scared?

Halloween is over? This is a bummer. I didn't even feel scared, not once. I like to get a good scare-fest in at some point in October.  It used to be that I'd take my niece and nephew to a haunted house or fright house in Utah, and we'd all freak out for a solid 45 minutes. 45 minutes of scary fun!  But now we don't travel to Utah in the fall anymore so, what am I to do?

Today I was thinking about how Tyler and I kind of like the thrill of being scared in movies, and how I love haunted houses, and it made me ponder on whether I've ever been really, actually scared for my life. Of course I immediately thought back on this time I disobeyed the rules of my Study Abroad program in Spain, and traveled over to Morocco with a small group of 4 students for a week. It was not a good, peaceful time to visit Morocco, and so yes- I was scared here and there while on that trip.

But other than that, I can only think of one other time I was very very scared. It was way back, eons ago, when Tyler and I had been married for about one month. We were living in the back apartment of some verrrry old people's house, and these old people were very nice and quiet. The man, the landlord, went by the name of Smitty.

It was a sunny, breezy day, and Tyler and I were just getting home from church. There are two things I have always done immediately after getting home from church, and those two things are: 1, take off church clothes, and 2, stuff face with food.

So there I was, in our tiny bedroom, taking off my skirt and daydreaming of the comfy pajamas I was about to put on, when suddenly, the attic's trap door on the cieling flew open, then slammed shut again quickly. I screamed!  As my blood curdling scream ended, the trap door flew open once more- but only darkness appeared inside it, and I screamed again, because WHAT WAS HAPPENING? Peeping Tom? Murderer? Killer Racoon? 

Tyler had been in the kitchen and came racing in. I, screaming, pointed to the trap door and explained that it was opening and slamming shut and "TYLER OHMYGOSH THERE IS A MURDERING PEEPING TOM IN OUR ATTIC!"

Tyler did not like this information. Does anybody really appreciate knowing there is a murdering peeping tom in their attic? Probably not. But, instead of pointlessly screaming, Tyler grabbed me and took me straight out of the apartment, around the front of the house, and to Smitty's door, where we both banged on the door until Smitty himself answered.

After explaining that our domicile had been infiltrated by a weird attic killer, Smitty said, "Hold on, I'll be right back." He disappeared. I heard some faint clicking sounds, sounds of metal knocking around. Then he was back and all three of us were racing back to the apartment. (Despite being very old, Smitty was still pretty with-it mentally, and kind of over-protective.)

Turns out, Smitty is ex-marine. He entered the apartment, yelling not so feebly, "WHO'S HERE?"  

No answer.  I directed him to our room, pointing to the attic trap door. 

Nothing happened.

We waited a minute, nothing.

Another minute... 

Then, the door lifted open again, wide and dark inside, and sort of hovered in an open state, wavering up and down before slamming loudly down again. 

Smitty pulled his gun.

Yeah, that's right, our landlord brought his gun. To kill the murdering peeper? Sure. Or whatever it was in there. 

Immediately the door lifted open again, and wavered slightly up, down, up down. Then it shut. Then it opened. Immediately it slammed shut again. 

By this time, I was pretty amazed we were all alive still. Oh, and? I had realized that I had taken off my skirt, but not put pj's on yet. So, I was wearing a shirt and tights. Oopsie.  However, when a gun has been drawn in your bedroom and trouble lurks in the attic, you don't care about pants. You're just scared.

I looked up, noticing that Smitty was lowering his gun. He turned a bit to face Tyler and I. We all stared for several seconds.  Then, Smitty:

"You know what you've got up there? You've got a draft. A strong draft that's pullin' that trap door up and down real hard. Somehow, air is getting up there and messin' with that trap door. And that's not a worry."

With that, he showed himself out. 

Tyler and I stared at each other.  Finally, we breathed again. Confused, we turned to look at the trap door. When he left, Smitty had closed the front window and shut the door. Which seemed to stop the air from doing it's horrible trick. No more trap door draft murderer.

So- yeah. Everytime I see one of those ceiling doors in a house, I remember the terror of that afternoon. And then, I forget it just as quickly as it came. Like a strong draft blowing it out of my mind.

 

From Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah.