October Chills

It’s that time of year again when the mind drifts to the macabre and interests pique in the paranormal.  That’s right.  Halloween is just around the corner ready to drag your skeletons out of the closet (along with a ghoul or two) and put them on display for everyone to see.

Let’s see what kind of demons I can resurrect from the past to share with you today.  What to choose, what to choose.  There’s just so many.  In that case, I’ll just have to share a little each week throughout this month.

Let’s start with a night I remember many years ago.  Back when the city lights didn’t completely drown out the star-filled night.  A time when trick-or-treating didn’t involve parents tagging along or a curfew if it wasn’t a school night.

I can’t recall exactly what age I was.  I do know I was in grade school, but what grade I couldn’t be sure.  It was a few weeks before Halloween, or at least it felt like a few weeks.  I find my perception of time as a child to be a bit skewed.  My mother had bought special flashlights for my brother and me.  They had extension on them, covered in a Halloween mural of cartoonish cats and witches.  The murals were on a plastic sleeve that could easily be taken off and on.  Without the mural on, the lights resembled air traffic controller wands.  And on this particular clear night, that’s exactly what I was using them for.

Standing in the back of my dad’s little red pick-up, I pretended to guide planes onto the tarmac of our driveway.  My dad was busy in the garage building a cabinet or restoring a chest of drawers.  He didn’t mind me playing out front as long as I didn’t bother him much.  My mom, on the other hand, I left inside without word on where I was to avoid the Night Air talk.  I ask you, what adolescent cares about what the night air will do to you?

The wind barely moved the fronds on the palm trees across the street, and I could clearly see the moon and stars.  And there I was, curling and extending my arms, landing airplane after imaginary airplane between my parent’s cars or onto the front lawn.  I don’t remember how long I stood in the back of the truck before it came over the neighbor’s roof.  I didn’t hear it.  I didn’t see it so much as the stars began to disappear.  In a matter of seconds the night sky blacked out with the exception of a few blinking red and white lights.

I freaked out.  Here I was playing air traffic controller and I actually brought in a real airplane.  I don’t know why the plane didn’t make a sound or how it sort of hovered above the roof tops, but I knew that if my parents found out I called in a plane that landed on our house I would be in serious trouble.  Maybe even grounded from trick-or-treating.  What kid wants that?

I ran into the house and collided with my mother.  She wanted to know where I was; she’d been looking for me for a long time.  I told her I was just out front, but I was ready to be inside for the night.  I wasn’t about to tell her I almost landed a plane on the house.

Looking back on the experience I have more question than answers.  I don’t believe I called in an airplane.  It didn’t act or sound like any airplane I’ve ever seen.  Was it a UFO?  Well, it was an object flying in the sky and I sure as hell couldn’t identify it.  By that standard I would say yes, it was a UFO.  I could not comment, however, on whether or not it was alien in nature.  Although I do have to admit to a few nightmares involving big-headed, bug-eyed creatures long before those images were splashed all over the media.

There is one thing that just recently I’ve began to ponder.  This could entirely be my own overactive imagination at work, but still I’ve been wondering.  When my mom had asked where I had been that night, she said she had looked all over for me and implied that I had been gone for a while.  I could have been laying down when she checked outside.  It’s possible.  My dad was too wrapped up in his project to have seen anything or noticed if I was there or not.  I’ve already mentioned that at that age, I had no real sense of time, so I couldn’t say one way or the other how long I felt I was out there versus how long I actually was out there.

What do you think?

Have you seen anything in the sky you couldn’t explain or accidentally land a plane on your house?  Let me know.  Leave a comment with your thoughts.


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