When home becomes haunted

Until I was 10 years old I lived in a mini-home too small to call quaint, in a village where it seemed like everyone knows everyone. Although the inside may have been limiting, the outside was free and beautiful: a forest behind our backyard.

(WikiCommons)
St. Thomas student Conor Dorcas tells his personal story of watching his world fall apart within the confines of his trailer park home.

I’d spend many days losing myself in the trees towering above, the leaves blocking out the sun. The smell of smoke from whatever campfire or barbecue had been going that day filled the air. It was a child’s dream: every stick became a sword to fight the bad guys and every toppled tree had become a rickety rope bridge that you had to muster enough courage from deep down to cross and save the world. But like every dream, this too had to end whenever my parents would whistle to signal that supper is on the table.

***

What started as a normal night of yelling and arguing, turned into one of the worst nights of my life.

My father, mother, half-brother Michael and I sat around the table as we feasted and filled the awkward silence with hostility; words of hatred being tossed like stones from my brother over the dinner table as my parents tried to create walls to block them. Even after dinner had ended, the battle kept going, words with hollow meanings launched from his mouth, and the catapult of his tongue.

This was a typical day in the household, until boulders were flung with a ferocity that the wall my parents had built collapsed under the pressure. Soon, rocks were flying from both sides, at first metaphorically, but then ornaments were grabbed from the wall and flung by the now falling archangel. The battle subsided in mere minutes when Michael fled to his room while my parents remained in the living room with me.

I went to bed that night, tears still streaming down my face. A thump from the next room startled me, but, too scared to move, I remained still, thinking in the dark.  My legs could not move under the pressure of my thoughts. So I sat, and waited. Noises from outside, my parents talking, brought my attention to the outside world. The thump, as it turns out, was my brother breaking out his window and escaping the battlefield. It was not long until the police showed up and found him, bringing him to the station for the night.

After this, it seemed as if darkness had fallen. People never really came to visit anymore, perhaps afraid to catch rebellion as if it were a cold. The house became nothing but memories trapped inside a shell. The community grew distant and we soon left, feeling the pain and pressure. Our family had become infamous for the struggle we were going through, rumours had begun to spread, and a village now became haunted for us: ghosts wishing to haunt us, reminding us of the past.

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