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The Thing in the Closet

The Thing in the Closet

Freaky Friday

Today’s guest/ghost writer is Christine Cacciatore. Chris is a talented author and has written two Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mysteries Kindle World stories.  Her latest one, Grave Injury, was just released.  This story sent shivers down my spine!

I have a true obsession with scary things…the creepier, the better. I love Halloween, horror movies and thrillers and especially scary books. As a teen, the book Pet Semetary scared me so badly that at one point, I teared up and was physically unable to turn the page. I LOVE stuff like that. Stephen King has a gift, and that gift is to be able to “boo” the stuffing right out of me.

I have always been this way. It started, though, when I was a child, probably not even able to read yet. My mom and dad were very young parents. Just babies, really. Who really knows it all at twenty years old? Certainly not the tricksters masquerading as my parents.

So, what would you do, as a parent, if your five year old daughter asked you to scare her? And when you told her no, said child went and pouted?

 Why, you would still tell her no. But if you were my parents, there would also be a calculating gleam in your eyes and a very bad, possibly child-scarring idea forming in the recesses of your mischievous parental brains.

 And so it was, one Saturday afternoon, my dad was stretched out on the recliner, where dads are often found. I hopped up on his lap and snuggled next to him in his white t shirt to watch TV for a while. With no attention span to speak of, either then or now, I got bored almost immediately and went in search of my mother. I found her in the bathroom, standing in front of the mirror rubbing something black on her eyes. “Privacy, please. Go see your dad.”

Ever obedient, I closed the door. But why was she laughing? I climbed back up on dad’s lap.

A short while later, he asked if I’d go into the hall closet and get his shiny black shoes. He was a police officer at the time, and this was a common request. He had to shine and polish them all the time.

 Innocently, I jumped off the chair and skipped over to the closet door, excited to be helping. As a bonus, I loved the smell of the black shoe polish.

What happened next is forever imprinted on my memory.

I opened the closet door, conveniently located across the room from dad’s chair. Immediately, a ghastly, child-eating creature loomed out over me with arms raised, emitting an unearthly “bwaaaaaaa.” It was all in white, with a horrid bumpy face and black holes where the eyes should be. That horrifying, menacing thing advanced on me and reached its arms out as if it were about to scoop me up and take me back to the closet where I’d be trapped forever.

 I had seen enough, thank you very much.

 I whirled around, screaming, and ran as fast as I could back to my daddy. Even now, I am quite sure that my feet never touched the floor the whole way. My father has since confirmed this.

I monkeyed up into his lap, trembling and crying, and attempted to warn him against the hideous thing advancing on us when something occurred to my young, panicked brain.

He was laughing. He was laughing so hard he made a scratchy, wheezy sound. The recliner shook with the force of it. Tears squirted out of his eyes and streamed down his face.

Did he not realize the imminent danger we were in, with that terrible white devil coming closer?

A second thing occurred to me. The white closet creature coming towards us could barely stand up because it too was laughing. Laughing with Mom’s laugh. Apparently when I had interrupted my mother in the bathroom, she had been busily blacking out her eyes and putting shaving cream around her face, about to scare the snot out of her five year old daughter.

It all came together. I was not about to be eaten and dragged into the closet, never to be seen again. It was just my mom and dad who were playing a joke on me. Scaring me.

Like I had begged them to do, over and over.

Years later and now a mom myself, I look back on that incident with adult eyes. What were they thinking? How could they scar their child like that, ensuring years of therapy?

 My warped sense of humor takes over, and I think, how could they NOT? They were only 26 years old. Young. No money. There was no “words with friends” or computers to occupy their time back then, just good, old-fashioned imagination.

And in all fairness, I had asked. Begged them, after all. As good parents, they were merely doing what I had requested, and in the process, made an unforgettable memory for us all.

A few weeks later, I got up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water. There was a nightlight in the hallway and one in the kitchen just for this purpose, so I tiptoed into the kitchen but kept a close eye on the closet in the living room.

Refreshed, I was on my way back to bed when I saw—and heard—the closet door in the living room open just a little bit. It frightened me initially, but remembering the way my parents had fooled me the other day emboldened me.

As I watched, a small figure in white peeped around the corner of the closet and put a bony finger to dark lips, warning me not to make a noise. Then the door slowly closed. Was that my mother again, trying to scare me?

I tiptoed to the closet door, holding in my giggles all the way. When I got there, I threw the door open with a loud “boo!”

I had thrown the door open just in time to see this ghostly figure with shadowy eyes fade until there was no one there. The entire time it watched me with an eerie smile and glittering eyes.

It was then I screamed.

It woke up my parents, who took great pains to reassure me that I was in the tail end of a nightmare. That there was no one really there. We all investigated the closet with the lights on. They told me that what I saw must have been shadows from the nightlights.

But I know better.

Happy Friday!


About the author:

Christine Cacciatore is a multi-published author who lives to write.  Together with her sister, Jennifer Starkman, she has published the magical novels Baylyn, Bewitched and Cat, Charmed, with the third book Elise, Evermore coming out this fall. December, 2015 Noah Cane’s Candy—a sassy holiday short romance—was published. In June of 2016, Chris wrote Trouble Lake, a Kindle Worlds Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mystery and July 2016 bought the scorching hot Knew You’d Come.  Her newest book, Grave Injury, was just released this week!

 Chris is a member of the In Print Professional Writer’s Group in Rockford, IL and the Chicago Writer’s Association. In her limited spare time, Chris enjoys writing, reading, and coloring in her grandchildren’s coloring books with the good crayons. Chris is married to a devastatingly handsome man she met on eHarmony, has three children and a gigantic black dog who helps her pack lunches in the morning. She also has four of the most beautiful, intelligent grandchildren in the world, and their antics keep her in stitches.

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