12 String Dreams Journal
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2001-09-23 10:56:17 (UTC)

Through A Child's Eyes

By Tracy E Simants

An explanation may be in order. This book is not written
solely for the enjoyment of the reader nor am I trying to
explain the mysteries of the Earth. I've found that some of
the feelings I had when I was young, feelings I thought
were unique only to me, are actually shared by almost
everyone at one time or another. The way we deal with these
feelings as we grow up is what makes us what we are.

None of the stories that follow are fictitious; all of them
are depending on how you look at it. The fears of a child
are not only in their head, nor is it something that just
goes away. We just learn to deal with them, or better yet,
hide them.

I had a fear common to every child in the world … the fear
of the dark. I remember lying in bed as a child, trying to
work up the nerve to get out of bed and make it to the
bathroom. I went through a period where I just couldn't do
it, which brings to mind another problem. I'm more
concerned about the cause, not the effect. A nightlight to
an adult helps you see your way in the dark. To a child it
just creates more shadows. There's a lack of texture when
you first awake of while still half-asleep. It creates an
illusion that is similar to a television screen. You know
there is no depth for the screen is flat, but that doesn't
mean your eyes can't perceive the depth. The opposite is
true in the darkness of a long hallway in the eyes of a
child that are already filled with fear. You know the
hallway well. Countless times you were told not to run up
and down it when the sun is there to light your way. Now,
in the dark or the harsh loght of Mickey plugged into the
wall, you feel the need to run hand along the wall, making
sure it's still there or making sure you're still there.
It's hard to say. The distance from your bedroom door could
be inches or it could be a mile. In the false light, it is
impossible to tell. You want to run but your fear allows
only a quick paced walk.

I'm proud to say I'm in my 20s and I no longer have a
problem making it to the bathroom. That doesn't mean I
don't think twice about it sometimes, it just means that I
usually make it. In my case the intense fear of the dark
had a positive side when I got older. I found that the
dark, and all of the shadows it carries, brings out the
creative side of me. I love to write poems, and songs, and
anything that others can read or hear. I also found that in
the dark I'm able to wonder free in my imagination. An
imagination could be as real as that tree in the backyard,
you know it's there for you've swung on it's limbs in the
heat of the summer's sun. But, as darkness falls and the
temperature drops, the tree can take on a whole new shape,
or disappear all together. Is that real?

It's amazing how many things we forget, or choose not to
remember, about our childhood. Dreams that put a fear deep
down in the soul of a child seem to never scratch the
surface of an adult. Are these feelings really gone, or do
we just learn to hide them… The feeling of someone watching
you is a strong feeling you feel somewhere around the chest
area. The nerves become alive with electricity and cause
your muscles to contract slightly. The uncontrollable urge
to look around overcomes you and you try to look as
inconspicuous as possible. If alone, a small smile may come
to your lips, relieved to find that Jack the Ripper was not
hot on your tail, or there was no half man, half
indescribable creature that had finally, after 20 million
years burrowed its way to your backyard.

As funny or obscure as this may seem, you would probably be
surprised at how many people, grown adults with over active
imaginations, can take such a scenario in the privacy of
their own backyard and turn it into a heart wrenching
experience, that any doctor with a stethoscope would tell
you, was as real as a close call in an automobile accident.

An imagination can be an awful thing. To an adult these 15-
20 second episodes while taking out the garbage are merely
something to laugh at, by yourself of course, in the
security of your living room or bed. To a child these
feelings can last weeks, months, or even a lifetime.

I have no deep-rooted fear, which is surprising taking in
account all of the fears I had as a child. I worried that I
would end up in one of those institutions where they put
people like me. These feelings and fears were not just in
my head. They would affect my everyday life. The feelings I
created in the dark didn't always stay in the dark. They
sometimes found their way into the light.

I've heard more lately than ever before, how parents,
living conditions, and even television are the cause of
most of the problems that plague our society. Though true
in some cases I feel that it is used more as an excuse than
an answer. I grew up with loving parents, nice and clean
living conditions, (no dog but that was by choice) and
still I feel that I was probably only one step from being
on the white jacket side of stable. I heard the voices that
seem to crowd the heads of the mentally ill and the
criminally insane.

