rattled the most was the door in our bedroom to the outhouse. I heard the door rattle so much that the latch dislodged, and the door opened.
I heard my mother get out of bed and say "TSK!" Then I heard her close the door and put the latch back in its slot. I heard her get back in bed and heard the sheets ruffle as she crawled back in bed everything became very quiet. I couldn't fall back to sleep.
I heard the trains and their whistles blowing in the distance, and I heard the sounds of the brewery. I often wondered as I got older why the sounds of the brewery echoed at night, and not during the day. Maybe I never listened during the day. These were my thoughts as I tried to fall back to sleep. Then I heard the floorboards creak. I stopped my thoughts and listened nothing. I went back to my thoughts. I heard another creak. I looked over at my brother, he was sound asleep. Creak. I grabbed my blanket and pulled it towards me.
I thought for sure my mom would wake up soon. I shoved my brother and all he did was mumble and snore. Then I heard a shuffle like a foot dragging on the floor and another creak. I stopped moving. Someone's in the room. I thought. I pulled the blankets over my head. I heard another shuffle and another creak on the floor. This time there seemed to be a slight thump as if someone was shuffling and taking slow steps. I pulled my blanket over my face and peeked out of a small opening. I was sweating like crazy. I began shaking. I heard another shuffle except this time with a thump, and another creak.
I thought I heard my mom's sheets shuffle. She'll get up and tell me I'm having a bad dream. By this time, I was completely covered under my blanket. I heard a clink.
Sweating and shaking, I opened a very small part of my blanket. Just a tiny little corner.
I saw a black boot next to my pee can. I closed my blanket over my head. I then heard a very deep voice: "I am from Indian Row."
"I am from Indian Row." I closed the little peep hole, and curled next to my brother and laid there sweating and I finally fell asleep.
When I woke up the next morning, I told my mom that there was a man in the house.
She looked at me as if I was crazy and said: "When?" "Last night." "There was a man in the house." "What are you talking about?" "There was a man in the house." And I explained to her: "Last night when the door opened, a man came into the house."
She looked at me and said: "Don't be silly, it was the wind. The wind opened the door."
"Noooo! It was a man!" "Stop that nonsense, there was no man, it was the wind."
Over the next few months, my brother and I kept exploring our neighborhood. We had a wonderful time. But sometimes when we were playing and exploring all of the empty and burned buildings something would overcome me. I would say: "Something's coming."
"There's nothing coming." It was like a rush of energy coming from somewhere.
Then a garbage truck would turn the corner and head our way. "It's a dump truck."
But what I could not explain to my brother was that down deep in my heart, every day, I could feel an incredible energy coming towards me at least several times a day. It always took me by surprise. Out of nowhere this incredible force of negative energy would rush towards me and overtake me. Sometimes it would come at me at a million miles an hour. I would talk to myself every time it came. Many times it would pass and I would go away. It finally found me full-blown about a year later.
I was at a birthday party with a bunch of new friends we had met in the neighborhood, and I was sitting down laughing and eating cake and ice cream watching them all dance around and play with a broken piñata. This time there was a feeling that completely overtook my senses. As I watched the kids running in circles at the party there came such a heavy and deep depression and sadness that completely overtook me. "Hey, what's wrong? What's wrong? I think he's sick." My brother walked me home and laid me on the couch. I lied on the couch and fell asleep. I had no idea how long I had been on the couch asleep. I had such a strange experience, that I never knew whether it was a dream or real. I was suddenly far up somewhere in an abyss and below me was a void. The void went for miles and miles and seemed to go on forever. I was in a vacuum. There was no sound. The void felt very smooth and soft. I could actually feel the smoothness of the void on the tips of my fingers. Then I began to see the void began to wrinkle. Slow at first. I began to hear the evaporative cooler blades slow down above my couch to a very slow turn. Whoosh...whoosh...whoosh. I could hear every single revolution of the cooler blades. Whoosh...whoosh...whoosh. My fingers began to swell. I began to hear voices. At the time, I thought they were coming from somewhere in another room.
They began very slow, and seemed to keep track with the cooler blades as they turned.
As my fingers felt the abyss begin to wrinkle faster, the cooler blades began to turn faster.
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! The voices in the next room became faster and louder. There was there a dominant angry male voice mixed with all the other voices.
The abyss began to wrinkle into a complete chaos at such an incredible pace. I felt the wrinkles of the abyss in my hands and it began to spread throughout my body. The cooler fan became faster. Whoosh-whoosh-whoosh! The voices in the next room became faster and louder. They were now screaming. The voices, the fan, the wrinkling abyss joined forces and became louder and faster and came for me. The voices sounded like people fighting and arguing. I never understood a word they said. They all melded together into one fast paced energy. They came together in such a crescendo that I jumped up off the couch and ran out the door screaming! "THE BIG BALL IS COMING AFTER MEEEE!"
People in the neighborhood at night hanging out and talking on their porches must've thought someone was being killed as they saw this seven year old kid in underwear running down the street at speeds that could've broken world speed records screaming.
I remember some older kid catching me in middle stride. I looked at him and said:
"It's coming!" "What's coming?" "It's coming!" My sister and brother caught up.
