Thursday, October 22, 2009

Note to Self: Don't be a Mummy

So, I must admit that this post is not an original idea. I'm stealing from Karen, who has a great spooky story that you should check out, and she participates in a series called Group Blog Thursday. I would participate in the weekly series but I'm a bit on the non-committal side...

Years ago I served as a chaperon for the church that I went to on some youth group activities. We had some great outings... an all night lock-out was one of my favorite memories. But, the story that I'm sharing with you today is about the time that we went to the church compound out in the boonies for a weekend retreat. The cabin/building that we stayed in was divided in half by a kitchen and two large areas where you could play games or have study groups. And, on each side of this middle section were the sleeping quarters. The boys got one side and the girls got another. At the front of each sleeping quarter was a counselor section with a separate sleeping area just off the bathroom. There was a curtain that the counselor could draw for privacy if needed.

Since I was the only adult female I took the counselor area to sleep in, but left the curtain open in case anyone needed me. Like I mentioned, this place was out in the boonies so when we turned out the lights it was freakin' pitch black. I mean, can't see your hand in front of your nose kind of blackness. I remember thinking, geeze... I don't have a flashlight. Or a nightlight. But, my watch lit up so I could stare at the clock if I couldn't sleep, right?

I dozed off pretty quickly as it had been a full day of teen-filled activities that wore me down. But, I woke up around four a.m. and found myself quite alert. I looked at my watch and realized I was going to be really bored for about three hours before everyone else had to wake up.

As I was laying there, just staring up at nothingness, I saw a flashlight shining towards my face from about the distance of where that curtain was hanging. I immediately thought that one of the boys had snuck in to sneak a peak at the girls. I closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep.

That wasn't enough for the prankster.

He began to growl. And it didn't seem human. It sounded like a growl from a big angry dog that was about to have his bone snatched from his mouth. My heart began to race. I kept my eyes closed while the light continued to shine towards me. Then the prankster began to shake the light, trying to get my eyes to twitch, I guess. I stayed still until the light shut off.

Whoever the prankster was knew how to be quiet as a mouse. I felt as if this had been done before... the guy had some serious practice time with his stealth skills.

Needless to say I was frozen in fear. I heard one of the girls moving around in her bed. All of the matresses were of the lovely lined-in-plastic variety to protect from bed-wetters. Everything stayed silent and there were no more traces of anyone with a flashlight.

The next morning I went into the kitchen area and asked, "Ok, who was the growly prankster with the flashlight last night?" Well, the youth pastor, a young man in his mid-twenties overheard me and responded in a very serious manner with, "No one is supposed to go over there, and I'm the only one with a flashlight." Then he realized he didn't know where it was, so he went into the gentleman's quarters to find it. He told me that he found it was where it should've been. I told him the story of what happened, and I got a few smirks and comments from girls thinking that I had made it up. "the door would've squeaked..." But upon further investigation we found that the door to the sleeping area opened and closed without so much as a peep. A well-oiled door. Even the turning of the knob was silent.

The main doors to our building were of the loud commercial variety, the kind that have the big metal rectangular piece that you have to push to open. However, those doors were never locked. I reported the story to the head of the compound, but he responded with, "We've never had anything like that happen here before..."

I felt like a dummy for trying to report it. I felt even worse for sleeping fully zipped up in a sleeping bag like a mummy and trying to play dead when I was supposed to be guarding a room full of teenage girls. Note to self... don't sleep fully zipped up, without a flashlight, in case you ever need to jump up and start screaming at a guy growling at you in the darkness. And, keep a weapon handy... something long and stick like so you can swing like crazy and at least make contact once.