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Saturday, August 30, 2008

When the night falls, there's nowhere to go

I do not like being alone at night.

Houses make sounds that are amplified in the darkness. I hear every creak and every groan. And they frighten me.

I used to think I was afraid of aliens, because when I was very young, my (insane) grandmother made me watch a scary movie about aliens invading a house during the night and abducting Christopher Walken and his family. It was billed as a TRUE STORY, and my grandmother told me she believed it was true. My parents did not, but I was unsure. I never stayed up later than the others in my family. If everyone else went to bed, I did, too. I am not sure how this was supposed to protect me, considering that the people in the movie were abducted from their bedrooms, but it made sense inside my head.

I am no longer afraid of aliens abducting me at night, but my original concerns have morphed into fear of an overnight break-in or arson. This is not entirely crazy: both are semi-regular occurrences in Name of Town Withheld. Exactly how the presence of another person protects me from them, however, is unclear to my subconscious. In the light of day, I can see that this is just a continuation of the fear I had as a child, but at night I'm not so sure, especially when I hear noises.

Last night, I was certain I heard someone at the door fiddling with the lock and then coming into the house. I even ventured into the dark hallway, cell phone in hand, to investigate after being momentarily paralysed with fear. (I had left the phone next to the bed just in case someone broke in and I needed to call the police. Yes, you can say "self-fulfilling prophecy". It is now daytime.)

Naturally, nobody was out there. The deadbolt, which I had been certain I'd heard turning, was still locked. Perhaps the criminals were frightened off when I turned on the light in the hall.


Matt, Kara and Hunter said...



I am so scared of the dark after watching I Am Legend. Matt is leaving for a few weeks and I think I will sleep with all of the lights on.

They are scared of the light.

Ricki said...

I'm the same with scary movies (and worse AFTER scary movies). Do you have a dog? If not, you need one. A BIG one. I'm not afraid when I have the Girls with me!

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid, my bedroom was on the road-side of the house. A car would turn the corner and its lights would shine right into my room. I used to believe that if I stayed absolutely still they wouldn't find me. And, yeah, "they" meant aliens or ghosts...or something in between. Oh, and I never had a door on my closet. Kids who have closet doors are lucky. My nightmares were pretty intense. While I still have a fair number of nightmares, they no longer involves supernatural creatures. Somehow when I moved out of the house my fears lessened.

Just try living in a massive house. I have to turn on at least a half dozen lights to go from my bedroom to the kitchen in the dark. And I can't really hear people enter the house unless they're already too far in.

Anonymous said...

A good thing your loving, caring, strong, muscle-bound hunk of a husband can watch out for you and destroy anyone or anything that comes near you. He sure must love you lots.

He must spend a lot of the time thinking about how sorry he is for everything he has ever done to hurt you!

Rob, Tina and the boys said...

I hate being alone in the house with the kids. When Rob is away, I sleep with our bedroom door open. And I hear all the creaks and moans of the house. My only comfort is that this is a small town and I know all the cops in town so if I had to call them I don't need to describe where I live and I know they will come right away!