Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dead of Night

Early in the morning (3 a.m.) the house phone rang. Remember how late-night phone calls were on my list of things I would not miss? This freaked me out, of course. Corey was spending the night in town celebrating his BD. So of course my first thought was god, something has happened...Excy never hears anything - the man could sleep through a tornado -- so I am sorry say I prodded him awake (hey, if it's bad news I don't want to hear it alone), and checked it out only to see there was no message and a phone number we didn't recognize. (I love caller ID).

Excy immediately fell back asleep but it wired me up. My darkest thoughts began to fester in the darkness. A week before, a gang member came into the restaurant/bar C works in, and acted all squirrely, and high. He drank a beer for which he didn't pay. When C ordered him out, this man threatened him, saying he'd be back with some of his gang members. It's bothered me ever since he told me the story.

Several years ago, the son of friends of ours was killed by high school gang members. Not content to murder their youngest son, these paragons of society called the house and told our friends where they could find their missing son (falsely, as it turned out), and while they raced across town to the location, they burgled their house.

My monkey mind began racing...thinking about murder...home invasion...

Last weekend, a friend of a friend was murdered in his home...no leads yet...his three dogs taken to the pound...

It sounds like LR is a murder capitol, but it's really not...but I guess everyone knows someone affected by crime and tragedy. I wish I could say these were all the stories like this I know; unfortunately it's not.

After stewing an hour with these various scenarios in mind, I finally sat up and wrote a short story draft for a writing competition coming up. I had won second place for a 'Gimme the Creeps' story two years before, and now used my paranoid anxiety to come up with a suspenseful yarn I was fairly pleased with.

I got to sleep around 6 a.m. When I looked at the guidelines after getting up later that morning, I saw they were for submitting a ghost story. Oh well. I have several of those...

12 comments:

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Oh what a horrible night. I am so sorry you had to go through this.
I am happy that it wasn't anything more than a wrong number.

Isn't it awful how we are afraid of those late night phone calls. Every time my phone rings like that I panic.

I lived in a haunted house for several years if you want some stories I'll share - you write. :-)

ReformingGeek said...

I'm glad it wasn't bad news. This world is a crazy place sometimes.

Mother's Moon's Message said...

late night phone calls, what fun. Although years ago I received a call around 3 in the morning, when I answered on the end was a young girl who for some reason thought she had called her mother and commenced to tell me that she was pregnant. To make it short, I ended up talking to this young girl for a couple hours and it ended up to be a very good experience...

Doris Sturm said...

I don't like getting calls late at night - or very early in the morning - nothing good ever gets conveyed at these ungodly hours! Nobody ever called me at 2 am to tell me I won a prize - I often take my phone off the hook before I go to sleep - whatever it is, it won't make any difference if I find out about it the next morning!

Retired English Teacher said...

I live in fear of those middle of the night calls. I totally understand your reaction.

I'm glad you got up and wrote. You used the time wisely. Perhaps, there will be another time you will use the story.

marciamayo said...

Nights like that are horrible. I haven't had many but enough, for sure. Writing was a great way to get through it.

Charlotte said...

I hate nights like that and often have a hard time falling asleep after something like that, too. I'm glad it wasn't bad news and that you at least got a good story out of it! Hopefully you can submit it somewhere else :)

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

Those late night calls really get your heart racing. Usually it's a wrong number, but who can help but think the worst. With the number of tragedies that you've seen friends and family go through I can understand how that would get your mind racing.

carma said...

I'd have been totally freaked. But at least it inspired you to write a short story!!

The rest of us would have been tossing and turning in complete anxiety hoping for daylight (or maybe just me)

I'm Jane said...

Man, you live in exciting place...and maybe not "exciting" in the best possible definition of the word. Every time I get one of those late night phone calls, it's inevitably a wrong number by a non-English speaker who now thinks that all American women are horrible, profanity-spewing monsters. I'm ok with that.

Mrs. Tuna said...

Gosh, I hate those calls. I always worry when my husband or daughter are out late.

Jayne Martin said...

Hey, at least you channeled your angst and lack of sleep into a story. Good for you!

And I don't even like it when the phone rings after 8:00. ;)