Intermission: Night Terror

While voting is still going on, I thought I’d entertain you with a somewhat belatedly seasonally-appropriate vignette.

I have an overactive imagination. I’m sure sometimes this can work in my favor, like when I finally get struck by lightning, have a complete personality change, and stop wussing out about being a writer. But mostly what it does is make me afraid of stupid things.

Last night, I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and used the last of the toilet paper. Being somewhat groggy but awake enough to understand that the law of the universe would absolutely require me to be the next one to use the bathroom unless I fetched more toilet paper from downstairs, I decided to go grab more before going back to bed. This seemed like a perfectly normal, even responsible and grown-up action until I found myself descending a staircase at 2:30 in the morning and realized that I had no idea what could be on the other side of the door at the bottom of the stairs.

“It’s dark down there! And empty! You haven’t been downstairs in hours; for all you know, your house could be full of serial killers!” my scary brain said. “Maybe they use your dining room to play poker while you sleep!”

Oh crap, I thought, I’m going to interrupt the serial killers’ poker game to get toilet paper.

I pushed past the fear and opened the door, darting out into the hallway to turn on a light. Aha! It’s empty — victory!

“That just means they’re ghosts! You’re gonna get Paranormal Activitied by serial killer ghosts! GET BACK UPSTAIRS NOW BEFORE THEY EAT YOUR FACE!”

I’m not ashamed to say that I, a grown-ass woman with a management job, two dogs, and a fiancé, hauled ass back to the safety of the second floor clutching a 12-pack of Charmin.

Safely snuggled back in bed, I lay awake listening to the wind and the sounds of the house. Just as I was about to drift off into sleep, I thought I heard a soft, polite knock on the bedroom door.

The serial killer ghosts!

“Hi, so sorry to wake you. It’s just that we’ve run out of gin and we’re starting to get a bit bored of poker — Gacy always cheats — so we were wondering if we couldn’t just pop up here for a little MURDER MAYHEM TIME! BAHAHA!”

And that’s what happens when you encourage your children to use their imagination.

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