There he was, still sitting on the floor with his back towards me. It was very dark in the room but he had a small pocket flashlight which he had switched on and had laid on the floor between his legs. It formed a small circle of light around him. I could tell he was not aware of my presence; he was too lost in what he was doing.
Plunk. Plunk. I could see his shoulders moving as though he were tapping on something. It took a bit of focusing, but eventually I could make out the object from the dim light cast by the tiny flashlight, exactly what it was he had in his hand.
He was holding his hunting knife. It had an eight inch blade with a very heavy brass handle. He was grasping it by the tip of the blade with his fingertips and was tapping with the handle on something on the floor in front of him. I slowly raised myself up from my crouching position just far enough so I could see what it was that had him so involved. I clamped my hand over my mouth as I watched so my gasps could not be heard. I could not believe what I was witnessing.
Tap, tap, tap; again and again, as the handle of the hunting knife lightly struck the wooden floor.
He had obviously retrieved one of the mouse traps from the garage where we kept them set and ready. We had randomly placed them about in an effort to control the mice; they would often try to come in as the weather turned cold. The trap was not empty. It contained a rather large mouse that was pinned under the wire latch of the trap by its tail and one of its back legs. It was quite alive. The mouse was frantically trying to escape despite the trap attached to him. The poor thing was flailing about, its’ struggle with the trap was causing the rattling sound I had heard. Every time the mouse would try to flee by dragging the trap with his three good legs, he would tap lightly on its head with the butt of the handle of his knife.
I am quite an animal lover and even though mice are not at the top of my list, I was quite shocked at his behavior; it was as though he were disciplining the poor creature for trying to escape. When the mouse would become so frightened it would no longer attempt to move, he would start tapping on the floor directly beside it again just long enough to scare the little creature into daring to make yet one more hopeless attempt to escape. Suddenly, he dropped his knife raised his fist high into the air and lunged it down hard on top of the poor mouse.
I dropped back down to a squatting position once again so I would be out of my husband’s sight. I began shuffling backwards towards the hallway as quickly as I could. I lost my balance and landed on my bottom but I never paused for even a moment. I just kept moving, doing what I can now only describe as a backwards butt walk. I watched the end of the hall. I knew if I saw his shadow appear, I would pay dearly.
I made it safely back into my bed and pulled the comforter tightly around me. Tears burned in my eyes as I faced what was happening to my life. I even tried to wish back my mom standing at the end of my bed again. It didn’t work. I finally gratefully fell back to sleep.
I had an incredible dream.
I found myself standing alone on a long narrow gravel road. It was very dark. There was a damp gray mist rolling along the ditches, almost appearing as though it were a gray ghost lurking against the total blackness that had enveloped me. I could see, despite the darkness, that tremendous trees lined both sides of the road beside me. They had no leaves; their branches were very long and black, blacker than the darkness itself was. They stretched out over the road from both sides, as though they were trying to touch each other above me, but then had somehow become snarled and twisted at their spiny tips; and now were interlocked and tangled, they formed a tunnel effect above me and around me.
Despite the heavy mist and the darkness, I could still see clearly down the road before me and far off into the distance. There, in a pinpoint of light, I observed a shadow-like figure that appeared to be moving towards me. Even though I was deep in sleep, I could actually smell the dampness of the air and the aroma of the wet rotting bark of the huge black trees. I felt fear beginning to flow through me, clenching my body, paralyzing my legs and feet, and causing me to be unable to move them. I felt as though I was standing in hardened cement.
The figure continued to move slowly and deliberately towards me, making short jerky movements with every step it took. It seemed to take endless hours for it to reach me. I watched as it moved closer and closer. With no way for me to flee, I could only observe and wait.
Now, finally, but a few yards from me, the figure abruptly stopped and stood completely motionless directly in front of me. The fog was now so dense I felt as though I were looking through very thick dirty glass that distorted the face and made it near impossible for me to make out any distinct features. I could feel the cold heavy air weighing on my skin. I glanced down to my forearm and observed that the dampness of the mist had formed a few tiny little beads of liquid on it. I watched as they suddenly gathered together to form one big water droplet that tickled me as it trickled off of my skin and toppled to the ground in slow motion. I had a sudden flashback of memory before my eyes. I saw my tears landing on top of the grease in my bowl of soup the night I learned of my mother’s impending death. I lifted my eyes back up to the figure, startled that it was now but a few inches from me. The mist had thinned enough to clearly see the features of the face.
I found myself looking into my mother’s eyes. Her face was very close to mine. I felt it strange that I felt no breath from her lips or warmth from her body. She had no color, no motion to her. It was as if I was looking at a transparent black and white photograph. Her face was so peaceful and her eyes felt as though they were looking right through me. We stood in silence for some time, face to face, just looking at each other, but not touching. I started to feel warm and at peace as some of the fear began to drain away. She began to speak to me, but strangely, her mouth was not moving. I realized I was hearing her in my mind. Her voice came as a whisper inside of my head. It was gentle and mesmerizing; I can only compare it to the sound of a soft breeze blowing though the leaves of a tree.
She told me it was time for me to close this chapter of my life. She explained that the beginning of my thirtieth year had been a milestone in my fate, and that it was time for happiness to fill my life. I smiled at my mom as her thoughts flowed through my mind. I could smell the oatmeal cookies she used to bring to our rooms late at night. She told me to prepare myself for the change that was about to take place in my life. She left me with one warning, to be careful, that my husband was going to try to kill me. That is when I woke suddenly; I was covered with cold sweat. I was afraid, afraid of what would come to be.
This truly happened to me. I was in a horrible place in my life and I believe my mother decided to intervene. She changed my whole life, it affected me so much that I was driven to write a book about it; Intertwined, Based on a True Story, if you are interested in reading a couple chapters you can find it at Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble. Our loved ones never truly leave our side.