I’ve always been an odd person. Finding weird things cute or adorable, such as sharks or raptors. Even my family found me very weird.
When I was very young, around 6 or 7 years old, I had two incidents that stood out to me for most of my life that followed.
The first one, which I had forgotten about due to the second that I’ll tell later, was a bit more harrowing and mysterious.
One clear summer afternoon, my brother and his friend decided to go play up the hill from our house, most likely going towards the woods and run through the creek that was nearby. I’d followed him a few times, wanting to play as well, but being told that I couldn’t because I was a girl and too young to do what they did. I was out to prove them wrong that day.
For the sake of his privacy, I’ll call my brother Devon and his friend Peter.
As they walked up the hill along the road, Devon and Peter tossed some rocks at the mailboxes that they passed, shouting triumphant when they landed a hit or stamping a foot and saying, “Shoot!” when they missed. I crept along quietly behind them, trying to make sure I wasn’t seen, which was harder for me than most people at the time. I’d made sure to wear something I didn’t mind getting dirty, that way I could change back into my dress when I returned home so our mother wouldn’t yell at me later on. She hated that I was more of a tomboy and had always made it known to me that she’d wanted a girl that would wear the frilly dresses, like those china dolls you saw in the stores.
As we neared the top of the hill, Devon looked behind him, seeing me before I could duck behind the nearest bush.
“Get out here, Terry!”
He knew I hated that nickname and used it any time he could.
“I thought I told you to not follow me. You’re too little to play with me and Peter. I’m not getting in trouble with mom if you get hurt on my watch!” He tried to give his best ‘I’m the big brother’ speech he could, which only made me that much more determined. “Go home now! Don’t you have some book to read or something?”
At this, they both laughed, making fun of me and calling me names like bookworm, nerd, etc. What can I say, even brothers can be cruel when they want to look good for their friends.
“I’m not going anywhere, Devon!” I shouted back, tears threatening to come out from the name calling. “I’m just as good as you are at climbing trees, if not better! You won’t chase me off today!”
They continued to laugh at me, though I’m not sure if it was still because of the names they’d thrown at me or if they though I was full of it because I was a girl, and a small one at that. I was maybe 3’8″ at the time, while my brother was pushing close to 5′, as was Peter.
“You?” Peter snorted. “You couldn’t even win a game of hide and seek against us!”
They both burst out laughing again.
“I bet I could!” I shouted back, my face turning red with anger. I hated being treated like that.
“Fine,” Devon said. “You win, you can come with. We win, you go home. Like a good little girl.”
We walked a little farther up the road to a house that was empty. The owners were on vacation at the time and had a pretty big backyard. Nice enough people, though their son was a bit weird.
“We can use this yard to play. They won’t mind,” said Peter.
“You have to be ‘it’ first, Terry.”
I nodded, going up to the lone tree in the front yard to start counting. Before we could start, Peter spoke up.
“Just be careful. I heard there was an escaped prisoner on the loose in town today,” he said. “They said he likes to run around and terrorize little girls.”
I could tell he was just trying to scare me, so I just closed my eyes against the tree and started counting loudly.
They laughed and ran off. To hide, I thought, but I found out later on that they’d actually snuck off to the forest, leaving me there alone so they could play without me.
I finished counting, running to the backyard, yelling, “Ready or not! Here I come!”
I looked everywhere I could think of, inside the bushes (I could fit almost everywhere given my size), behind the trees, under the porch.
While I was searching, I had this weird feeling of being watched. As I went to check behind the trees once more, I looked back at the house. I can still feel my eyes widen in terror when I saw the man standing there. He was wearing a hockey mask, jeans and a jean jacket. His head was tilted to the side, like a puppy dog, a knife in his hand.
Then, he started walking towards me slowly, like he was toying with me. I backed away and ran behind the hedge bushes that lead to the front yard. Keeping low to the ground, I crept to the small opening that I could fit into and tried to be as quiet as I could. I waited for what felt like hours, but was most likely only just 10-20 minutes. I peered out of the bush, trying to find the man.
When I was confident that he was gone, I came out of the bush slowly, crawling on the ground so I wouldn’t rip my shirt on the branches hanging as I came out.
