"Come inside when the streetlights come on" happydance's Profile
Occasionally, when I feel like sharing or maybe I want to induce laughter at my own expense, I share stories from my childhood. For those of you who do not know me well, I am an only child. My father was a stay at home tortured artist dad who still to this day believes he is Vincent Van Gough reincarnated. My mother is an extremely quick-witted woman, also extremely shy photographer. My parents were completely different while in the privacy of our home, for a couple of hippies they sure cared a lot, about how other people saw us.
My mother was the most interesting contrast because she was so shy that people really had no idea who she was. To acquaintances and certain family members she was just a sweet woman who took pictures, made homemade dolls for all the kids, Crocheted Christmas ornaments for every one she new every year and last but certainly not lest to me, made kick ass Halloween costumes. That was how most people saw her and they were right she was all that but what most people missed out on was her dark and wicked sharp sense of humor.
When I tell stories, of her ideas of imaginative play people always laugh at first but, then they look at me as if they cannot believe I am laughing. After I tell these stories, many people say "Man that is ***ed up!" I do not think it is ***ed up at all. I would not change a thing about my mother; I would not be nearly as complex or as imaginative as I am today if she had not been so Willy Wonka all the ***ing time.
Mom loved science fiction novels and movies, who knows why but she liked to incorporate their plots in to every day life on a regular basis. Usually it would be a comment like "Siobhan be nice or, I will have to turn you into a plant like your brothers and sisters." and then she would proceed to talk to the plants as if she knew them and even once loved them as children. She would also tell me "If the Mother Ship dose comes back for me and I can not take you with me, remember I love you." She would always get me to cry because sometimes I really thought she was saying goodbye. Like the time she told me that Calgon really would take her away and she shut the door to the bathroom and called out for the Calgon Gods as I cried and banged on door begging her not to go.
One summer I was particularly resistant about coming in when the streetlights came on and that was the rule. Mom pulled me aside with a concerned look on her face and explained why she did not want me out after the street lights came on. She made me feel important as if I was receiving insider information, "big kid" information and she talked quietly so I had to pay very close attention. "Siobhan, do you here that sound?" We held our breath and listened intently, the only thing I could hear was the loud shrill song of the Cicada. She saw my response to the sound and said, "that's right the locust. I did not want to tell you because I did not want you to be afraid, but I want you to be safe. Do you ever see the hollowed out shell of a bug attached to the tree trunks?" She looked very serious, so I nodded my head because I had seen them. As a matter of fact I loved the way they would stick to almost anything and if you wanted to you could wear your bug shell like a broach and I only wore bug jewelry a couple of times but, it completed the look I was going for. Mom proceeded to explain, "They are not really bugs, that is just what they want us to believe. They are aliens sent down from space in the form of insects; they send them in the summer because that is when the most children are out. The aliens snatch the bodies of children, live as them and no one is the wiser. They can only live in their insect shells for so long before they need a new body. That is why I want you to come in when it gets dark." I looked at her and absorbed the information like a sponge and she knew I did not want to be turned in to an alien.
The sounds of the summer became the sounds of terror and the loud Cicada Chorus kept me up at night. A few weeks went by and I had not been snatched, I had not seen a locust and I started to forget. The streetlights came on and I decided I would stay out side because I was Princess Leia playing with my Ewok friends next to the big elm tree in my front yard. I was immersed in joy and imagination when a shrill sound very close by stopped me dead in my tracks. I stood there frozen as if I could be come invisible if I did not move. My eyes moved as if they were peeking out from behind a painting in some hunted mansion.
I followed the sound with my eyes until I saw it on the tree trunk right next to my head. It was a locust leaving its shell and in need of a new child host body. Breaking out of the nymphal case was a bright white alien wet with bug membrane. If it had been an alien it would have snatched my body because I stood their and watched it emerge in horror. Just as it was almost completely free of its old body, I broke into a blood-curdling scream, the type of scream that strikes the fear of abduction into the hearts of all parents. I ran into house feeling as if I had narrowly escaped death. I tired to catch my breath and tell mom that the aliens almost got me, "mom the alien tried to get me, I saw it and I ran but I almost didn't make and now it knows where I live." At this point, I am crying heavily because I know the alien will finish the job once I go to sleep and I really do not want to be an alien. My mom looked at me in the way only a mom can, the kind of face that is empathetic and understanding and she said, "Don't worry Siobhan it's not that bad, you will probably like the change."
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