For those of you that have never heard these voices, I will
try to explain; and to those of you that have, maybe you
can explain them to me. Some people incorporate these
voices into their thoughts, and in doing so, find a rather
simple way to explain them. Other just completely ignore
them. Thoughts and voices are definitely two different
things. Thoughts are something we create. We take what we
know, add in some imagination, and come up with a thought.
Voices are like pure imagination. They need to be
deciphered in order to understand them. Something we know
absolutely nothing about is handed to us. It is up to us to
decipher the information and create a thought out of it.
These voices are like listening to a radio with the volume
so low that there is no way to make out the words, or in
some cases so loud that the same is true. There is no
possible way to make tangible sense of the words that are
spoken. What you have is something you know nothing about.
What we get from this intangible information is up to us.
This is what gives us our creativity and imagination.
Making something from nothing. I often wonder if this
deciphering of information is where criminals and mentally
ill people go astray. Maybe we travel the same freeways of
thought and they just missed their exit…

These are all just feelings that I have, feelings that seem
to help out when you're not sure what is going on around
you. It's nice to have this belief to fall back on when
nothing makes any sense. From things that don't make sense
comes creativity, and from creative work, other people
become aware of their own creativity.

So where do these thoughts, dreams, and voices come from? I
believe they are all created in the fears of a child. From
the time we have an understanding of fears we start
creating them. As soon as we start creating them we start
finding ways to deal with them. These ways of dealing with
the fears we've created are the same ways we deal with
problems that arise as we mature.

I know that every person is different, but in a manner, we
are all the same. I'm going to share all the times I
remember creating fears in my life. And, as I said before,
these fears are all created when I was a child. So, as
comical as it may be, or as dumb as non-understanding as
people may believe it is, these fears to a child are as
real as your fear of heights, small areas, spiders, snakes,
or any other fear that has become acceptable in the adult

The Creation of Fear

Some of the fears, common to just about everyone, we are
born with. Children's fears are almost identical, but as we
age and become an individual our fear also take's on an
identity of its own. The fear of the dark is the most
common excuse for the fear of the unknown. As a child it is
the area under the bed, or the closets, etc. It's not the
areas, it is actually not knowing, or better

yet, not being able to see with your own eyes what lies
behind the door or beneath the frame. These fears don't go
away, they just mature as we mature. I think all of us have
been driving an unfamiliar road or even a road we've
traveled countless times and get that feeling, that
question that always seems to grab you by the throat and
not let go until you almost cease to breathe…Did you check
behind the seat? We know there's nothing back there, but
the question is still there and actually is entirely
possible. We start to rationalize the situation, and as we
do we fall back into the state of fear. Why does this
happen at night? We rely on vision for 90% of all
information, and when that input is hindered by the
darkness we turn to our imagination for input. I've often
wondered if the blind have a whole new list of fears. No
longer affected by dark or light, or even night or day, do
the fears they have differ more so than other people, or
are the same feelings there?

After childhood our fears are no longer talked about. The
occasional laugh at a slight panic attack, but never do we
talk about the fears we have when we are all alone. We have
been brought up to believe that fear is something we have
as children and it is supposed to go away as we grow up. If
an understanding of something is not found, then there is
no way to deal or even cope with the problem. We simply
place it on the back of the shelf and try to ignore it.
These fears will continue to resurface again and again
through out your life. Forcing a child to open a door or
forcing yourself to look behind the seat doesn't cure the
problem. Usually it won't even help the moment, for all of
us have an overactive imagination. When you are forced to
take such measures as believing the fear we have created,
we've lost the war and anything can happen. An imagination
can be an awful thing.

Fears are all created as children. Where these fears come
from is hard to say. I know in my case there are few points
I remember where I could actually say I began creating
fears. Fears that not only got me when I was alone, but
also affected me during the day in a crowded school yard or
busy shopping mall. We know that some fears are given to us
as a gift when we are born. They are there to stimulate
creativity and generally not too harmful, but others are
created by other means.

