The Darknesses

When I was a child I was afraid of the dark, but not just any old dark. When the lights went out I wasn’t filled with dread. Instead I was afraid of a very specific kind of darkness. That special kind of darkness that lives only beneath the bed of a child. The kind that waits, and breathes and listens.

When it was time for bed I would stand at my light switch, situated exactly 6 feet, 3.65 inches and 10 full steps from the safety of my bed. I would ready myself like an Olympic gymnast before the next event. As soon as the room went dark I bounded and vaulted with perfect grace into the waiting heap of sheets and pillows. Had the lights been on to witness my feat any present judge would be forced to have awarded me with at least a 9.5/10.

As it is well known, and stated clearly in the Handbook of Rules and Regulations Applying to Mythical Monsters and Scary Sleuths, once your feet are tucked deep inside the safety of a blanket – you’re officially safe. The Darkness, of course, is still there, but you are tucked away from its grasp. All it can do is lay in wait for another chance, maybe tomorrow, when you might fail to stick the landing quite as expertly.

But what do the Darknesses to when the children are gone? They can’t stay put while they escape to summer camps, sleep overs and family vacations. Instead they make their ways to their local meeting hall.

It’s always one of those gorgeous old Victorian homes on outskirts of every suburb. There they stand, huge and foreboding, but empty and forgotten all the same. The state of their disrepair and the thought of every utility bill makes parents shudder when they drive by and their kids point to the house and ask why no one lives there. Inside, between furniture coated in three decades of dust, corners stuffed with cobwebs and a solitary mirror stained and worn in all the right ways to make it more beautiful than it ever was in its previous life, the Darknesses gather.

There are plenty of rooms for them to pick from, but they of course prefer the master bedroom. In the middle there’s a massive four poster bed, what were once ornate and deep, velvety bed curtains hang in tattered, moth eaten shreds. The lack of electricity and pesky nightlights pleases them, now they can gather and talk.

They talk of all the children they saw grow into adults, whose own children they then saw grow. They would tell each other of all the dreams they saw over all these years, especially the ones based on a horror movie and a scary story the children snuck glances at. Of seeing little feet grow larger, and small thin limbs grow to long and shapely ones. How the toys would always eventually migrate from the room, and how nice it was each time their bed was upgraded.

The cribs were the worst, there was no storage and barely the room to lay during daytime. And you really only ever saw their parents’ feet, that were once so small. But how wonderful when a crib became a twin, a twin became a full, and if they were truly lucky, when a full become a queen. When this happened they gained room to stretch and relax, and every now and then a very interesting book would make its way down there. All the Darknesses were quite fond of H.P. Lovecraft. His childhood Darkness always had the best stories to tell at these meetings, the ones that even little Howard lost in the realm of his own dreams.

They talk about how these days’ children seemed to be much less fearful of them. This was good, in its own way, the Darknesses don’t necessarily enjoy inspiring fear in their children, but did it mean they were being forgotten? They feared, each secretly so as not to have to utter it aloud, of being relegated to the list of other creatures and tales that languished without human thoughts and fears to keep them around.

Like poor Spring-Heeled Jack. Jack once kept millions of children awake far past their bed times, staring sleepily out their windows to catch a glimpse of his storied figure run across a rooftop, or sliding down a drain pipe to fade into an alleyway. He ran from town to town, scurrying through the night with boundless abandon always knowing where he was needed.

But then one day all the children’s children’s children grew up, and he was slowly forgotten about. Children no longer gathered in schoolyards in circles to whisper his name in broad daylight. For a long time, he still wandered the sleepy towns and cities, but no one looked for him. Slowly he grew thin and tired, his eyes that once glowed (though they glowed a deep blue, not the rumored red), burned out aand went dull. Eventually he ceased his wandering and another day was simply gone. And there was no one to tell them to where he went.

“But surely you can’t be rid of all the Darknesses?”

“Can we be sure?” A Darkness that sat on the dusty bed asked nervously. The thought that they could vanish, too, silenced the room.

“But who then will watch over them?” One said.

