Face In a Dark Hallway


The house was entirely dark when the three of us entered through the front door and had been since the bride’s father, Don had passed away. It had been a lousy day, full of distractions, designed to take our minds of the death of her father.

First we had gone to see the vampire movie, “Van Helsing.” It wasn’t normally something we would have seen but Kyle’s cousins insisted. It turned out to be a good choice as it was more humorous than it was scary.

Then there was the food shopping for the barbecue and the motorcycle rides in the field next door to occupy the time. By the end of the evening everyone was exhausted and ready to relax a while before turning into sleep.

The three of  us quietly moved through our routine of preparing for bed. Kyle had to shower since he was covered with a fine layer of dust from riding motorcycles.

That meant he had to wonder down the length of hallway without a light and back again, leaving him vulnerable for a practical joke. I listened intently for the sound of the water as it passed through the fifty year old pipes and once I heard it, I grinned at the bride, picked up the small flashlight resting on the wooden nightstand by the bed and rushed to the bend in the hallway.

It was there that I lowered myself to my knees. I knew the bend was a blind elbow in which Kyle couldn’t see around.

I waited for the  sound of the shower knobs turning and then the silence.

A few minutes later I heard the bathroom door open and Kyle step out into hallway. I could hear the eleven year old walking towards me.

Within seconds Kyle was at the corner and I flicked on the flash light. I held it beneath my chin, shining it upwards giving my face a frightful appearance.

As I did this, I hissed violently.  I expected Kyle to jump or maybe run in place.

He did neither.

Without warning Kyle stepped back, yelled “hi-ya!,” and kicked for all he was worth.  Then he ran down the hallway towards the bedroom.

Instantly, I dropped the flashlight and grabbed my crotch. I tried to scream but found I couldn’t even breathe. Instead I was seeing stars and other bright lights as I fell over.

It took a while until I was able to roll over on my back and set up. I felt dizzy as I sat there.

Slowly I got to my knees and then feet. My legs were wobbly.

That’s when I realized I had messed my britches and I thought, “I’ve never had that happen before.”

I walked down the hallway and to the bedroom to find Kyle sitting on the end of the bed.

“I didn’t know it was you,” he said, “Honest! I thought you were a vampire.”

“That’s okay,” I replied.

I forced a smile and turned back towards the bathroom.

The idea of being mistaken for a vampire was the  least of my worries at that moment. It had occurred to me that my son had literally kicked the crap out of me.

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