As parents we are forced to try to censor the input our
children receive, for instance, television. Some believe
that television will inject thoughts and fears into the
minds of children and adults for that matter. Though not
entirely untrue, I feel a little too much emphasis is
placed on the media and not enough of the true sources.

Television may aid in the creation of fears in children,
but not in the way you think. The most popular censoring
done by a parent is the censoring of horror films. Though
not the most tasteful of television viewing, horror films
are not creators of deep-rooted fears. A nightmare or two
is probably the worse that ever arises. The problem is when
a film hits a spot in your own imagination and you begin to
create your own horror flick of the mind. This is when the
true fear is created. For instance, a movie about killer
snakes would have no effect on me growing up, for I had no
fear of snakes. I might have gone to bed that night with
the itchy feeling, but come the next morning, I would awake
and never think twice about it again. If a movie about
killer spiders had taken its place, another story may have
been told. I know I hate spiders, as a child I hated
spiders. A movie on such a subject would have, and probably
still today would play on this fear and effect me in a much
stronger way.

Movies and television, in general, only effect people that
were already effected. I don't believe in the creation of
fears or violence by simply watching a television screen,
but if the fear or the violent nature is already present
then the chance of irritation is always possible.

As a child, the actions of adults were the largest creator
of fears for me. I remember being told that the movie the
adults were watching was too scary and would give me
nightmares. I was asked to go outside and play. The thought
then arose: Why were these grown adults afraid of something
that at the time seemed silly to me? I began to wonder more
and more. I can't remember what the movie was, maybe one of
the first Friday the 13's, but I'm not sure. The movie I
created in my mind was worse than anything ever put on
tape. I don't know if it was me or not, but the sky took on
the color just before a storm moves in. The clouds began to
gather and the sun began to fade, not because the day was
over, but more because it wasn't needed anymore. The trees
began their slow rhythmic dance and I watched long enough
to see a dozen or so leaves fall. No friends could I find,
no security could I find. I sat there as the fear slowly
over took me. I'm not sure if any of the adults ever
understood what I was going through. Children don't have
real fears; they just have overactive imaginations. Seems
to be a popular thought among the parents of small
children. If you could find the fear of the same adult and
place them in that same situation, then tell them that the
fear they are feeling, the dryness in the throat, the
pounding in their head, or the tightening of their muscles,
is only their imagination. I bet we would have more
understanding parents.

These feelings were brought on by the simple process of
censorship. Looking back I think it was the adults just
saying something was too scary for me that made me feel the
way I did. Adults should not be afraid of anything. That's
what a child believes. Any breach of this belief, and the
child will become afraid also, maybe more so than you

A movie that did effect me is one that has been seen by
almost every child in the world. A classic tale about a
child getting swept away from her home and carried off far
away from her family and friends. Living in Oklahoma at the
time, The Wizard of Oz's tornado took on a whole new
meaning. The fear of being taken away from your family is
another one of those fears we are born with. It's not just
love; it's a physical tie that is stronger than any
emotion, stronger than any feelings, and stronger than any
fear. This movie played on this feeling, and with the added
fear of tornadoes that every normal person has, effected me
for a very long time. I still to this day don't like those
damn flying monkeys, but looking back, I have to laugh.

It's hard, when a movie for kids and about kids, which
effected me as a kid in such a negative way, to allow my
children to watch it. I know that fear from one child to
another will differ just enough that what effects one years
down the road won't stand with the next through the
commercial that follows.

Television is a strong media, not doubt. But, when it comes
to children's fear, I can tell you that it is probably not
the programs you think. Kids have a pretty good idea about
the difference between real and fiction and usually do not
allow the fiction to bother them, other than a bad dream or
two. Bad dreams are a whole different story in themselves,
one that's not all bad. More interesting are the fears and
feelings that follow a child through the schoolyard, and on
throughout life. The shows that most often effected me were
the 'true stories' that seem so popular on television and
the counters at grocery stores. A child, and even some
adults, can't understand how the information that does have
some merit can be turned and twisted into a story that,
through more fiction that truth, will sell better.

