Sunday, November 14, 2010

Shutters, Blinds, Heavy Curtains: My New Christmas Wish List

I am not fond of windows at nighttime…

When I was a very little girl, I stumbled into the bathroom late one night during a storm. When a bright flash of lightning illuminated the window, I let out a blood-curdling scream. My parents came running, only to find me shaking uncontrollably and babbling about a man’s face in the window. My dad ran outside but no one was there. Certain I had been dreaming, they tucked me back into bed. It took a while, but I finally settled. Maybe I had been dreaming.

The next day, my dad found that the jack-o-lantern flowers under the window had been crushed by heavy footprints.

Flash forward to the summer when I was 17. My parents were out for the evening, my best friend was at my house, my brother was out with friends, and Salem’s Lot was on television. As mentioned before, I love scary movies. Not gory. Scary. And Salem’s Lot (the original not the remake) is a good scary movie. It ranks up there with Carrie and The Shining and Psycho.

So Kathie and I made a huge bowl of popcorn, turned out all the lights, and prepared to be terrified, sitting in the blue glow from the set. At one of the scariest points in the movie, when a young boy is using his long nails to scratch at his brother’s bedroom window (from outside mind you), my brother and his friend thought it would be funny to scratch at the French doors in the living room (from outside). I turned when I heard the sound, saw faces in the windows, screamed, and started to hyperventilate. The boys were laughing uncontrollably until they saw I wasn’t able to catch my breath. They came running in, yelling and apologizing, while Kathie was trying to help me settle. It took forever to calm down enough, to get enough energy, to chase after those two idiots while throwing heinous threats about what I would do when I caught them.

Nope. I do not like windows at nighttime…

Sarah, Josette, Natalie, Melanie…they all understand how I feel. Barnabas, unable to let go of Josette, keeps appearing outside the windows at Collinwood. A quick glimpse of a pale man in the moonlight frightens each of these women. No one really believes they are seeing anything. Overactive imaginations. Stress. Exhaustion. I think if the men would have just looked, they would have seen trampled flowers below the windows.

But Josette not only sees Barnabas, she hears him. After following the vague remembrances of a dream, Josette searches for him near the graveyard. Upon finding him, Barnabas tries to send her away, but Josette begs him to let her stay. Barnabas finally leaves her, knowing it is best for Josette. The next night, though, Barnabas returns to say a last good-bye. Josette clings to him…and Barnabas, true to his new nature, bites her. Josette promises to meet him the next evening at the old house so that they can be together forever.

We are already privy to the Collins’ family history, so we know this doesn’t end well for Josette. She runs off Widows’ Hill and Barnabas mourns her loss for eternity.

My suggestion? Keep the curtains closed at night…and invest in noise cancelling headphones.

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