Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)
Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Friday, July 15, 2011

On A Dark Night, Long Ago

Well, here's my story, as requested. Brace yourself.

Okay, so I'm about 10, and I have this mate at school called Myles. We are not besties or anything, but we hang around a bit. I am small for my age, a little bloke with boofy curly hair. Myles is big for his age, a round, tall sort of kid with squinty eyes and sandy hair. You wouldn't say either of us are supremely popular.

Anyways, one Friday night I go to his place to stay the night. His Mum picks us up from school, and we drive a long way, to some part of Darwin I've never been before. I feel kind of out of my depth, as it's my first sleepover at Myle's place, and I'm in a new place, and all.

The afternoon and evening is uneventful, I don't remember any of it. The memories come back around bed time. Myles sleeps in his bed, and I am down on a mattress on the floor. After the usual chatting and playing up before going to sleep, we are out to it.

And then, I'm dreaming, or half dreaming. Boy, I would really like to go to the toilet. Not the quick kind of toileting, more the sit down kind. It's very dark though, I can't really see anything. And I can't remember where the toilet is even if I was brave enough to venture out. Myles is kind of snorey and dead to the world, so I won't wake him up. Oh well, just try and sleep.

I'm asleep again properly, and dreaming. Now I'm up out of bed, and walking to the toilet. Down the hall I go merrily, for there is some nice lighting to show me the way. Phew, what a relief. I get to the toilet, and one thing leads to another.

Then the dream starts to float away all of a sudden, and reality starts trickling back in like a foul black poison. I open my eyes, and there is no warm light, just shadowy shapes. I am no longer laying on the mattress, but am instead next to it on the floor. Crouching. Balancing precariously over something foreboding. My jarmies are around the ankles.

When you find yourself in this kind of pickle at age 10, there's not much to do but cry. So I cried. First a whimper, and then in to a bit of a bawl. Soon, Myles is awake and turns on his lamp. As my eyes adjust to the light, I look over and see him. He is resting on one elbow in his bed, looking down at the floor, eyes wide with horror, mouth agape. And then after a small pause, he's yelling at the top of his croaky voice.

"Mum!!! Ben $#!^ on the floor!!!"

His Mum's there in a flash, she whirls into the doorway, looks at Myles, then at me, then at the floor. Shock, awe and horror flash over her face, before she steels herself and switches to mother mode, comforting, removing me from the scene of the crime, getting a mop. And a priest and some garlic.

All I remember is me crying, and saying sorry a bazillion times, and just wanting to be at home. Suffice to say, the friendship wained somewhat after that. There were certainly no more sleep overs.

And that, Dear Reader, is but one of countless eroding winds that have shaped the husk of a man that stands before you today. My story serve as a warning, as you go about your business. Especially just before bedtime.


Pedro said...

I did the same thing but I was 4 (if i recall) at Peter Peterson's house (yes, that was his name) but i wasn't dreaming and I picked a bookshelf type arrangement to substitute as a depository.
The subsequent discovery was no where as heart warming and nurturing as yours though Brethra. i got a belting and there was lots of yelling.
Something about 'that was a brand new set of speakers'
or something like that....

Joanna said...

Beautifully recounted, Ben, even if it does bring up some rather embarrassing memories of my own! Myles's mum sounds like a good sort.

Anonymous said...

Oh, doesn't childhood hold the most brutal power. Hard to escape the power of such things. How brave to tell us!