The stories I remember most as a young child, were the ones
of inanimate objects moving. Those stories begin as a chair
moves a couple of inches with no obvious reason, no one saw
the chair move, but it was definitely in a different spot.
Then it becomes the chair slides across the room, just
avoiding the only witness, the maid. By the time the story
reaches the print or television screen it has changed to
the chair was hurled across a crowded room killing four and
injuring six. I believe in the supernatural. I'll believe
anything until someone can prove it wrong, but story
exaggerations like these is what is making a mockery out of
what could be a very interesting field of study.

When I was very young, probably one of the first nightmares
I had, I remember waking up after dreaming that every
appliance in the kitchen, the stove, refrigerator, and even
our wooden table had come alive. They were chasing me in
and around my house. You have to understand, as a child
that could be pretty scary. But unlike most dreams, when I
awoke the fear was very real. It was something that stuck
with me for a very long time. We lived in a singlewide
mobile home. Living room at one end and the bathroom and
bedrooms at the other. Between was the kitchen with all the
appliances and table and chairs. For possibly years after,
I remember running through the kitchen, my heart racing.
How could something so silly be so scary? When you're less
than three feet tall, lots of stuff can be scary. No one
ever noticed, but then who would notice a child running
through a house. It's not like its terribly uncommon. As
you can see it would be impossible to try to talk to
someone about something like that. There is not much anyone
can say about moving furniture that would really make you
feel any better, you just have to wait it out. As a child
that is a very long wait.

Dreams usually don't take on too much meaning, especially
come morning. There are sometimes, however, that something
in your dream, a person, a place, or even a feeling will
cause you the remember the dream in almost the same fashion
that you remember your fist day of school or the first time
you drove. This memory becomes a part of you and is carried
with you for the rest of your life. Sometimes the dream is
obviously bad other times good. Seems to me, the ones that
stay the longest in my mind are the ones that are neither
good nor bad, just odd.

I once had a dream about a place that I used to go fishing
with my family. The place in my dream was clearer than I
could ever remember. There were no good or bad emotions in
this dream. Even the events were as normal as any fishing
trip might be. One thing in the dream was odd, very odd and
still to this day the pictures of it are still fresh on my

I began to reel up a fish, which is strange in itself since
I've never been much of a fisherman. The embankment, which
was longer than anyone would actually try to fish down, was
paved with broken sections of asphalt. They stood at off
angles and gave the ground it's own horizon. I fought the
fish, which felt more like dead weight, for a very short
time before it came into view. Shortly after it was leaving
the water and beginning to make its assent up the rocky
terrain. As it came closer under the pull of my line I
began to make out the features. Its body was thick and
liked like it had no reason for being in the water. Its
fins were old and seemed to be of little use. Its head was
not that of a fish, or of a human, but certainly closer to
that of the later. Its eyes were human, that's without
doubt, for this is how it was communicating with me. There
was no fear and no reason for alarm, only the immense
curiosity that was there long after I woke up and still
today. This fish creature was not something I created in my
mind. I knew that the same way someone could tell their own
writing at a glance even if they don't remember writing the
material. The look in the creature's eyes was that of
sadness and the reason for the sadness was trying to be
communicated to me as I watched him at the end of my line.

People always try to come up with meanings of dreams. I
feel that the only person that truly knows the meaning of
your dreams is you. The feeling when you awake from a dream
is one of insight. Like you just found an answer to
something that you didn't even know the question to just
moments before.

Dreams, Dejvu, and physic abilities are one in the same;
visions or knowledge of something we know nothing about.
Almost every person shares two out of three of these, the
third is to obscure to be talked about. Seems strange that
the same person that has had a dejvu experience would laugh
at the thought of someone being physic. Dejvu is the
uncontrollable knowledge of the immediate future and
physics have learned to control it. It's like those
drawings you see in the shipping malls and stores you
always look in, but never find anything normal enough to
buy. You stare at what seems to be a patter of colors for
minutes, hours, or for me two and a half weeks, then
suddenly a picture of dinosaurs comes into focus. Blurry at
first and then clearer and clearer as your mind learns what
it is supposed to see. What took hours of staring the first
time takes only minutes the second time. The process not
only works for the dinosaurs in the canyon, but also all
the other drawings you could never see before. I wonder if
this simple learning process is all that's required to
teach the mind to do other processes besides processing.

