The Darkness Behind Doors


I’ve been told to be wary of talking about my nightmares or curious dreams. But I’ve often found that they help me to better understand what is really going on with me. It’s 3:31am and I’ve just forced myself awake, shivering and sweating and afraid to look around in the darkness of my bedroom. Then I hear the sound of rain over the drone of the a/c.

I was in the second house of my childhood, the house I lived in from age two to fifteen. I was making my way upstairs with a broomstick in hand, and I was on a mission. I was also my current 40 year old self. My Dad was in the living room sitting on his recliner and I could hear Mom in the kitchen.

My steps were tentative and although they were cautious my grip on the handle of that stick was sure. I was staring up at the ceiling, at a square trap door which led to the attic space above.

As I turned the 90° corner halfway up the stairs and positioned myself beneath the door, I lifted the broomstick above my head with both arms. I started from one corner of the ceiling and swung the broom slowly from side to side, making my way across the width and length of that ceiling. It was smooth work, as the air moved easily.

Except for that area beneath that square trap door. I was determined to do it. I stayed beneath that door swinging the broomstick back and forth, side to side, with the air getting thicker and thicker. The resistance felt like I was moving through water, then mud. Whatever was behind that door did not want the air cleared, and it was growing in its resistance. I sensed it collecting itself as I continued to push, struggling but managing to move that stick. My arms and shoulders and neck ached but I was not going to be stopped.

There was an echo of a sound, a dark heavy recoiling. the door began to lift and I sensed the dark as much as I could see the dark space behind the door.

I began to call out to my Mom, saying Mummy Mummy over and over with my voice growing in volume as my panic grew in intensity. The doorway was gaping opening and noise and heaviness was descending toward me like a thick black fog. I was still swinging that stick and calling out when I woke up to the stillness and dark of my bedroom.

Then the rain started outside my window.