frantically trying to phone Sandy. I mean, it was freezing out there, and I couldn't find her place.
It was five years ago. It still gives me a fright, even now, as I lie here in my safe bed.
Not to mention this neighborhood was giving me the howling fantods. What's up with these gates? I
Sandy, an old friend, had invited me over on Halloween, a holiday that I had always viewed as a
feel like I'm in an old Bela Lugosi movie, or something. These houses don't actually exist, do
rather jolly time. Until that night.
they? It became windy, so windy that the sand covered the sidewalks and I couldn't read any
That night, as I walked toward the elegant, majestic gates which stood in front of her house, they
of the house numbers. Why wasn't Sandy answering her phone? Then, at some point along my
seemed suddenly forbidding. Their straight-forward design of smooth iron seemed to become
route, I caught up to this rather bizarre young woman, wearing this awful, creepy-looking cloak.
jagged and sharp, threatening to cut my hand, if I dare open or even touch them. Of course,
She stopped in front of this one house, and would you believe she was too weak to open the gate?
such thoughts are folly, and I fought hard to beat them down as I approached the gates. Just
So, I said, "Allow me," and simply pushed it open for her. Well, you'd think I'd done something
then, as I was ready to reach out and push them open, these same gates did swing ajar, as if of
outrageous by the way she acted! She kept looking back, and then she started turning around
their own will! I instinctively looked around, and saw a gloved hand quickly dart away in a most
as if she didn't see me.
curious manner. That hand. It was both strange and familiar at the same time, and unpleasant
sensations of the most unsettling sort traveled through my entire body. I found that I was
turning 'round and 'round, wondering if someone were playing at some scary game with me.
Oh, but wait--there's more. While she was doing her little blind spin act, and I was coming close
That's when I realized that my own left hand had left my consciousness--that is the only way I
to being weirded out enough to hurry away, I realized that this crazy chic and I were headed for the same party! Ah, I thought, this young woman is simply staying in character--
can think to express it. That gloved hand, so strange and familiar at the same time, was my
she's dressed like that, in period costume, so she's supposed to be a ghost--right?
own. But where was it? It had fallen asleep, perhaps of the cold, and it was dangling, twitching,
behind me. Without looking (for I could not bear to see it so), I reached for this dead hand. I gripped it with my right hand, and willed the normal feeling to return to me, which it did immediately.
Well, I thought I'd play along. As this lady stumbled along, I followed. She was having a very
I stood there a moment, for this incident horrified me. How had that happened? (Oh, silly,
hard time walking in that long dress and cloak, and was moving along at an incredibly slow pace.
ridiculous girl! Your fanciful imagination will drive you mad, as sure as winter comes.) Calming
I was beginning to feel like just passing her, honestly, though that would've been rude.
myself, I started walking up to the house. Strange, the walkway to Sandy's house never seemed
Then an especially strong gust of wind almost whipped her cloak off, so I hurried up behind her,
so long, before. The wind started to blow across me, and I gathered my cloak around me, and
to hold it up, so she wouldn't trip or lose that cloak. Amazingly, she stayed in character. I'd have
my pace quickened. As I progressed, my path seemed to disappear, for the sand was blowing
instinctively mumbled some thanks or acknowledgment, but she acted as if no one was behind
across the stones . Feeling ever more cold, I hunched my shoulders upward and clutched my
her the whole time.
cloak very tightly around my neck, while keeping my hands inside my sleeves as best I could.
But then, suddenly, she flipped out! Actually, she flipped me out. She shrieked and ran faster
Ah, but I saw, very clearly, both of my hands right in front of eyes, shielding my face from the
than she looked like she could, and when she got up to the door, she banged until I thought she'd
knock the door down. But still, I thought she was just putting on an elaborate act. Of course
I do not remember how I finally reached the house, or even if I rang the door bell. I still don't
it never occurred to me, especially on Halloween, that the poor woman was really off her nut.
know who lead me upstairs and put me to bed, that first time. It matters not. Here I lie, my
Sandy called an ambulance immediately, and told me how this had happened before with Agnes.
arms, my hands, under these heavy covers, candle by my bedside, and safe in my room.
Agnes--that's her name. Sandy tried to visit her the other day, but it didn't go well. She won't
leave her room, and scarcely talks. I hope it's not something I did.