Not to get too far off the subject, but fears, dreams, and
unknowns in general usually go hand in hand. Our fears are
almost always about something we don't know, or just don't
understand. As children the list of unknowns and things we
don't yet understand is longer so the list of the fear is
obviously going to be a little longer too. As adults, we
need to find something that we fear and understand how easy
it would be for a child to fear things in the same manner.
In the process of building fears and understanding a child
will fear most of the things he or she doesn't understand.
Dreams would be a good example of that, but an explanation
might not be too easy to come by, depending on the age of
the child.

As a child I would run temperatures of 104-105f, even
higher from time to time. These times would be extremely
hard on me, and looking back, hard on my mother too. I
would lie upon the couch, freezing cold, in the middle of
summer. I had been to the hospital enough times before that
we all knew it would come and go like it always did. My
mind would wonder any my imagination was cluttered and
scenes like dreams would flash even during my

waking hours.

Falling asleep on the couch was not unusual. It was easier
to sleep in the familiar and normal surroundings of the
living room, but come bedtime, I had to make my way to my
room. Led or followed by my mother up the stairs, never
quite sure, I began my journey. Asleep while awake or awake
while asleep, either way would be correct. I would get a
secure feeling as I slid between the sheets of a tightly
made bed. I would pray to sleep and awake in the morning
with no signs of the illness that plagued me the night
before. Normally my luck would not be so good. An hour or
so after being tucked in for the night I could feel my
temperature rising. The sheets what once held my security
were now strangling me, holding me to the bed. The shadows
of my bedroom would move. I could even feel the bed shake
as though a silent train was making it's way through my
bedroom, bringing millions of voices that I knew I would
soon begin to hear. The clothes that I now wished I had
picked up off the floor appear and disappear as though they
were moving faster than I could keep track. The closet. The
dreaded closed that I know I had closed, for never did I go
to sleep without closing it, now hung freely to swing in
the wind of the incoming train. The doors of the train slip
silently open and the footsteps of the million begin to
file out. Why were they here? Why did they always come when
I felt like this? The walls of the bedroom were too far
apart and that closet was too large to deal with at this
time. I decided it was time to try to make my way to the
bathroom, not matter what I would have to cross to make it
there. My feet touch the floor, seems solid enough, and I
stand there weighing the possibilities. Wait it out in the
darkness and pray morning comes early or venture down the
hallway, these were my choices. The nightlight shines
through the crack of the door that never gets closed all
the way, the only light I wasn't happy to see. I open the
door quietly, not so I couldn't be heard, more so I could
keep track of my surroundings with all my senses. The light
moves awkwardly across the wall through the railings of the
stairway. I would move slowly but the light would move at a
much quicker pace. I would stop for just a moment and it
would seem as though the shadows would continue on. I would
pass my mother's room, the door ajar. Another room never
shut off completely. I pause a moment, debating whether or
not to wake her or continue on down the hallway. No reason
to wake her. She would suggest returning to the bedroom I
fought so hard to escape. I reach the bathroom. I turn on
the light before I even consider entering the room. A quick
check behind the shower curtain and the room is safe. The
harsh light leaves no shadows on the walls, or on the
ground. A perfect place to hide for the night.

I sit there, face in hands, with tears flowing for
something I know nothing about. I hear the train leaving
but the footsteps now make their way to the bathroom door.
There's no need to knock; they're always there. They just
wait for the right time.

Feelings start to take over reality. I listen to the chant
as their voices become louder and louder in my head. The
feeling of fear and insecurity becomes overwhelming and the
tears start to flow even harder. I now have reached the
point where I am no longer living in the awake world, but
more in the world of dreams and nightmares. Though still
awake, I can hear and feel things like I would if I was
fast asleep in my bed having a bad dream.

The reason for my tears is the immense pressure being
passed down from the voices to complete a job that is
impossible to do. I never really got the specifics, just
the feelings that go along with it. Like counting the stars
or counting millions of pennies, my job has no meaning, but
the pressure to complete it is overwhelming.

