Monday, November 24, 2014

Adventures of the Spare Oom

via Google Search Results
So, my family took a little weekend trip...

This time last night, my cousin Isabelle  and I were braving the "Spare Oom" at Mommaw Hatfield's house in Kentucky. She and I got promoted to the little room adjoining the kitchen, the one with a closet that makes funny noises and the heavy purple drapes blocking out all sunlight. The Younger Six were sleeping in the basement-- where we normally hang out too-- but last night they were being particularly rowdy, so it was decided that an adult would supervise the Younger Six. After all, Isabelle and I were old enough to sleep on our own, weren't we?

As it turns out, we are not.

via Google Search Results

 At first the idea of our own bedroom was exciting. We felt grown up and privileged. Now we would finally have the chance to talk privately. (And look through all those old photo albums in the closet we aren't allowed to touch without adult supervision.)
Bedtime rolled around. Suddenly the idea of sleeping without all the others seemed lonely.

That, however, didn't stop us from vigorously running and jumpig into the big queen-sized bed. (No, before you ask, there were no Aunt Josephines sleeping in it. Thank goodness.) It was like landing on a giant pile of cotton candy, all soft and fluffy. We turned out the light. All was silent for a moment.

"It's dark." remarked Isabelle. I sat up, peering into the blackness.

"You're right." I said.

I got up and hunted around the house for a flashlight. Mommaw found me-- as luck would have it, the Younger Six hadn't driven her into a bad mood yet-- and gave me one of those old fashioned night lights.

When I returned, the door was locked. I knocked.


"Mr. Tumnus."

"Oh, good. It's you." Isabelle let me in. She and I spent the next hour making shadow puppets that battled each other. (Ahem, "teenagers" doesn't mean "mature.") When we got bored with that, I got out an armful of photo albums from the closet. These were carefully scrutinized. "Haha! Look, here's  you-- you looked like a boy when you were three!" "Shut up. Here's one of you." "Oh. That's embarrassing." When I returned the books to the closet, I noticed two little boxes near the back of the shelf. Being of curious nature, I got them out. I handed one to my cousin and opened the other myself.

"This one's of my parents' wedding!"

"And this one is my parents' wedding!"

Around midnight we were finally tired out. Isabelle helped me put the photos back up. When I went to put the boxes back on their shelf, I started to lose my balance. I put my arm out to steady me, but found that there was no wall there! I caught my balance just before I slammed into the shelf.  The closet was much deeper than I'd thought. "Isabelle, look how far this goes back. Come on, I bet Narnia's in here!"

"If it starts snowing, I'll go back for coats." she said. We went as far back as we could.

Unfortunately, there was no Narnia behind the old coats. Just a big boiler that made a lot of noise. We were disappointed, but at least now we'd have a good hiding place for the next time all the cousins played hide and seek.

Unable to sleep with the nightlight on, we yanked it out and finally laid down. It was dark-- the kind of heavy, suffocating dark that presses down on you like it wants to smother you. Sensing Isabelle's tenseness, I began drumming my hand rhythmically on the wall. Thump thump, thump thump, thump thump...

"It's the beating of the Telltale Heart," I whispered. "That eye... you can feel it staring at you, can't you?"

"Stop it!" she hissed. "Listen." I stopped. She was right-- there was something. It was a hissing, growling noise. Something rumbled, too. It all came from the closet. We whimpered, curling up in the center of the bed together, barely breathing. "What is that?!" "I don't know!" Slowly we peered over the top of the covers, trying to see through the darkness. All we could see were a few glowing lights. And from here, they looked like glowing yellow eyeballs. Everything seems evil at night-- even the innocent ticking of the clock.

Tick, tick, tick...

"It's the alligator." I whispered.

"What alligator?"

"The one that swallowed the clock and Captain Hook's hand! It's coming for us through the closet!" I was rewarded with a sharp dig in the side.

"I thought we had a Narnia theme tonight, not Neverland! And stop trying to scare me."

"I'm just as scared as you are! You never know what that closet could lead to..." I said. My words ended in a yawn, and the next thing I knew it was morning. The smell of sausage floated in from under the crack below the door. "Isabelle," I whispered. "Wake up and smell the bacon."

"We made it through the night." she said, yawning.

"Darn," I sighed. "I kept hoping Mr. Tumnus would come out of that closet in the middle of the night and take us to Narnia." Then, "We are never doing that again. At least not in this room."



  1. Oh that was FAB! I wish my cousins liked books and reading.. instead of partying and boys


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