In October 2010, A Life Bound by Books asked me to tell them a real life spooky story. Here’s what I told them:
This is not so much a spooky story, as an unsettling one.
When I was thirteen, I had a horrible retainer I had to wear at night, a big black rubber thing that looked like one of the mouth guards that boxers wear. I hated it. It was huge, and there were little holes in the front for me to breathe through, that made me sound like Darth Vader.
Whenever I got sick and had to stay home from school, my mom had me sleep on the couch in the living room — we had the TV there, and it was easy for her to take care of me during the day. So when I caught the flu that year and had a fever, off to the couch I went, along with the nasty black retainer. Flu or no flu, I had to wear it.
One feverish night on the couch, I had a dream that I was standing with a group of people on the edge of a vast green plain. In the distance were white cliffs beneath a clear blue sky, and I knew that I and a few others were going on a long journey to those cliffs. In my dream, I handed my retainer to one of the people standing near me and said, “Keep this for me while I’m gone.”
When I woke up the next morning, the retainer had disappeared. We searched everywhere: all around the couch, underneath it, in the trash bins, even outside in the yard. The heating vents. The garage. EVERYWHERE. We couldn’t find it. We never found it.
My parents had to pay to have a new one made — so you can bet that we looked hard for that thing.
Ever since, I’ve wondered what really happened on that night. Where did I go, and what did I do? Or more disturbing yet, I wonder who or what I encountered that took the retainer from me, and has kept it ‘while I’m gone.’