Right after Bonehead got out of the Navy, he worked for a local railroad as a breakman. Although this job paid quite well and enabled us to stay within an hour of our parents (who were neighbors for the better part of 15 years), it had its disadvantages. He was on call all the time. He had absolutely no set schedule. And there were weird rules, too. Like if he worked an 8 hour shift, he had to have at least 8 off. But they were calling him after 6 hours off (in order to give sufficient notice) and sometimes he had an hour drive to wherever they needed him to be or back home. More often than not, his 8 hours off turned into 4. It completely sucked. He missed birthdays, holidays, weekends, weekdays, and more. I rarely saw him.
One Saturday evening, my mom had driven out to spend the night at our place. The hour was late, and my mom was long ago tucked into our guest bedroom snoring away. I had stayed up late watching movies with Bonehead in order to spend some time with him. Sure enough, at about 1:30 am, Bonehead got the call that he had to go into work. In order to be there on time, he left our house at about 2am. And I foolishly stayed up; curled up on our couch, wrapped like a burrito in a blanket, watching the remainder of the movie we had been watching.
Then the lights went off and the whole place got dark. After some thought, I realized the light in the upstairs hallway was still on, which led me to believe that a fuse blew. But the fuse box was located in the basement and I couldn’t see my way out of the living room, let alone down a whole flight of stairs. So I began to feel my way to our kitchen junk drawer I knew we kept a flashlight tucked into. On the way, I began to have more thoughts.
‘Wow, the whole house is creepy when it’s pitch black in here. It’s like straight out of a horror movie, with just enough moonlight coming in through the sliding glass doors to create spooky shadows everywhere. Say, what’s the first thing that happens in stalker movies? The lights go off, and the phone lines get cut. The lights go off? You don’t say…You don’t think there’s somebody waiting in the basement to bludgeon you, do you? Oh for crying out loud you big ninny, it’s just a freaking fuse that blew. Put your big girl panties on and go flip the freaking switch you giant scaredy cat.’
And that’s exactly what I did. With the trusted flashlight in hand I made my way to the basement and began to carefully navigate my way down the basement steps. Truly, I am not known for my grace. I once tried on a pair of high heeled shoes, and immediately after my husband told me I was insane for buying them that I would break my neck in them, I fell. In the middle of my kitchen. I had been standing still.
About half way down the stairs, my flashlight lost battery power. It didn’t die, exactly, but it did one of those moves where the beam of light got so dim you could hardly see with it. I started to wait a moment for my eyes to adjust to the new level of darkness, but decided I’d better just hurry up and make my way to the fuse box and flip the switch before I lost all light completely. There were no windows in the basement, and if I lost that little battery power I did have, I would be in total darkness.
We actually lived in a townhome at the time, and the layout was such that our basement had a door that led directly into the garage. So there was the wall the fuse box was on, and about 7 feet directly behind it was the door that opened up into our garage.
More horror movie thoughts followed as I made it to the fuse box and went to open the cover. I was quite busy telling myself I was an idiot for entertaining thoughts like that. Really, though, if there was a slasher in the house, he would have jumped out from behind my refrigerator anyway, long before I ever got downstairs…..
And that’s when I heard it. A bump came from the door behind me. And as I turned the flashlight to the door, I not only heard it, but through the faintest of dim lights, I saw it as well. A loud creak began to come from the door, and IT BEGAN TO OPEN.
At that point I lost all sense of reality, so sure I was trapped in a real life horror movie, and I began screaming at the top of my lungs and ran at full throttle back towards the basement steps and began the ascent at least 4 steps at a time. The entire time I was screaming about there being someone in the house in the best first hill of a roller coaster voice I could summon.
I made it up the stairs to the first floor still screaming. I ran past the front door to the second set of steps and then flew up them 4 at a time. My mom was half way down the hallway already to see what the commotion was about. She calmed me down, and I spit out my story. The only thing I could think was that Bonehead had forgotten to close the garage door on his way out, and someone had entered our home.
My mom then told me I was over reacting and asked me why I didn’t run out the front door (that I ran past) instead of up another flight of steps with no exit to be found upstairs (And WHAT exactly am I always yelling at the blond heroine with one high heel still strapped to he foot as she’s trying to escape? Take your freaking shoe off and go out the door! That one! RIGHT THERE!)
That’s right. I ran sniveling like a baby to where? My mommy.
My mother, being the mom she is, talked some sense into me. Through my shaking I remember scaring up some sort of defense mechanism, kitchen knives most likely, lighting a candle or three, and going back down to the basement together. We flipped the switch, the lights came back on, and then with kitchen knives held high, we opened the door to the garage further. The garage door was closed. It was just a draft that had come through.
Oh. Silly me.
Mom went back to bed, and I sat up WITH EVERY LIGHT IN THE HOUSE ON until 7am. When I drifted off peacefully for a couple of hours of sleep.