Daily Prompt: my most surreal experience http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/daily-prompt-surreal/
Feb 11, 2013
My most surreal experience – I have had a few – was something that happened once when I was about 12 years old. My mother sent me down to our ‘dungeon’ cellar to get some food from the deep freezer. The unfinished cellar smelled musky and damp from dirt, raw wood and dusty cobwebs. The stairs were thick, wide, unfinished pine without risers – you could see through to the rough, dingy concrete with each upward step and the echoes of footfalls reverberated on the cinder-block walls. There was a bare light bulb on the ceiling with a string hanging from it just out of reach from the bottom of the stairs.
My parents’ sweat and labor had built the house in early 1950’s but I would not call it a ‘labor of love’; it was more a labor born of necessity. My mother was well into her pregnancy with my sister and me so she was “as large as a barge” (her words) and doing her best to help my dad build our house all by himself. What a pioneering pair of parents we had – they are resting in peace now.
This was the setting for my surreal experience. My dad had said more than once that there were ghosts in the house, but while that alarmed me, I had never seen any phantoms so I just took his word for it. On that chilly winter evening while I was practically running up those stairs from the menacing darkness below to the receiving light at the top, I was hit hard in the middle of my back and I fell with a bruising thud onto my knees. I sucked in my breath and abruptly turned to see who had assaulted me. No one was there.
Fear seized me and I sprinted the rest of the way without breathing. The stairs terminated at the back alley landing which hung wearily with winter coats and dripping boots, and through that was the kitchen where my mother was hastily assembling dinner. With unblinking eyes as large as saucers, I squeezed out the story of this extraordinary encounter, and to my utter bewilderment her response was so casual that I realized she must not care about anything that happened to me. It was the same with my brother and sister. This made the experience even more surreal – like a nightmare actually. I don’t think I told my dad (who I was afraid of), or if I did, by that time I was in such shock that whatever he said created no memory. But I had come to believe in ghosts from that day.