I feel like it was yesterday that this Halloween countdown started, and it's the last week already! Where did the time go? I've had lots of fun reading all your stories, and I definitely want to thank all of you who took part in this. It's not over yet, though, there's still this week's story left! And the blogger who gets the special spot of posting on Halloween's week is Laureen, from Ms Bibliophile. I remember about a month ago when Laureen contacted me about this story, and said that she wasn't sure if it would fit in my countdown because it wasn't a "typical" ghost story, in the sense that there's no monsters or paranormal things involved. My answer was that yes, that it definitely fitted because sometimes the nightmares that haunt us doesn't have to be scary monsters to be terrifying, sometimes the simple fear of losing somebody we love can be enough to give us the chills.
I'd broken my toe a week or two before, making the morning walk of two blocks in the snow to get my kids to daycare an adventure in itself. Because of the age difference between them, Fionah went to a different section that was down an alley riddled with potholes and impassable by stroller, which my son, Adrian, needed. Sure, I could have dropped Adrian off, then walk an extra block to go around with Fionah but, honestly, I never knew how much I relied on my toes when walking!
So, every morning I would stand at the end of the alley and watch Fionah go down to the other end and turn left. The entrance was right past the turn, and from there she was safe and would be watched by the staff. That day seemed like any other day. I waited for Fionah to turn left, then hobbled to the daycare, dropped Adrian off, and hobbled the two blocks home. I had just walked in my front door when my phone started to ring. It was the daycare calling to tell me that Fionah wasn't there.
If any of you are parents, or even have children in your lives, I'm sure you can imagine the gut-wrenching, visceral terror of being told that your child is missing. I was so terrified that I thought I would throw up. I almost ran up the stairs to wake my roommate up to ask her to drive me in a search for my missing child. We traced her steps. Down the alley and past the daycare, all while I'm shaking and trying not to cry. Two blocks past the daycare was my daughter's school, and our next stop.
I tore through the school field, and never had I been more glad that she wore a bright pink jacket that was blindingly easy to find. It turned out that she had decided to skip the daycare and just go to school to play with her friends instead. I ended up kneeling in the snow and crying while I hugged her... And then yelling at her, because I'm pretty sure that's the rational way to react when your child gives you a heart attack and scares you for life.
At least now the scary stories don't seem so bad anymore. I've known my real-life terror and a book just can't compete with that. (Though I would rather not feel that scared ever again!)
You can find visitn Laureen on these sites:
Other guest posts from the Halloween Countdown Series:
week 1 (by Ayla from Eyelah)
week 2 (by Jennifer from Grits & Moxie)
week 3 (by Ana from Weird Amiga) - Illustrated story!