ScaLong before I was born, my parents were renting a house in a different part of our state. My mother never really liked the place. Something just seemed 'off' to her. The feeling still hadn't gone away even after a couple of months of living there. In fact, as time went on she began to feel even more ill at ease. She chalked it up to paranoia.
My father's schedule was shifted and he was placed on night duty. The first night she was due to be alone in the house she had a terrible anxiety attack. Something bad was around her, she could just feel it, and she called a friend and had her stay the night. The next day my dad kidded her about being such a wuss.
Before my dad left for work the next night, my mother sheepishly placed a large pair of sharp sewing sheers under her pillow. She said she felt embarrassed, because of course it was all just her imagination. She had considered a knife but figured that was too silly and over the top. Still she wanted something, just to focus on really, that could help calm her nerves when she went to bed.
The dream was very intense, the kind where you have no idea it even is a dream. She said in the dream she got up to go to the bathroom. As she was on her way back to the bedroom, the dream her suddenly started to feel a tingling sensation all over. Then she couldn't breath.
At first in the dream she was calm, but her breathing wasn't coming. She tried swallowing and felt a hard pressure against her throat, a hand pushing and not letting go. Then the pressure jumped and was under jaw line, squeezing so that her whole neck was collapsing inwards. She fell to her knees. She was suddenly aware that she was making gurgling sounds. For some reason she said it felt like she wanted to retch out her tongue just so she could get some more air in. There was a throbbing under her ears and the hallway started tilting.
She didn't know why, but she was overcome with only one thought- that she had to get to the bedroom. She began crawling along the hall on her knees, propelling herself along by her elbows, still choaking and gasping. The carpet burned against her skin. It felt as if she were underwater, every slight movement met by resistance. Finally she made it into the bedroom.
Despite her best attempts to calm herself, her heart was beating so hard it had physically started to hurt her as well. Suddenly, whatever had her neck tightened to the point where she heard a cracking sound. She thought 'I'm going to die,' and this gave here dream self a serge of adrenaline. She thrust her arm up onto the bed and grabbed under the pillow....and that's when she woke up.
The sun was coming up and there was fresh light in the room. She was drenched in sweat and lay in the bed for about a half hour, too shocked to move. When she finally convinced herself to get up and swung her legs out from under the blanket, she felt a stinging, sore sensation. She looked down on the worst carpet burns she had ever seen; layers of skin peeled off, small streaks of red blood on pink skin. It was only after she'd slowly made her way around the bed and towards the door that she found out what had happened to the sewing sheers: they were stuck three inches deep into the cheaply made wall.
My mom packed her bags and had moved in with her sister before my dad even got home. She refused to go back in the house no matter how much my dad complained about the cost of getting out of their lease. Finally my dad gave up and called the landlord, ready for a fight.
He was surprised when the landlord relented and gave him a get-out that barely cost my parents anything.
"I guess you finally found out," the landlord said.
"Found out?" said my dad.
It turned out that about five years earlier a woman had been found dead in the house. The coroner ruled it a homicide saying that she had been strangled. The woman's boyfriend, who claimed he wasn't anywhere nearby, was arrested and convicted.
"I know the boyfriend didn't do it," my mom finished up. "And that's why I tell your dad I saved his life, because I did. I saved my own and saved hm from having to spend the rest of his life in prison."