Archive | February, 2013


18 Feb


“No, it’s not too scary; you’ll be fine if you watch it with me.” Unsure, I followed my brother’s friend into the TV room where my brother was already sitting. The two nineteen year olds, home from college for some holiday, were unhappily stuck watching ten year old me while my parents and my brother’s friend’s father were out to dinner. I happened to have had a crush on my brother’s friend for just about the entirety of my ten years, so while I didn’t quite believe him that I wouldn’t be scared, I talked myself into watching the movie with them. And what was their movie of choice? The Shining.

Yeah, totally appropriate for a ten year old.

Yeah, totally appropriate for a ten year old.

Now, I was a child with a wild imagination. I was also a child who used this imagination to concoct all kinds of demons and monsters and murderers, and those demons and monsters and murderers liked to live in my closet and under my bed and in my walls and an inch from my face if I closed my eyes and just about anywhere else I could think of. This movie would not have been on my parents’ approved list.

Pretty soon into the film, I was scared. Horrified. Terrified. So terrified, in fact, that I blocked most of it out and to this day I don’t remember or know much of anything about the film other than all of the “REDRUM” parts (murder spelled backwards for anyone smart enough to have avoided the damn thing). What I do remember was that 1) My massive and amazing dog Oliver (see below, For the Love of an Asshole Dog is about Ollie) protectively sat next to me the entire time, allowing me to wrap my fingers tightly in his long hair, and 2) That I refused to leave or complain about the movie because I didn’t want to look like a “little kid” to my cool brother and his way cool friend.

Oliver in all of his snowy glory.

Oliver in all of his snowy glory.

At some point towards the end of the film, my brother slipped away to call his girlfriend. The film ended, and his friend told me it was time to go to bed. I didn’t want to let on how scared I was, and he told me he’d send my brother in to say goodnight as soon as he was off the phone, so off I bravely went, with my massive protector Ollie at my side. I changed into my pajamas and got into my big bed, and Oliver got in with me. My crush came in to say goodnight, and on his way out he clicked off the lights, plunging the room into darkness. It took every ounce of willpower I had not to scream and ask him to turn the lights on, but no, I was cool, dammit, and this hot nineteen year old was bound to notice, right? I lay in bed stiff as marble, fighting to not hyperventilate, clutching my Pound Puppy, Kelly, with my huge, real, dog lying across my legs with his massive bucket head plopped on a pillow. And then, just as I started to relax, I heard it. So faintly, so quietly, like a breath barely breathed.

“Redrum… redrum.”

I shot straight up in bed. Oliver sat up with me, startled by my movement. I threw my arms around his neck and listened, and heard nothing. “You are losing it.” I told myself. This is in your head, you did NOT hear that. I laid back down. And just as I was falling  asleep…

“Redrum… REDrum.” This time, Oliver sat up first, and I was so scared, I was frozen in a prone position; I couldn’t even sit up straight. I knew that since Ollie sat up first, it meant that he had heard it, and if he heard it, it had to be real. My heart was going crazy, and then I saw it. Out of the corner of my eye, from under my bed, a hand was coming up, straight for my face. The last thing I remember before I passed out was Oliver barking and lunging as the hand clamped over my mouth and nose.

I woke up downstairs on my kitchen floor, looking up at two panicked teenaged boys. “Holy shit, dude, we almost KILLED her. Our parents are going to fucking KILL US.” Yes, I had actually passed out from fear because my brother had hid under my bed and scared me, I believe, more than anyone had ever been before and has ever been since. If there was a way to scientifically prove that, I would. I don’t know how long I was out, but the entire incident was enough to panic the two boys. I obviously don’t have photographic evidence of this, so I will let these cats demonstrate the looks on their faces when I came to. My brother is a redhead and his friend has black hair:

Brother stand in.

Brother stand-in.

Friend stand-in.

Friend stand-in.

Let’s just say that they were both nice to me for a very long time afterward, and the incident turned “redrum” into a word that Oliver never forgot. As I wrote about in For the Love of an Asshole Dog, if you so much as whispered “redrum” around Ollie for the rest of his life, he would come running from wherever he was and he would take you the hell down. Good dog. And that, my friends, is the story of how my brother and his friend almost scared me to death.

Oliver and me.

Oliver and me. Don’t even whisper “redrum.”