This past week-end, Corb and I, wholesome parents that we are, took the kids to see "Paranormal Activity." It capped off an entire evening of thrills and chills, as we actually dared to venture back into Friendly's for the first time since the infamous "Silva" incident. Brrrr.
Sure enough, guess who was there. I had been placing bets weeks ago that our friend "Silva," the hapless waitress with all the waitressing abilities of a broken Rock-em Sock-em robot, would have either been quit or been fired. Nope, she was still there.
And sure enough, guess who was assigned to be our waitress.
Talk about horror stories. It was too scary a thought for me, so I timidly approached the hostess before we actually sat at our table. "Ummm, do you mind putting us at another table?"
She seemed to know where I was going with this. "Do you want another waitress?" she asked.
"If you don't mind."
All through the meal, I kept glancing over to see where Silva was. Whether she was coming after us with a steak knife or something. However, she was too busy annoying other customers. Thank God.
Anyway, it was actually a pretty entertaining movie in a cinema verite kind of way, although brave old Corb, hardy soul that he was, couldn't speak for about an hour after the movie, afterward.
He was too scared. Which I think is pretty funny, considering that he's always made fun of my morbid fear of "The Exorcist."
I think it hit too close to him, though, because it got him thinking about our old apartment. And, the old man, who has been making himself known, as we've been cleaning the place out.
I don't think he's happy that we're leaving.
Some of you may recall me mentioning the old man before. Since we moved into Brook Haven six years ago, we've always felt a presence in the little bedroom, the one that Corb and I share. Either it's the scent of abomination, or we've been living with a spirit all this time.
We've always called him the old man. That's because that's how Corb, whose seen him the most, has always described him.
Corb started seeing him about six months into moving in. At first, it was just a weird, scary feeling. But then, in the middle of the night, Corb would wake up and see a thin shadowy image standing at the foot of our bed. At first, he thought it was me, but then he'd look down and realize that I was in bed, sleeping.
It really started freaking him out, so eventually, before going to bed, Corb would always look around and say, "Don't talk to me don't look at me don't bother me" five times fast. This seemed to do the trick, most nights.
I wish I could say that Corb was the only one who noticed him, but he wasn't. The kids always avoided the little bedroom, whenever they could. Theo would never sleep in there. Ashes would keep the door closed if she was ever alone in the place.
My closest encounter with the old man occurred about four years. One morning I was sleeping in bed, in that weird half awake state that exists between being sound asleep and getting ready to rise out of bed. I was waiting for the alarm to sound, when suddenly I felt a chill down my spine. And then I felt a presence, right next to me. I knew it wasn't Corb, because he had gone to work. I tried to cry out and move away, but I found that I couldn't move a muscle.
It was a weird feeling, but I kept struggling, and finally, after what felt like an eternity, I was able to move, to cry out. I jumped out of bed, flew into the other room. Got ready for work faster than I ever have.
Still, that was really the scariest the old man ever got. I think he was fond of us, in some ways, so I guess it's not surprising that he would make his displeasure known that we were moving.
Both Corb and I have noticed it, in the times that we've gone to visit the place, since the move. Half empty houses are creepy enough. There's nothing there to hide the shadows any more, nothing to distract the eye.
Each time I've gone, there's just been a feeling I've been getting, a sense of displeasure. Disapproval. The first time I was there, alone, I swear I heard this weird growl, coming from the kitchen.
The second time we returned was even worse. Both Corb and I felt something strange the whole time, and as I was walking down the stairs, with a pile of tiles in my hand, I felt a chill down my spine, all of a sudden. Now granted, visibility was poor to begin with, because these tiles were big and heavy, but in that second, I completely lost my footing. Thought I was at the bottom of the stairwell when I wasn't.
I fell to the bottom of the stairs, twisted my ankle. Damn thing's still not feeling much better, six days later.
I kind of think the Old Man was expressing his displeasure.
The last time we spent a lot of time in the old apartment was on Halloween night, after going trick or treating with the kids, and the day after we saw "Paranormal Activity." So sure enough, we were expecting the worst.
The old man didn't let us down. He kept closing and opening the door to the big bedroom, and usually, with great big slams. It started to freak us out, after a while, so I did the best I could to clear out that room, so we wouldn't have to go in any more.
Anyway, let him have the run of the place. We're not there, any more. But if anyone's looking to hold a seance, have I got the perfect place for you.
Better act fast, though, because we've only got the place for another thirty days. No need to invite us to the party, either. We've had our share of paranormal activity, thank you very much.