By Jenna Byrnes
When I was a child, we'd travel regularly to visit my grandparents who lived two hours away in an old farmhouse. My older brother, whose main goal in life was to torment me, liked to tell me spooky stories about the farmhouse. These invariably kept me from a good night's sleep. But no story came close to what he and I witnessed firsthand, one night at grandma's.
Our family history contained a sad and scary (to parents everywhere) tale about my uncle who died as a small child. The house, built by my great-grandfather (or maybe two greats in there, can't remember) had a long flight of stairs leading to the bedrooms on the upper floor. One Christmas morning, my uncle, who must have been three years old at the time, found a shiny, red tricycle under the tree. He pestered and pestered for someone to take him outside to try out the trike, but his parents and older siblings were busy opening their holiday gifts. The way the story goes, no one noticed little Jimmy missing until he hollered and got their attention. There he was, at the top of the stairs, sitting on his tricycle. How he dragged it up there, to this day, no one knows. Just as his folks dashed to the staircase, Jimmy shoved off to take the bumpy ride of his life. He finally fell off the trike about two-thirds of the way down, snapping his neck in the process. He died instantly, and was buried three days later in a family plot on the back edge of the farm.
Fast forward thirty years or so. My grandmother made the best homemade candy by melting big Hershey bars and adding nuts and marshmallows, or sometimes a simple layer of peanut butter between two chunks of chocolate. My brother and I could never get enough of the stuff-because mom would cut us off after a couple pieces. But after the grown-ups were in bed, the candy was left unattended. We'd sneak out to the enclosed porch just off the living room, where grandma kept her table of treats, and indulge in some late night chocolaty goodness.
One night, after we were sure the elders were asleep, my brother and I slipped out of our makeshift beds on the laundry room floor, and tripped out to visit the candy. Just as we rounded the corner to the living room, we heard a noise at the top of the stairs. We froze, fearful it was mom--or worse yet, dad--catching us in the candy-thieving act. Hugging the wall, neither of us scarcely dared to take a breath. When we saw who was on the stairs, the air couldn't whoosh from my lungs fast enough. A small boy, on a shiny red tricycle, hurtling down the stairs at an amazing speed. Only this time, he didn't fall off the trike. He rode it all the way to the landing and raced past my brother and I. His face was a mask of victorious triumph. We turned our heads to follow him and see where he'd end up, but the boy and trike vanished as they reached the stone fireplace.
I'm lucky I only wet my pants that night. My brother didn't say a word, just helped me clean up the puddle with some paper towels and we both hurried back to our beds. I changed into clean pajamas and crawled into my sleeping bag, which I scooted a little closer to my sister. She might have wondered why, but she never asked.
It took my brother and I years before we could talk about that night. Both of us remembered it the same way, and we never talked about it again. We didn't sneak out for candy after that, either. And when grandma and grandpa sold the farm and moved into town, I wasn't unhappy. That place literally scared the piss outta me.
The one thing I forgot to tell you about this story is that none of it is true. Okay, my dad was Jimmy, he did live in a farmhouse when he was a kid, and he did ride his trike down the staircase (he survived, thankfully, or I wouldn't be here to tell the tale.) Oh, and my grandma did make the greatest chocolate candy, but grandma was a softie and I got all I wanted. (Weight Watchers thanks her.) The only other part of the story that's true? I would have peed my pants if anything like that ever happened to me.
'Now That's Scary' was a great topic choice for Halloween week, but I had not one freaking thing to contribute. Nothing very scary has ever happened to me, thank heavens. So I decided to make something up. I'm a writer after all. And this being my last post for Oh Get a Grip, I wanted to leave with a bang instead of a whimper. *grin*
I've enjoyed blogging here these past months, and meeting a lot of new people. Time constraints and other obligations are bogging me down, so I'm going to bow out. Devon Rhodes, another erotic romance author from Total E-Bound, will begin blogging here next week. I look forward to reading her take on the new topics, and I'll see the rest of you around the web. Thanks for the great run, and Happy Halloween!!!