Just as I finally got out of the bush, I felt a hand close down on my shoulder. I screamed.
The man in the mask had me in a really strong grip to my shoulder. He never said a word though. Barely made a sound. Still looked at me with a tilted head, like I was something curious and interesting that he’d found to play with.
I struggled as best I could, but not moments after he caught me, I was thrown to the ground and a knife was inserted into my shoulder, over and over again.
I could barely breathe. I could feel my shoulder grow warm and wet, the ground becoming covered in my blood. My heart was pounding in my ears until suddenly, everything went silent. I felt like things were moving in slow motion now, my attackers face turning from side to side, still reminding me of a curious puppy. It was the last thing I could remember seeing before I passed out from blood-loss, feeling cold and barely breathing.
I woke up a couple hours later in the same backyard, the sun starting to set behind the trees. The pain in my shoulder and chest had nearly gone and as I sat up, I could find no cut marks or blood on my clothes, nor on the ground where I’d lain in the grass.
I got up, cleaning the grass off of myself while wondering if I’d imagined it all before feeling as sharp pain in my shoulder and a small heaviness in my lungs as I breathed in deeply. Aside from those signs, there was no physical way to tell that anything had transpired while I’d been left alone on that hill top backyard.
I made my way back down the hill, walking home while trying to keep an eye out for the weird man with the knife. By the time I got in front of my house, I looked up onto the porch and noticed my mother in the kitchen and my brother was sitting in the living room in front of the tv, waiting for dinner.
“Where were you, slowpoke? Mom was starting to get mad that you were out so late.”
“I was still in that backyard, looking for you and Peter.” I said back to him.
He looked at me with bewilderment on his face. “What do you mean? Peter and I went past there on my way home and you weren’t anywhere around. I thought you went back home, until I got here anyways.”
I glared at him while sighing heavily. “You didn’t have to leave me there you know. That was pretty mean of you.”
“Get over it, its not like you got hurt,” he scoffed. “At least you got home in time for dinner. I did not want to be the one to get in trouble for not knowing where you were.”
With that, he turned his attention back to the tv and I stomped off to our room (which was between the living room and kitchen) to change my clothes into clean ones before heading to the bathroom to wash up.
Even at that age, I knew no one would believe me if I told them my story when there was no actual evidence of it.
I’d put the whole thing out of my mind, though I never stopped getting the feeling of someone watching me, as had happened that day.
About a year later, the second most memorable thing happened.
While playing in the driveway after a heavy rainstorm, my brother started throwing pebbles into the puddle I was crouched in front of, splashing me with the water and getting my outfit all muddy. After a few of those, I yelled back at him to stop, noticing my mother at the end of the driveway, talking to someone she knew that was in a car. I can’t remember who it was, only the color of the car, tan.
I turned my attention back to the puddle in front of me, holding a small twig and twirling the water around to make swirls in the dirt beneath it.
The next thing I remember was my mother’s scream, the feeling of a weight on my head and an oddly familiar warmth dripping down my face. After that I was in the bathroom, held by my mother’s arms and hearing the shower going. I felt the warmth all over my head now, my heartbeat pounding in my ears. The next moment, I was on the living room floor, my head lying on a couch pillow. One she never let us use for resting before now. I wondered what I’d done to deserve getting to use it.
I don’t remember much from the next 2-3 weeks, except what I’ve been told. I was taken to the hospital in an ambulance, getting surgery and a metal plate in my head from where I’d been hit by a muddy pipe, the size of a 2×4.
Over the next 12 years, the only event from my childhood that I’d remember was getting hit in the head and forgetting a few weeks of my life. I’d completely blocked the incident a year earlier until I had another life-changing event. I won’t go into detail with that. Just know that it renewed my feeling of always looking over my shoulder. It wasn’t until I met my future husband that I started to feel an ounce of calm once more.
Now, almost 28 years later, I’m still unsure what really happened that day. Looking back, I’m positive that I’d died in that backyard, alone and cold. How I woke up without a scratch on me has been the biggest mystery that I’ll never be able to solve.
Submitted by Roxy to Weird Darkness and My Haunted Life Too
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