Within all the confusion comes more confusion, but more of
a peaceful kind. It's a feeling that, if you had it without
the chant of the voices, would actually be somewhat
relaxing. I hold in my hand an object so large you can
barely see it. The surface looks rough and jagged, almost
like it would hurt to touch it. Due to its immense size,
you feel your hands reach for it. It feels smoother than
anything you've ever touched. As you run your hands across
it, you feel that it is losing its shape. A sphere, a cube,
a geometric shape that has never been conceived let alone
constructed, but it never loses its rough looks and smooth

As I said before, by itself, it would have been a peaceful,
relaxing feeling. But, with this feeling always came the
voices. No matter how hard I tried, I could never convince
the voices to leave me alone.

By morning my temperature would have broken. I would awake
in my sweat-drenched bed, happy to see the clothes
blanketing the floor. The same clothes that just hours
before were doing their little dance. A quick glance at the
closet reinforced what I already knew. It was closed… it
was always closed. I get up and look out my second story
window. It was a nice day. Even if it had been storming,
lightning, thunder, raining, it wouldn't matter. It was
still a nice day.

These indescribable feelings I had sound like the symptoms
of a nervous breakdown, with a bit of illegal drugs thrown
in. But, neither of these theories seem possible. I wasn't
on drugs. And, how many worries could a twelve year old boy

I've heard others try to explain these feelings. To often
something like this goes untalked about, simply because
it's impossible to talk about. How do you describe the
indescribable? It is something that is easier to deal with
behind closed doors, waiting for it to go away.

Mine did. Almost. These feelings I had as a child have long
since disappeared. They no longer haunt me while I sleep
nor while I am ill. But they are still a very real memory.
The feelings I had twelve years ago are as real as the
feelings I had waking up Christmas morning and running to
check my stocking. As clear as the memory of having to look
at all my presents under the tree and having to wait for my
mom to finish her tea, and my dad, his coffee.

There are times when I feel that the voices are still there
and still their angry selves. Chanting and yelling so loud
that they cause a ringing in my ear. It doesn't take much
to get rid of them. Anything I can get my mind to
concentrate on usually does the job. I learned this as a
child, and in doing so, I've also picked up a lot of
hobbies along the way.

Where do these feelings come from? Where does any feeling
come from? We all have the same feelings of love, hatred,
happiness and remorse. Do we also share these other
feelings of indescribable context?

Ring around the roseys, pocked full of poseys, ashes,
ashes, we all fall down. Step on a crack, break your
mother's back. Where did these come from? I'm sure they had
interesting origins. I'm sure they were not always
associated with children's games either.

For awhile, during the periods that I would have the fevers
and hallucination episodes (for lack of better term), I
would have them while fully awake. The difference was the
job forced upon me by those chanting voices. The were
clearer during the day. It wasn't the voices that made up
these tasks, it was my imagination. But, still, it was
taken seriously. Looking back, I should have told someone
then. Is it possible that I just barely avoided insanity? I
ask myself this from time to time.

Step on a crack, break your mother's back; step on a crack
and you won't get that new bike; step on a crack and
someone you love will die… These thoughts would go through
my head as I enter a store or mall. As I walked I would
look down, careful to miss the cracks of the checker board
floor. Such an innocent game, such real feelings.

From time to time the rules to this game I played in my
mind would change. But no matter what the rules, not matter
what the consequences, the feelings were always real.

This was something that I just outgrew. No longer do I
count my steps at the grocery store, or hop from square to
square on an old cracked sidewalk. The next time you see a
child playing these games, look at his or her face. Is it
one of enjoyment, or is it concentration?

It's amazing what a child will incorporate into their
thoughts from day to day, such as the use of numbers for
good luck and bad luck. As adults we do this for fun at the
keno game or the bingo hall. As a child it was taken much
more seriously.

Like 666 was the sign of the beast, I had numbers for good
and evil, too. Where they came from, I don't know. I
remember counting the steps of my apartment to se if they
were divisible by three or four. Four being the sign of
good, happiness and so forth, three being the exact

From day to day, from hour to hour, counting, counting,
counting. Everything I could think of I would compare to my
numbers. So strange and yet so real to me at the time.

