FROM THE AUTHOR: This is a true story, one of my own haunting experience. Practicing my creative writing skills. I have been writing for almost as long as I have been alive, and since I first learned to write a proper paragraph in elementary school. This I create today, comes from my reality but an alternate reality for some. Thank you for reading!
“Come, put on your nightgown. You should never be naked when you sleep.” Mammy whispered while she dressed me and tucked me under my favorite blanket. I never slept without my favorite blanket or pillow. Without my shield and dagger, which those items represented to me as such, I could not fight of the visitors.
“God don’t like nudity,” My mother whispered again, “It should be shame that is felt when you gaze upon your own body, stay covered.” She gently tucked me under the blanket and patted my tummy. “Let us say the lord’s prayer and then Psalm 23.” We both recited the lord’s prayer, chanting it in unison, my voice a pitch higher than her own. While we chanted to the Christian God, I was also saying another prayer in my mind to that same God. Please God, don’t make me be touched and talked to by anything while the night rose. Please keep me safe from harm. I squeezed my eyes tight until tears welled up in the corners of my little child’s eyes, but mammy had not seen the tears. I hid all my horrors, all by myself without anyone to help me, but God.
“Alright, when two or more are gathered, God hears our prayer.” Mammy believed that whole heartedly. I tried to believe it too, my childlike understanding still wished for good and fairytale like adventures, but the night rose to some things that were more…sinister. My mother got up from my bedside, approached my room door. Opened and closed the door behind her and I focused as much as I could on her footsteps leaving me behind, walkine down the hall to her own bedroom. I sighed, very loudly. Not because I was relieved or secure, but because I had to fight again.
Sleep came to creep up on me before I can brace myself for anything else. My mind was set on the task that will surely come, but my body was tired from all the games and playing I did all day. The night was different. Why must I be afraid of the night. What I have learned of night has made me afaid of it. Terrified, really. The window brought light in my room, a steady illumination. It should have been comforting, unfortunately, it was not. As sleep took me and I dreamt away, A lowly black mass began to collect itself near the wall beside my bed. Slowly accumulating, and as it did so the sound that came from this mass was of flesh tearing. Pushing itself forward from whereever it emerged, It began to form a head of the carcus of a bull and it wore the dark sludge that was it’s body as though it was a dress. The darkness of its sludge was darker than the darkest corner in the room, where light could not reach. This entity bore no human attributes, nothing about the thing was of this earth or reality. Mammy would call it a Jumbie. In caribbean culture a Jumbie is a monster or mischieveous spirit. It did not come from a dead person like ghosts. It is believed that jumbies can harm you.
While the Jumbie came to visit for a while, I slept undisturbed. After this horn adorned mass completed its materialization in this plane, it watched me as I slept. Though it had no eyes in that bull skull, it concentrated with intensity, on my small body under my shield, my blanket. To my horror, it was still there when I finally opened my eyes at the dead of night to look upon it. I was startled by this being, but have come accustomed to strange entities visiting me during the night. At first, I could not take my eyes off of it…this bull skull, which with its dark mass below it, seemed like it was floating on its own. In my life, at that time, I have never seen anything that I could describe was like it. I was so shaken with bewilderment, I threw my blanket over my head hoping that it would deter this thing from coming towards me. Perhaps it would leave, because my blanket shield would keep it at bay and it would vanish back to wherever it came. Out aloud, I chanted my secret prayer, over and over again. God would come protect me, that was the idea. How much more protection would I need to be free from this curse!
It still haunts me today. I am still here to tell the story.
This original blog post was written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her. (c) 2020