Creativity Challenge update. This is a true story that sparked my interest in the paranormal. Yeah, I haven't gotten to therapy yet.
The Black Window
A true story
I was about nine when we found the maggots in the bathroom fixture: dozens of tiny black dots against the smoked white pane. Dad showed me their dried up remains—gross!
My dad is a special breed of dad. He loved scaring the shit out of us. Not scaring us into submission or respect, not scaring us to behave, just scaring us by telling us “true” ghost stories.
“Demons were rampant in the old days in Puerto Rico,” he would say just before he went on to tell us a story which involved bad deeds that often led to death. Amongst these stories I found out my great grandfather was a witch, calling upon the power of demons which also involved beguiling the opposite sex, but that’s beside the point and a story for a different day. Maybe. So when the opportunity came to investigate the noises in the attic (yeah, another story) and the source for the tiny dead things in the light fixture, he jumped at the chance.
Charlie, our dog, whimpered then growled as the fur on her back rose with a warning every time we called her up to the attic. She’d never go up there without a fight. This time, however, opting to keep her hide intact and please her master, she followed dad to the attic to investigate the case of the dried up maggots. Of course, I followed behind the dog. I’d figure if she bolted, I would have a head start in bolting right behind her. I loved my dad, but all’s fair in love and demon possession. Especially when fighting ghosts.
I never said I was brave.
The porch steps, which provided the only access to the attic, were worn. The banister, a faded blue, was cracked and molded in spots. At three stories high a fall would not be good. I opted to stay on the inside, to my left.
The attic had been an apartment at one time with a small kitchenette, a bathroom and an open floor space. A small window set in the door frame and one facing the front of the house provided the only source of light. A steel framed twin size bed with a worn stained mattress was set against the far wall. A thick layer of dust settled on the floorboards which creaked with every step. The whole place creaked. It smelled of old things, forgotten things, dead things.
My dad disappeared inside the bathroom, directly over our bathroom downstairs. He let out a deep groan that echoed inside the emptiness. Charlie whipped out the door. Rooted to the spot where my short legs sustained me, I didn’t follow. Curiosity took the best of me and I approached the bathroom.
My dad was crouched near the small utility closet opposite the bathroom window which faced east. Stuck to the wall about a foot high off the floor were bones and thick patches of black fur. An icy feeling crept up my spine and settled on the back of my neck. It looked like some sort of glued on jigsaw puzzle of dried bones. I thought because of the clumps of black fur stuck to the wall, that it had once been a small furry animal. Dried black maggots rimmed the carcass and settled on the floor.
“Why is it stuck to the wall?” I asked, finally finding my voice.
“I don’t know,” my dad said and turned his head to look at the one window directly opposite the bones.
It was painted black.
I never came up with any type of explanation for the the carcass stuck on the wall? Any thoughts? Inquiring minds want to know.