Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday Memories—Promises, Promises, Promises

Calvin, Charlie, Grace, Haley, Ryan, Ande

I once promised God that I would never go through another spook alley again if He would just let me get out of the one I was in alive without miscarrying the baby inside of me.

I lied and I’m ashamed. I’ve broken that promise twice now.

This last time I broke that promise was last weekend.  It began at Sammy’s with old fashioned hamburgers, fries, (and fry sauce. Important to mention because Washington doesn’t seem to believe in fry sauce) and milkshakes. They were very, very good. Then we went to The Haunted Mill.

While I may not be good with spook-alleys, I’m even worse with Haunted Mills. We had to crawl through tight places in the dark, cross the river on a swinging bridge in the dark, walk through a cornfield in the dark, and climb three flights of wooden stairs in an old grain mill in the dark. I kept thinking as I screamed my way through, “I can’t believe health and welfare hasn’t shut this place down yet.” Worse than the suffocating tunnels, worse than the snakes and cobwebs, worse than the silent creatures whispering behind you, and worse than the swinging bridge, was a foot wide ledge they expected us to cross (in the dark). If you miss-stepped it was three floors down. And just as you got in the middle of the ledge, there was a leaning wall that pushed you off balance. That was where I refused to go further. It didn’t matter that there was a dark creature of a woman hiding in the shadows that kept hoarsely whispering, “Go.” It didn’t matter that reason said no one would open themselves up to a lawsuit like a fall from that ledge would bring about. It didn’t matter that Ande kept saying, “Go mom, go.” I wasn’t going. I was hanging on to my niece’s hand in front of me and Ande’s hand in back of me and if I fell, I’d take all three of us. I was certain of it. Finally Calvin came back to get me and said from the side of safety, “Hold my hand and I’ll help you across.”

I hollered, “But Calvin, it’s DANGEROUS!”

He assured me he wouldn’t let me fall.  I trust him.  When I reached him he whispered, “There’s plexi-glass across the hole. See?” and he tapped his foot against it. But I’m telling you it was scary, even when you know about plexi-glass it's scary.  It's especially scary when you don’t know about plexi-glass.

And then there was the time when we were crawling through one of the tunnels and I lost my niece’s hand in front of me and the tunnel squeezed in tight and dark. Very dark. I just decided I would wait until someone else wanted to go bad enough to go over or under me and be the leader. After a few moments I turned to tell Ande so and saw she’d been replaced by a black faceless thing that breathed heavy and nodded. I tell you it was scary.

I’d like to tell you more about how Calvin, Ande, Grace, my two nieces Haley and Charlie, and my nephew Ryan fared during the walk through The Haunted Mill. But I can’t. I went into selfish survival mode. All I could think about was myself and one time when a creature was coming towards us in the cornfield, I even threw Ande in front of me and cowered behind her back and used her as my shield. She kept hollering, “I can’t believe you’re throwing me to the wolves. I just can’t believe it.” But I didn’t budge. I knew she didn’t look scared and they’d leave her alone, but I was a magnet for fright.

Later, Ande started laughing and telling everyone how I threw her to the wolves (Literally. He wore a wolf man mask). I reminded her of the circle of life and that sometimes we have to take turns being brave and that I was already brave once when I needed to be. I told her about the other time I broke my spook alley promise and attended the ward Young Men and Young Women’s spook alley. The Young Men chased us down at the end with chainless chainsaws and they didn’t have the no-touching-the-people rule either. I said, “I was brave one time when it was very, very important. I huddled over you and protected you from those chainsaws.”

But now as I type this out, I remember something. It wasn’t Ande I saved, it was Ty. We left Ande home that night. I’m sorry Ande. I guess it wasn’t our circle of life. But thank you for saving me just the same. I guess I still owe you one.  I promise, if I ever break my promise and go to a spookfest again I'll take Ty.


Tiffany Fackrell said...

in high school I went to the haunted house that the alternative high school put on. after we drove off and I was safe from those stupid chain saw men I promised myself i would NEVER EVER EVER go back to anything that was haunted, EVER EVER AGAIN. well somehow DAvid convinced me to go to a huanted corn maze my senior year of high school...and he literally sat on the ground laughing at me...i still remind him of that. But i will never go back to a haunted house ever again. They didn't have the no touching rule...and i remember standing in the middle of pure darkness screaming, "i think it is against the law to touch me, so would you just leave me alone and let me get the heck out of here." yeah they chased me to the car, and even when i was locked securly inside they were still breathing on my window. CREEPY!!! I hate halloween just for the sole purpose. there is nothing worse than feeling that scared feeling. i think it is awful, and so i don't put myself in those places because that feeling is just so so yucky. Oh man i just wrote a hugo comment.

I am glad you survived though! But this post brought back those yucky feelings to a point. yuck! Here is to a HAPPY halloween with lots of princesses and smiling pumpkins! HA

camery said...

Ha! Ha!
I made the same deal with Him in junior high while reading an insanely scary book. (which really probably wasn't that scary when read during daylight hours.)
Funny funny post! Loved it! :)

Becky said...

Just reading about it is scary...I am extremely claustrophobic and you couldn't get me to go IN a small tunnel if my life depended on it!

I'm so glad you survived...and the story about throwing Ande to the wolves is hilarious :)

deidra said...

I can work myself into a tizzy in our backyard. Let my imagination start going and I'm running back to the house with an adrenaline rush. I never willingly submit myself to being freaked out. I think the last time I went to a haunted anything was in elementary school at the school carnival. And that wasn't long enough to make me want to go again!

Jill said...

I went to a haunted house once while a freshman at BYU and swore I would NEVER go to another one ever! I have kept that promise because it turns out that I really hate being scared. My breathing became panicked just reading your account. It sounds like torture to me.

Tyler - Danielle - Emree said...

I hate haunted houses. I don't know if I could do one ever again. I have made no promises to anyone, but myself. I really hate being scared and to be honest thinking of anything scary while pregnant ( would pee my pants).

Ande Payne said...

Yes, please hold Ty's hand next time. Feed him to the wolves.

Good thing they couldn't bite or you would have been in bigger trouble. Not because they would bite you, but because you would have fed your daughter to them!

Just kidding. I had fun with you.

Michelle said...

That sounds like it would completely freak me out. The good news is, if I understand correctly, Ty won't ever want to make me do something like that.... right?

michelle said...

I can't even believe you did it, Jane! I felt my blood pressure rising just reading about it. I absolutely cannot abide crawling in tight tunnels, especially not in the dark. Or walking on narrow ledges, plexiglass or no. Shudder.

michelle said...

p.s. I don't like roller coasters for the very same reason. I don't think it's fun to be terrified for your life!

Deidra said...

I love reading your blog! I just had a good laugh. In high school one of those chain saw guys followed us out of the haunted house and jumped on the hood of our car. He dented it and my dad was very unhappy. I don't like being scared or disappointing my dad, so it was a bad night.