Nightmare

So …

I was back in the little house on Todd Circle in Laurinburg that I bought after the divorce, and for some reason I’d redone the back bedroom into a painting studio. I was working at the easel — painting something bright and colorful and abstract — and suddenly the easel floated off the floor.

I looked down and there were these vivid yellow cross things (they looked like crossed school rulers lying on edge) pushing up through the floor, then sliding down through the wood again and out of sight. Very solid looking, but they left no marks or holes in passing. I moved the easel because I didn’t want to have it float up again and dump my painting; then I stood on top of the place where the easel had been. And the yellow cross thing pushed up through the floor again beneath my feet, accompanied by three or four others scattered through the room. It lifted me right off the floor.

Puzzled, but not yet afraid, I walked out of the bedroom into the kitchen. My mother was there, sitting at the table and drinking tea, and my two older kids were playing on the floor — both were really little again, about the ages they were when we first moved into the place.

"Did you notice anything … funny … about the floor?" I asked.

"Yes," my mother said. "Your house is haunted, and you have a dead guy buried under your bedroom."

I woke up, chilled. See, when I first moved into that house, I got rid of the carpet in that back bedroom (my room) because it was this dirty, hideous, bilious, green, … well, anyway. I rolled it up and dragged it outside. On the floor, hidden under one edge of it, I found about six Polaroids of a young man’s crotch. The young man was slender, dressed in jeans, sitting. But the photos were taken of waist to thigh only, from a couple of different angles. Um … bulge shots. At the time I thought, "Ewww, who were the creepy people who lived here?" and dumped the pictures.

But I crawled under that house all the time to work on the damned furnace. It was an old oil furnace, required restarts a couple times each winter. I never crawled down to the end under my bedroom. But the dirt under the place was mostly sand, very soft.

And now, ten years after I last lived there, I wonder … was WAS up with those creepy photos? And was there anything under my bedroom?

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.