Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 19:21:41 -0700 (PDT)
From: The Story Page
Subject: Story Submission

yourname: NytPhantm

I get chills every time I re-tell this story.

This experience occurred the night my father died. I was eight years old at the time and I lived in a one bedroom apartment with my parents and two siblings. This was a poor neighborhood where only one resident had a phone in the entire small complex. I remember my mother, brother, and sister returned home from visiting Dad at the hospital that day (he was in the final stages of cancer) . I remember before he was hauled off to the hospital how I watched as the strong man I respected and feared waste away to a poor, weak man who could barely walk on his own and constantly moaned in pain, resisting my mother’s pleas to go to the doctor.

I remember the evening after the hospital visit. We were in our apartment with other members of our family. It was dark out. The neighbor who had the phone came running and said that the hospital called and wanted to speak to my mother. For some reason, everyone except my sister and I left the apartment to see what the call was about. My then two year old sister and I were playing with our paper dolls when I heard a noise in the bedroom. I heard the bed springs squeak as if someone was getting off the bed. I simply brushed it off as my imagination and resumed tearing the paper doll’s clothing out of the book. Then I heard the creaky floorboards in the bedroom slowly creak as if someone was walking on them. I became alarmed as I heard a moan come from the same area as the footsteps. The moan sounded just like my father’s, before he was taken to the hospital.

I started to become a bit frightened as I turned on the TV in the living room and turned up the volume a bit. I settled back on the couch next to my sister. Just then the sounds of the floor creaking and the moans seemed to be coming from the hallway leading from the bedroom to the living room. I jumped off the couch and turned the TV up louder. The sounds grew louder and seemed as it they were thundering in my head. I watched paralyzed as my little sister burst into tears and put her little hands over her ears.

Our dog, who we so creatively named Doggie, was relaxing on the floor when all of a sudden he looked into the hallway. The sounds were getting closer and closer. Doggie jumped up from his perch and he stood mesmerized, looking into the hallway and his fur stood on end. He began to bark frantically and that snapped me out of my shock. I heaved my sister off the couch and ran for the front door not daring to look into the hallway. Doggie trailed at my heels as I ran to the neighbor’s apartment with my sister in my arms. When I ran into the door I saw the grief stricken looks on everyone’s faces. With tears in her eyes Mom picked up my sobbing little sister and in a gentle voice she told me, “Honey, Daddy went to heaven with the angels a little while ago.”

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