We'd been on the water about a half hour when the light in the sky began to dim fast, and I wondered [secretly] if we'd read the right time for the moon to rise. What IF the moon didn't appear for hours, and hours, and there we'd be... alone in the shadows on the water.
Suddenly I began to get the creeps. I was transported back to a nervous 13 year old girl who would run back to the house after gathering coal for our stove because she was afraid of the dark--yes, it was me. My younger sister told me she saw a lady dressed in white that lived in our attic, and she often saw her looking out the attic window at her. The attic window overlooked the coal bin, and sidewalk, that led to the house. I hated that window especially at night. I always held my breath fearing I'd see her in the window looking at me, or worse yet, turn around to see her behind me ready to grab me.
It didn't help that I'd stayed up late one night, the summer I was 13, to watch the classic film, "Night of the Living Dead". Images from that movie stuck with me, and popped into my noggin for years to come. Top that off with images of the Lady in White in my head, and I was a basket case. My heart would pound wildly in my chest the entire time I was walking back to the house with my bucket of coal. As soon as I made it safely inside the kitchen I'd sigh with relief that I'd made it. I always tried to hide this fact that I was a scared of the dark from my sisters. Siblings have a way of using your weaknesses against you--which of course, mine did.
Another place I had huge fears about was our basement. My imagination would run wild within 2 seconds [maybe less] every time I went down there. Much to my chagrin, the light switch was at the top of the stairs, and my youngest sister thought it was funny to turn off the light when I was down there. She'd wait until I was deep in the belly of the damp, cold basement fetching canned goods, then she'd flip the light off. I can't believe I didn't have a heart attack trying to feel my way back to the stair well. Even with the light on I'd look back to make sure the Lady in White wasn't behind me with an outstretched, bony white hand ready to grab me.
Out of the corner of my eye I watched for a white hand with black nails reaching up out of the water for the side of my kayak. A fish jumped in the water and I stifled a scream. "Get a grip, Lille! That was just a fish!" I scolded myself. "Here you are on a beautiful lake with Superman kayaking in the moonlight."
"Moonlight???" My 13 year old mind asked. "There's not enough moonlight to see your hand in front of your face. It's darker than the inside of a cow out here! What the heck were you thinking when you decided this would be FUN? You're going to end up as zombie food!"
"Pfffttttt. I'm a grown woman. Shut up!" I barked back hoping I sounded confident enough to chase the 13 year old girl back to the past where she belonged. "Just look at that big yellow moon rising behind the trees. See its reflection on the water? This is a glorious, romantic evening!"
"Glorious?? Romantic?? You're gonna die! Just wait till the zombies float up from the bottom of this hellishly, dark lagoon! No one even knows you're out here on the lake! All the detectives will find is the car with the trailer full of cobwebs. If they're lucky they'll find a piece of your leg floating on the water...." 13 year olds can be so convincing.
"Go away! I'm having fun. There's no such things as zombies or lagoon monsters." Strangely, as I tell myself that, my mind drifts to the movie trailer of the new Twilight film with the vampires emerging from a lake with red eyes, steadily heading toward their victims. Just then another fish jumps out of the water beside my kayak. I jump out of my skin, and suddenly need to pee. I paddle toward Superman as fast as I can.
"Let's keep moving. The mosquitoes are biting me." I hope he can't hear the 13 year old in my voice.
"OK. They're biting me, too. Let's head back to the boat ramp." he says.
"Whew..." I think to myself, and continue the pep talk to the 13 year old. "Besides it's just a movie. Special effects. Those vampires are just actors with a ton of makeup on. None of them are the spawn of the Lady in White. Sheesh...." I paddle faster. And faster.... and faster, trying hard not to see the ghosts of the past or images from the movie trailer.
I felt better paddling a little faster all the way to the ramp. We got out of the kayaks and dragged them to the grass at the top of the ramp. Superman asked if I wanted to walk with him to get the car and trailer that was at the far end of the parking lot. "Sure." I said, grateful not to be left alone by the lake side, and vampires... Errrrr I mean, mosquitoes.
We used our little battery operated lamps to see with to tie down the kayaks. I'm smirking at the sheer silliness of my imagination. I'm feeling proud [and brave] for completing another goal on my dream board.
Just then a car pulls into the parking lot about 25 feet away. I hear a deep cough from a man. "Hmmmmm..... I wonder what someone is doing here so late at night." I ask myself.
The 13 year old quickly pipes up and says, "Remember that story about the kids that were killed by the ghost of the man that was decapitated in a car wreck down the road from here????"
"Superman!", I plea. "Hurry up, please. I need to get to a bathroom ASAP."
I did have to pee.
Honest, I did.
I did have to pee.
Honest, I did.