Herman’s nighttime arrival was completely unexpected and unprovoked. He did not appear on the fringes of a dream for I had not yet fallen asleep. I've always been a wimp so no scary movies for me pre-bedtime, or ever.
It was a warm night as I lay on my back in my skinny twin bed. The curtains pulled to the side and the windows open, allowing my bedroom to be cast in a soft glow.
I waited patiently in the quiet for sleep to claim me when I felt an eerie presence to my right. Ever so slowly I turned in that direction, not knowing what to expect. I had hoped to see nothing unusual, just the other side of my bedroom. But I couldn't see my dresser or the wall. What I saw was someone, or something, standing about a foot away from me.
Where there should have been a face was only darkness. Or, perhaps the monk like hooded robe it wore simply hid its face. This thing held out its hand to me. Like its face, an actual hand could not be seen.
I squeezed my eyes shut and shook my head as though I had just eaten the world’s largest lemon. I then turned my face in the opposite direction, the rest of my body stiff with fear.
After a few minutes, I peeked to see if this “thing” had gotten the message. I was in no way interested in why it was visiting me. More importantly, I didn't want to know where it wanted to take me.
Luckily, the message had been received. The room was empty.
The next day, when I told my cousin about what happened, we laughed it off as best we could and named it Herman.
One of the biggest unanswered mysteries of my life is why Herman visited me. If I had taken his hand, would he have shown me my past, present and future, Scrooge style?
Maybe Herman is the reason why I don’t get Halloween and the need to have the living lights scared out of you. It’s just no fun, trust me.