I don't remember when it started or when it stopped or even
why it happened at all. Somehow those numbers got into my
thoughts and there they stayed for my childhood. Strange
how something so simple can effect a child's life so

I would like to think these were feelings felt only by me.
I find that hard to believe since I was a very normal
child, maybe too normal. There were no traumatic
experiences in my life. To this day I thank God that I've
never lost anyone close to me. Nothing that would have
caused feelings like these, except an overactive

Ghosts do not exist… This is what we are told by our loving
mother, our dad in need of sleep, and our sister that after
16 years is annoyed that she still has to share a room with
a little twerp that's afraid of the dark. But they are all
wrong. Ghosts are as real as you and me in a child's

I'm not here to make you believe in ghosts, only to explain
that to a child, a ghost isn't always something made up so
they can sleep in Mom's bed or stay up an extra hour.
Sometimes they are real.

We were living in Oklahoma, Minco to be exact. When I look
back, that town always seemed like it was pulled out of a
Stephen King novel. I don't know if it was because of my
experienced there or if it was merely because it was a
small town. Small towns always have a strange feeling about

We lived on a large farm with fences and cows and
everything. I was never much of a farmer but I did manage
to get a small garden to produce a salad or two. Though no
thrilled of the cows that populated it, I was always happy
to run around the sandstone hills of our property. The
sandstone wall, covered in graffiti pictures of the ancient
past (or high school kids of the previous year), was always
a good place to find a small piece of stone to carve into a
shape that, with a little imagination, could have been a
car or a house.

Our front yard sloped slightly down to the main street. A
street that had more four- legged traffic that motor driven
ones at anytime during the day or night. The motor vehicles
that did make their way down usually had John Deere written
down the side in bold letters.

It was fun for awhile, but not my favorite place to be. Two
or three months out of the year we would spend in the storm
shelter. The other nine months we spend avoiding
miscellaneous insects.

The school was nice. Well organized, well instructed, and
probably the best school I went to as a child. In my two
years there, third and fourth grade, I believe, I made a
lot of friends and had a lot of fun.

As night came, all of the fun was lost in the quiet of the
darkened night. Nights in Oklahoma were like being confined
to an isolation cell. Blocked off from the rest of the
world. Even if you were to yell as loud as you could, the
people in the next room would be the only ones to hear. Or
would they?

Sleeping in the quietness that comes along with being on a
farm is harder than most would imagine. Even the wind
seemed to tip toe quietly through the trees. Everything
that happened, happened quietly. This could be part of the
reason why sleep didn't come easily.

While asleep, I would have the same nightmare almost every
night. Nothing complex or indescribable, but the worst
feeling I have ever known. I dreamed that my mother had
died. I would always wake up crying. Sometimes my mother
would be there, other times I just fell back asleep. After
a while, months I would say, the dreams got less and less
frequent, the quit altogether. Can't say I ever missed
them, but what followed, though not as hard on the
feelings, was much harder on my sense of perception.

I would awake to see my parents standing at the door. More
the ghost of my parents. I say ghost because there were
more clear than any other color, but not so clear that I
could see through them. They stood there, side by side,
staring at me. Its not the blank stare that you would
assume you would get from a ghost, but more the stare you
would get from your parents while you were fast asleep in

It seems silly to be frightened of your own parents. But,
parents aren't supposed to take on a ghostly form and stand
in my doorway. I felt justified in my fear.

It seems as though I was still asleep. I could sit up, rub
my eyes, and drink the glass of water my mother had gotten
for me just hours before, but the ghosts would not leave
their posts. This kinda ruled out sleep.

The lamp that stood beside my bed would wash the visions
away. Relieved that the visions were willing to leave as
fast as they appeared, I felt confident that I could turn
off the light and resume my sleep. As the light went off
and my eyes adjusted, the visions were there again. The
ghosts would remain until I finally fell back asleep.

I never felt threatened by the visits, nor did they ever
scare me. Mostly it was just the curiosity that got to me.
Why were they there? Were they really there? Some questions
never get answered.

We finally moved away from Oklahoma. Can't say I ever
missed it, but would like to find out why I had the visions
night after night there, and never had them after moving.
Was it the quietness of the area or just one of those
things that would have happened no matter where I was or
what I was doing?