With that the sun began to break the horizon and many went home, hoping to see those little feet.

Advertisements

The Naughty Knitting Box

Spring has finally come! Gone are the 15 foot high snowbanks, and icy death traps! Now the sun has started to stay a little longer each day, drawing out the plant and animal life. Aside from all the roadkill, it’s fantastic.

Puppy feet make the world go 'round.

Puppy feet make the world go ’round.

All this new growth (and a desire to use up my wool before it’s 95 degrees outside) has encouraged me to work my way through my knitting WIP (work in progress) box. I mostly refer to it as the Naughty Knitting Box. It’s filled with things that I lost interest in, dropped a stitch on, or the things that simply had to think about what they had done for a few months.

One of those projects was Inga Hat by Sheila MacDonald.

Mmm cashmere.

Mmm cashmere.

The entire color chart was well put together and easy to follow, but Christmas 2012 (yeah, I just said 2012) I made a mistake on the 40th or so round, and didn’t notice it for 23 more rounds, on top of that it had about a million and one ends to weave in. So it was put away, moved from Las Vegas to West Michigan, and after a lengthy and painful surgery with a rug hook (the unsung hero of knitting repairs) it was finished, washed, slightly felted and blocked two days ago.

hat

It was just chilly enough to put to good use this afternoon when my dog demanded a play session. But now I have some more knitting to get through, the sooner all my wool disappears the sooner my husband will look past a new fiber purchase.

The Marital Bed

For as long as I can remember my grandmother slept in the downstairs living room of their tri-level home. That part of the house was originally constructed to serve as an apartment. Along one wall was a stove, a sink and cupboards, a small bedroom was accessed through the sitting room. Upstairs was the family room. This was for company, the couch where I spent my teenage weekends had been purchased the year they moved in. My mother was 6.

For 30 years the two spent their evenings downstairs. While the family room saw birthday decorations and seasonal changes, not a thing deviated below. Even when the television developed a thin white line in the middle of the screen my grandmother refused to replace it. In her opinion, it still worked just fine.

While she fought change, my grandpa delighted in it. By the time he retired the world had smartcars, smartphones and smartwater. Continue reading

The Psychology of Spinning

It’s my birthday today! Rather, it was. It’s past midnight for some of you, or an entirely new day. In my book, a new day doesn’t start until after I’ve gone to sleep and woken back up

My absence over the last month hasn’t been due to a lack of things to talk about. April was a challenge that put getting through a record setting winter to shame. On the 2nd I was in my first car accident. I’ve sat down several times to write this post, working out a paragraph or two before ripping out the page or trashing the document. The words never felt right.

Continue reading

On Getting Even

As some of you may know Fred Phelps, the infamous (or famous, depending on your point of view) leader of Westboro Baptist Church died on Wednesday at the age of 84. And true to their reputation of face melting hypocrisy – the Westboro founder’s son then released a statement saying that anyone that tried to picket his father’s funeral would be sued. Except he didn’t say “anyone,” he went out of his way to say “fags.”

Any fags that wanna come out and protest my dad’s funeral better be ready for a lawsuit.

No fags better show up with signs thinking that they’re being clever either. Any fag caught protesting this great man’s funeral will get sued. This is their only warning so I won’t be repeating myself anytime in the near future

It also included this line:

Show the man some respect on his well-deserved journey into Heaven.

Continue reading

Midnight Musings

The law of conservation of energy states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. Instead, it gets turned into something else, potential to kinetic to potential again, an endless cycle of the birth and rebirth of energy.

Which leads me to my late night thought of the day: Is that how death is? Do we, in fact, possess souls, some energy or source – the very perfect mix of yet undiscovered particles – that when freed from this physical potential energy suit can then find another? Created nor destroyed?

Maybe that’s how astral projection works – we don’t necessarily need to die for that aforementioned soul to burst free for awhile. Perhaps it’s possible that some pieces can break out for a short time– like the water pulled from the air on a cold drink in summer, gone again back into the wind in time.

Who knows? But there’s a part of me that likes the thought, or maybe that’s just the human fear of death and sleeping pills talking.