"It's ok my sister said. He's sick. He's ok, we'll take him home." When we got back to our house, there were neighbors hanging around outside wondering what had happened at our house. My sister and brother laid me down on the couch and my sister felt my forehead.
"He's got a fever." She gave me some baby aspirin and a glass of water and I lied back down on the couch and fell asleep. I never knew how long afterwards, but it began again.
It started slowly and began to build just like it did the first time. Before my sister or brother realized, I was out the door running down the street screaming again. "WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! IT"S COMING! WAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"
My sister and brother ran down the street after me. This time, some older man caught me as he saw me run by their porch. "Hey! Hey! Hey! Where're you going little boy?
My God, you are shaking." My sister and brother caught up and said: "It's ok, he's sick."
The older man touched my forehead. "You need to get him to a doctor, he's burning up."
My sister and brother walked me back home and put me on the couch. I refused to fall asleep. Even awake, I could feel the same sensations began, but I would get up and pace the room. I would get up and just say "Mmmmmm...mmmmmm...mmmmm...
My mom came home later and brought her boyfriend with her. When I saw them walk in, I could've sworn he had a huge couch on his shoulders, and for some reason, I began to laugh. My sister was already awake and ran to my mom and said: "He's really sick mom. He's running a high fever, and we can't control him. He keeps getting up and talking, then he...he...he starts running out the door." My mother came over to me and lifted my head up and put it on her lap. She stroked my hair and forehead. "My God, he's running a high fever!" She turned to my sister and said "Get me the alcohol, and a pan of water and some towels, some Bayer Aspirin and a glass of water. She took off my shirt, and soaked some towels the mixture of water and alcohol and applied them to my chest and a small towel to my forehead. "Drink this water." She began fanning my body with another towel.
"Drink all of the water." The fanning of the towels felt very cold, but comforting.
My fever finally ebbed enough for me to fall asleep.
The next day my mother took me to the doctor. He gave me a penicillin shot and explained to my mom that I had a serious bacterial infection. He explained that high fevers can cause hallucinations, but the shot would cure the infection, and also stop the fever. It never stopped over the next six months. For that matter over the next five years.
But it was at its worst for the first six months. As the years went by, I was the one that learned to control my nightmares by talking to myself and doing certain things to stop the nightmares. One of the most successful things I did is when the abyss would begin to wrinkle at an incredible rapid pace; I would rub my blankets and smooth out the wrinkles on my blanket. To this day at sixty three, I smooth out my sheets and blankets. By the time I was twelve I was able to handle my nightmares on my own. They became less, and less.
Some interesting information: After I received my Penicillin shot, two days later, my nightmares got worse. So much so that my mom had to take me to the emergency room.
As I sat in the emergency room while my mother spoke to the nurses, they wheeled in this black lady on a Guernsey. They left her there in front of me. She began to moan: "Oh lord... Oh lord..." As I watched her I saw the skin above her right eye slowly begin to turn white. The whiteness above her eye slowly moved over her eye lid and now the skin of her eyelid was also slowly turning white. She moaned the entire time: "Oh lord... Oh Jesus... Oh dear god...lordy...lordy...lordy..." Then it moved to her left eye. The skin above both eyes eventually became white. A young doctor came over to where I was sitting with my mother, gave me another shot and explained to my mother that most of my hallucinations were because of my allergic reaction to Penicillin and he gave me a different antibiotic. My nightmares did not stop over the next six months. They became intermittent and would come when I least expected.
A very old Mexican lady not only heard me running through the nights screaming, she also heard about my nightmares from other sources. She came and visited my mother one day, and looked at me, and said in Spanish, this little boy is very weak and sick. She told my mother that the reason the duplex next to ours was boarded up because a family that lived there had a violent end. A father had killed his wife and murdered his two children and hung himself in the closet with a belt.
I later found out that the reason we moved to Phoenix from Grand Junction Colorado was because we had an extremely abusive father that would come home every night drunk and beat my mother and us. One night when he came home he not only beat her, he choked her so bad that he almost killed her. Then he made her make him breakfast
At midnight no less. My mother was so angry, that after making him breakfast, and she went into a closet and brought out a 30-30 rifle. She only meant to scare him, but she aimed the rifle at him and it went off and struck him in the head and killed him. My mother spent 3 years in jail through trials for murder. If it wasn't for the witness eye account of the purple bruises on her neck by police and her brothers and sisters being witnesses to my father's brutality she would have gone to prison. After three years in jail, she decided to start a new life and move us kids to Phoenix, Arizona from Grand Junction Colorado.
If this story ever gets published, it will become copyrighted by me.
Danny B. Ruiz.
My mother's maiden name was Ophelia Guillen.
My father's name was Ecedro Ruiz.
My uncles and aunts say this all happened in Sunnyvale, California.
I only remember living in Grand Junction, Colorado during my mother's jail time.
My father and my mother bore us children in Utah, and Colorado.
Price, Utah. Dragerton, Utah. And Grand Junction, Colorado.
I have tried so hard to find any information on the internet about my mother and my father's tragedy without any success. That does not mean it did not happen. It happened.
Somewhere on the Internet I will eventually find the records.