When I was young, about nine or so, something happened that changed my view on the world. I'm not even sure to label this occurrence as a supernatural experience or a trick of the mind, to be honest, maybe if I get it out of my system, I will stop thinking of it. Thinking about what could have happened if she weren't there to save me. If she weren't there to WARN me of what was to come.
I couldn't sleep.
I don't know why this was, but I couldn't. Maybe it was because everyone else was and I being the only one awake, or that my seven year old sister was snoring above me on the bunk bed we shared. I wasn't sure.
After giving up on sleeping, I decided to study my room. It wasn't big or fancy or anything, probably small compared to others. The white walls looked swirled with little cream strips at night, but blue-washed because of the curtains that covered my window. The window was next to my bed, and from where I was laying, it was all I could see. I had little walk room available between the TV and the bed, which was littered with toys as if a rhino had plundered through ToysRUs. I bet that if I'd stepped off my bed blindly I'd twist something.
Behind me was the closet. I didn't like the closet that much. The nine year old me was still scared of the boogyman. That was why I slept with my back to it, as if to say, "Try your hardest, Boogie!! You can't scare me!" But really because if I faced it, I would imagine things coming out. The door was rarely closed, almost always cracked open slightly from that day's play. If I focused on the crack, the room got darker. Colder, too, it seemed. I would be paralyzed by anxiety, waiting for the Boogie Man to jump out and drag me into his lair. I would imagine dark, slimy claws slowly reach out of the crack for the doorknob. That is when I'd shake my head, willing for the nightmare to be over. When I looked back, it was normal. No dark mist. No coldness. No hand. No boogyman.
That wasn't the reason for my restlessness tonight, though. I still couldn't point out the source for it yet.
My gaze wandered over to the door on the wall with the TV. It was wide open, like always, with a clear view to my brother's room. I was scared of the dark back then and also slept with the bathroom door open and light on. Somehow the yellow gleam soothed me and lulled me into unconsciousness. But tonight it was only a nuisance. 'Why can't I sleep,' I asked myself. 'Why am I still awake?'
I wasn't the normal nine year old. I was what my mom called a "Matilda." I thought all the time and read books all day, books that 5th or 6th graders would read only in school for fun. When my dad asked us kids where we wanted to go, I'd yell, "Library! Library!" I even had a bookshelf filled and overflowing with books, right by the door to the hallway.
The books on the case were mostly R.L. Stine 'Goosebump' books, which I never really read. I said I loved creepy things, but had only read one or two Goosebumps ever, even if I had two shelves of them.
During all of this thinking, I was interrupted. Someone said something that made the wheels on my train of thought squeal to a stop. I looked around, above at my sister, back at the closet, out the door into the hallway. Nothing was there. It looked the same as always. And that is why it scared me.
I was hoping it to be my mom, but what the whisper said didn't make any sense. It didn't even sound like her. The voice was definitely a woman, raspy though, airy in quality. And what it said was clear.
I shot up in my bed. "Hello?" I called. I scanned the room. Nothing looked out of the ordinary. But I felt as if there was something in the bathroom. I knew the story of Bloody Mary and feared the worst. I knew she was not real, but I couldn't help calling out.
No answer. I was shaking. I didn't want it to be true. I didn't want to believe what I just witnessed.
So I didn't. I closed my eyes and took a breath. "There is no such thing as Bloody Mary. What I heard didn't happen. Ghosts are not real. There is no such thing as Bloody Mary." I kept up the chant as I settled myself back in bed. "There is no such thing as Bloody Mary. There is no such thing as Bloody Mary." Before I knew it, I was out like a light, all restlessness forgotten.
A couple days later I had forgotten the voice.
We were playing in my room, my sister jumping on the top bunk and I watching the wooden boards bend after each touchdown. "HEY. SAV. AN. NAH!!" She giggled. "DID. YOU. KNOW. THAT. THIS. IS. REAL...LY. FUN?" I smiled.
"Lexi, you're crazy! You're gonna bonk your head!" The plank closest one to me, the one right above my head, seemed to be bending the most. I watched that single board, studied as it went from straight to arched and back again.
And at that moment, something twisted inside me. It was as if fear replaced my blood, surging through my veins at top speed. I had to get away. I had to leave. I had to escape or I'd die.
My breathing got heavy. I knew it. I KNEW it. It was inevitable. I was going to die right there. My sister was still jumping on the bunk above, giggling with every bounce. How could she? I was going to die! Something was going to happen, I knew it! And she was laughing? How COULD she!! She didn't care! She'd always hated me! She didn't care if I died! She would be the oldest if I died! She wanted to kill me! I was angry at her. I wanted to kill. I wanted to kill HER. I wanted blood and death and--
"No..." The word came from deep inside, me telling myself to stop. I wasn't angry. I was scared for my life.
My feet moved themselves; before I could act upon my own will, I was out from under the bed as it came crashing down. I heard wood splinter, my sister scream, then silence.
I was afraid. What just happened? Was she okay? Did I cause this?
I didn't want to look, not wanting to see her mangled body in a pool of blood. I felt tears come to my eyes when:
"OH MY GOSH, SAVANNAH!!!! THAT WAS AWESOME!!! CAN I DO IT AGAIN??"
I whipped around. "Lexi..." She wasn't dead. She was alive. I was relieved.
The top bunk was sitting at an angle, where it cut into the bottom being where my head was moments before. My blue Angel pillow was crushed. I slowly, carefully, made my way toward it. My fingers closed around its side and I gave a slight tug. Then another. Then I was pulling it. No matter what I did, it didn't budge. It was stuck. I knew that if it had been me, I would have died.
I remembered the voice then. The voice of Mary, the one who scared me days before. She had warned me of this moment. It made sense now. Of all the words she could have said, this one had made me understand. That one word played in my mind. I said it allowed, my voice as eerie as Mary's.