Swapping Ghost Stories – Ivy’s Story

Ivy and I just spent the better part of the afternoon scaring the crap out of ourselves. We swapped scary stories from our youth back and forth. Not in a “I can scare you worse than you can me” sort of way. More in a “Have you ever experienced something like this sort of way”. I still think hers is the capper.

‘It was dusk. That time of the day when the sun has set but there’s still a little light. Gray light. I was about eight years old. I was playing on the back porch with my dog, Cassie. Now, towards the back of the yard was our chicken coop. And it had those great big old square posts in it; with the chicken wire stretched around it. Right in front of it were these two big old chinaberry trees. One of them was split down the middle, you know? And then off to the side was my dad’s “garage”. It was where he kept all his tools and stuff.
Anyhow, I was sitting there on the back porch with Cassie and looking off to the back of the yard. Everything was very quiet. I was looking at the trees back there. I’d thought I’d seen something moving but when I’d turned my head, nothing was there. So I was watching to see what I could see. Cassie was up in my lap. She was looking back there too. But all I could see was like movement – maybe the wind or something in the tree. It was almost like maybe the bark on the trees was moving. About then was when I realized that the movement that I had originally seen was the door to the chicken coop coming open. I had been figuring that the bark movement as an optical illusion. But…I couldn’t see the cleft of the chinaberry tree. There was something blocking the view. It was like something was walking towads me in the line of the tree. And I had been staring, half mesmerized while it did.
I jumped up and hauled ass into the kitchen right then, and Cassie came with me.
Now you must understand that my house was very conservative. Especially my father. Animals just didn’t come into the house. I yelled that there was something out in the back yard. My dad was a drillman. Large man. Nothing much scared him. So he picked up his big square flashlight and went into the back yard and looked around. He swept the light slowly from one end of the yard to the other. Mom and I standing in the house watched him do it. He came in a few minutes later and said, “Baby I can’t see anything out there.” I was relieved, let me tell you. But then he followed up with, “But I don’t want anyone going outside for the rest of the night, you hear? Not even the dog.” ‘
Ivy stopped and looked at me right then. Her face was pale – even almost 25 years later just retelling it.

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:: ramble ::

The house is quiet. Well, except for the cat snoring a few feet away.
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I seem to have caught the sinus crap that has been going around. *sigh*
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Damn, where in hell did the year go? It’s the end of November already.
We’re supposed to go and see J’s folks for Thanksgiving this year. Actually, it’s supposed to be me my folk’s turn for Thanksgiving and their turn for Xmas. The Great Grandbaby swap-off continues. *laugh*
I don’t blame the folks for not wanting to make the drive though. And let’s face it…Long trips with Dad driving (esp w/his sleep apnea) are a white knuckle experience for Mom; he tends to go to sleep at the wheel. Five hours of fabulous fun on the road! A thrill a minute!
And J’s Grand-daddy is sick, sick. Well, maybe ‘sick’ is too mild a term. How about his own stomach is eating him? (stomach cancer) We’ve been told that he’s “not a good candidate for surgery” so they’re continuing the radiation and chemo. He’s lost like 75 pounds — that he truly didn’t have to lose — since the beginning of summer. I do feel like we need to stay in town and go see him for the holiday. I don’t think that he’s going to be around for very much longer. He could surprise – he is a tough old fuck. Ex-oil man. Foreman. What a suckass job that was, the way he tells it. Bad hours. Crappy working conditions. The only good thing it seems to have done for him is given him a World Tour. I don’t think there’s a continent he hasn’t been on. Or his family. Texas oil men — and their Texas wives — don’t go much of anywhere without their families. At least in the 50’s and 60’s they didn’t. I’ve got a great photo of Jack and Ruth when they first married. They’re grinning into the camera. He’s got his hair all slicked back – she’s wearing high heels and a Swiss dot dress. Plus, she’s got that glamorous 50’s country chic going for her. Tee-ninsy little waist!
Nita (MIL) grew up being bounced all over the globe. She went to school with the other oil brats. I think I’ve got one of the more interesting in-laws (and family). At least, I’ve rarely been bored over visiting.