I actually look better in real life. The camera adds ten pounds.
To celebrate this restive occasion, I wrote a little story. I encourage all you bloggers and floggers and write a little something and mention "I've Been Deader." So here's my little undead contribution:
Charlene hated, hated, HATED her curtains. Even before everyone went crazy and left her, she couldn’t stand them. They were gold, with all kinds of circus pictures. Monkey’s, trapeze artists, clowns, seals balancing balls, smiling elephants…
They were okay during daytime, but at night everything moved. From the safety of her bed, she’d stare at the horrid things, barely visible but still there. First, the dancing bear would start moving, then the trapeze artists would start swinging the tiniest bit. And the smiling clown? Well, his smile would grow! That was the creepiest part, thank you very much. And if she waited long enough – stared long enough, a giant, shadowy gorilla would peek out from behind the things. That’s when Charlene would shout for her Daddy.
She knew she was being a baby, but she didn’t care. Better a baby with Daddy there, then a brave little girl with a giant gorilla in her room!
Except now Daddy couldn’t come into her room and sit on the bed until she fell asleep. Daddy had to stay outside with everyone else.
Charlene knew the trick was not to look. Shut the eyes and the curtains were just curtains again. She could even open them for quick looks, as long as she didn’t staring. Staring always got things moving. Her circus liked an audience. ‘But not looking is hard. It’s scary. Scary to look and scary not to look. And maybe dangerous now,’ she thought.
The lights stopped working almost as soon as everyone went crazy and it got dark so early. She ended up going to bed before bedtime because there wasn’t anything to do anymore. So she went to bed at baby time. Even earlier than baby time, really. Charlene felt safer going to her room when there was still a little light. Sometimes, if she was really, really quiet, it would be okay.
But not tonight. The soft clicking started almost as soon as she was under the covers, Pooh Bear safely cradled in her arms. It came from curtains, naturally. That soft clicking, scraping sound. Charlene closed her eyes as tight and pressed her face against Pooh Bear. It made the clicking and scraping go away, but her face got hot and it was hard to breath, so she stopped doing it.
Besides, soon the clicking and scraping were joined by moaning. Not loud, but deep. She could feel it more than hear it at times. It seemed to come up from the bed but Charlene knew it really came from the curtain.
“From behind the curtain,” she whispered. “It’s from outside.” Pooh Bear agreed.
She sat up in bed and risked a look at the curtains. No moving animals or circus clowns tonight. Not yet, anyway. Maybe they were waiting, or watching to see what happens next. ‘Maybe it’s their turn to be the audience.’
She waited for minutes and minutes and minutes. Forever. But the scraping and the clicking and the moaning never went away. “I’m going to go sleep in the television room.” There were windows there of course. But no scary curtains, and maybe no noises. ‘I can pretend to watch TV until I fall asleep.’ Quiet as she could ever be, Charlene slipped out of her covers. Her door was close to her bed and she was through it in a second. She didn’t even have to look at the curtains. Down the dark hall and she was on the stairs. Downstairs could be scary at night, especially now. But at least there would be no moaning. Charlene was halfway down the stairs when she remembered.
‘Pooh Bear!’ Without thinking she turned and quietly ran back to her room, her bare feet silent on the carpet. Pooh was still there. ‘Of course he’s there, silly. He isn’t real.’ Charlene wasn’t a baby. She knew Pooh was just a stuffed animal. But she wasn’t old enough to really know that.
Two quick steps and she was at the bed, Pooh in hand. She turned back to the door and then Pooh, that silly old bear, swung into her Little Mermaid night lamp. Arial teetered on the small end dresser and, when she was sure the world was watching, fell to the floor, making a soft noise, loud as thunder.
The moaning stopped.
The clicking stopped.
All quiet. For one long, forever pause. Nothing.
Then louder. Not clicking now. Rapping. Banging. Like the sound a small bird might make if it flew into a closed window.
Charlene’s feet were two stones now. She wasn’t going anywhere. A larger thud. Then the sound of breaking glass. Night air pushed the curtains out and Charlene swore she could see the clowns and the seals and the dancing bears all run away. More sounds of breaking glass, and of course the moaning. Much louder now.
Something on the other side pulled at one of the curtains. The metal rings holding it to the rod resisted for a few seconds and then gave up their ghosts with a series of popping, ripping sounds. Charlene watched the curtain fall to the floor and moonlight – and something else, spilled into the room, making her pee herself. She dropped poor Pooh Bear and closed her eyes. Closed them forever.
But the undead fun doesn't have to end for you. Shell out a buck and download "I've Been Deader" today. You can even see what's going on "Inside My Shorts" if you simply can't get enough me.
Thanks for reading!