A Life Long Nightmare

This will be a tale about a horrible ongoing nightmare that I have had since the very young age of five.  To begin, let me give you a little back story.  I had just moved to Louisiana at the age of 3. My mom, Grandmother and Grandfather (Nana & Papaw) moved into a house with my Great Great Uncle Ruby. We lived on 15 acres of land down a dirt road that was connected to land that belonged to two sets of my Great Uncles and Great Aunts.  This land was all the way down the little less than a mile-long road and across from a third cousin “Momo” who I deemed to be 66 the entire time I knew her. We were 16 miles from the nearest town in both directions and these towns I speak of were both “one horse towns”.

 The time was the 1980’s there was no cable where I lived. We had rabbit ears, and that barely caught ABC and sometimes CBS, and on a really good day NBC. It was still black and white tv for my family. We would not get a color tv until I was around the age of 9. When I was able to watch tv it was very G rated. I was not allowed to watch anything with violence, kissing, the thought of killing, or sex. My cartoons were even monitored. Which is why this nightmare that I begin having was so odd.

So yes of course I had started school at age 5 and there is no telling what I had heard at school, especially at the school that I was sent to. However, I know I was still pretty sheltered even at school. I had met my best friend Lisa who was in this dream with me. She and I were best friends. We did everything together, so I guess it is just common that we would experience my nightmare together. So now that I have given you a bit of a back story let me get into the dream…

Not to long after starting school, I begin having terrible nightmares and they were so vivid I would wake up screaming. I would kick and hit. Soon My Mom and Nana put me into the bed with my Papaw as I was too rough for them to handle sleeping with me. I slept a little better knowing my Papaw was there to protect me but as soon as I would go back to the bed with my Mother and Nana it would start again.

It always stated the same way…  you know how it’s that unsettling hour right before dark when it’s not light but not dark, this is where my dream begins. My Mom and I are driving through our local town of Many, right down main street. Mom I say “can we stop and see if Lisa is with her Mom”? I don’t want to stop she says. As we are driving by the discount store, a sign says “Sale all has to go”. Mom says “well look the store has a sale we have to stop”. So, Mom goes and turns around and drives back a block to the store. As she pulls up in front of the store, she parks where you have to climb up the stairs. Of course, as I get out of the car, I scrape my knee falling up the stairs. Go figure. Somehow even though it’s a Louisiana evening, I feel like I got goose bumps. I feel funny, I don’t know why.  I run to catch up with Mom. First thing I do as I bust into the store is ask Mrs. M where Lisa was. She said she was hiding and for me to go find her.  I’m confused for a moment, because while I know from the outside, we were in Many, but now that we are inside the store and it looks like the Dollar General store from Zwolle. I shake my head, and begin looking in all the sale racks for Lisa and then I felt my arm being grabbed and being pulled into a sells rack. I’m giggling.

Lisa had pulled me into a round clothing rack and we were surrounded by clothes, where we could spy on people and they never know we were there. We begin to play, running or crawling from clothing rack to clothing rack. It was fun trying to not get caught. Hiding from our parents. Suddenly before we knew it, out Mothers were both franticly calling us, telling us where ever we were to stay there and be very quiet. We of course peaked out of the clothing rack we were now sharing. We notice that it was very dark and a cloudy mist was in the story like it is on most mornings on the ground before school. We took each other’s hand. We both were terrified but didn’t want to say it out loud. You could see our Mothers; they were quickly cleaning up the store and waiting on the clock to strike 7 so they could lock the door. Then the door flew open and our Mothers both huddled together in a corner of the room and were very still. That is when both Lisa and I saw him. He was so tall. Taller than my uncle that would visit and have to bend over to come in the front door. Taller than the doors to come into the store. He bends over to come into the store. He was thin but big. His shoulders were so wide he almost had to turn side ways to fit in the door. His legs and arms both looked long like sticks, and while he had to have some weight on him it easily looked like if you moved his coat that there would be nothing underneath. His skin and hair are both white, like he had been dusted in a powder factory over and over again – until it just begun to stick to him. I’m so scared. I never seen anyone like this before. He seems like we should be very afraid. Tall, white, bare feet, torn suit, tight shaved haircut and the scary thing is he had a face but not one you could remember or recall. He walked aimlessly through the store, looking for something but not finding what he was searching for. He seemed to be confused. He stopped right in front of where we (Lisa and I) were hiding, and inhaled…. Yet still not seeming to find what he was looking for, and kept moving on towards the door.

The moment he was out, the Mothers slammed the door shut, locking it. My Mom grabs me, Lisa’s Mom grabs her pulling her close. The Mothers look at each other in a knowing secret exchange between them but what? Hug Lisa we have to go now. Grabbing my friend, some reason I don’t want to let her go. It seemed like one of our fates were going to forever change.

Half pulling half carrying me my Mom throws me in the back seat of the car and she pulls out fast and heads home. We are definitely leaving the town of Many.  She tells me to look out the back window and tell her if I see anything. In the fog at town’s edge is the man from the store…. I scream I don’t know why exactly, why am I so scared? Mom speeds up to turn down the road that would leave Many behind but as we turn, he is there, right there behind us How is he keeping up? Mom who is that? How is he keeping up with the car? You don’t need to know any of that just tell me if he gets too close to the car or if you can’t see him anymore.  Mom speeds, faster and faster, I’m not sure what is terrifying me more -her driving or the man that is almost out of view. I notice Mom misses our turn, and she says I’m going down the other way… Oh no she is going the scary way home… WHY, to lose him hopefully. Down the spooky road at a much slower pace in a much darker space. Soon she did lose him, and thankfully we come off that road to the high way and was able to turn down our little dirt road. Where home was. Mom pulled right up to the door, we went right in. She let the pup onto the porch, and was whispering something to my Papaw, and I saw him looking frightened. She told me to get in to my bed clothes, brush my teeth and wash my face, and I did. I was so scared I could barely breathe. I didn’t understand what was going on. Why was I so scared? I never felt this way before. Then I hear my Mom scream and I go running and she is looking out the window up the road and there is the white man walking towards us, towards our home…

This is where I always woke up. I’d wake up wet with sweat. I’d wake up screaming sometimes, others I would be crying. Always I’d be panicked. The only variation to this, when I was older, I started dreaming about hiding in a room in our house that my family would hide me in, a secret room I had not known about. When I’d feel safe to come out everyone would be gone or dead.

It’s strange to think that a kid who never saw one horrific thing in her life, up to that point of being five years old, could conjure this in her mind. I still have no idea why, but to this day, I still have this dream and it still terrifies me.

Happy Halloween * I hope you enjoyed a little piece of my real-life nightmare horror.

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