Mrs Holton lived next door to the west. She was old. I don't remember her first name. She was nice, but not conversational. I would visit her when I got bored, but she was not nearly as much fun as Susie. She gave yes and no answers to inquiries. I'm sure it was a great thrill for her to be cross examined by her seven year old neighbor that was really scouting the neighborhood for free cookies.
When she did speak at any length, there was this thing that happened with her dentures. They would kind of clank. It was like the upper plate would drop down on the lower. It was kind of spooky. She would also wear a sweater in July.
There was her daughter that would drop by occasionally with the grandson who would not play with me. He was ten and was far too sophisticated for any seven year old foolishness.
Then there was Mrs. Holton's son, Don. He was not married and was older than his sister. He had been in the service and smoked like a chimney sitting in a lawn chair in his Mom's back yard watching me play in the sand pile from his side of the fence. He was always smiling at me...watching me...making me feel creepy. He finally came to live with Mrs Holton. She may have needed his help. He did mow her lawn.
Don drove a 1958 Pontiac. I do not recall the model, but I think the hood ornament was an Indian head. On the center of the dashboard there was a small statue of a woman. My Mom said that meant they were Catholics. I never really got an adequate explanation of what Catholics were until my Grandpa explained it in some very self righteous terms.
It was not until much later, when I got some perspective on the situation, that I came to realize Don was not right. I came to believe that it was him that had tried to kill me in my sleep. I was never sure though. It took me years to add it all up.
Not long after Don had moved in with his mother, I began to have sleep disturbances. They tell me I was sleep walking and that's how it must have happened. I slept upstairs. Mom and Dad slept downstairs. My room had a large window above a section of roof that sloped down toward the back yard. The bottom edge of that roof was probably 10 feet from the ground and directly over the back door to the house.
The room was small, but it had all my stuff in it including bunk beds which I was always hoping to share with a sibling. Never happened. There was an endless parade of cousins, but no brothers.
Anyway, I would go to sleep up there at night reading Peanuts comic books and I would sleep hard. It would be like I was dead. That was when the weird stuff started to happen. I would wake up in the middle of the night on a cot in the room across the hall at the top of the stairs. This was where the TV was and my rocking chair and all of Mom's sewing stuff. I would be sore. Sometimes I would have bruises. Other nights I would go to sleep in my room and wake up in the rocking chair in front of the TV. The TV would be on. Back in the mid sixties, there was no TV at 2 AM. What was on the screen was what we called "snow". On another occasion, I woke up on my back at the bottom of the stairs. I had no serious injuries, but again there was the bruises. I had apparently fallen down the stairs.
Finally, there was the night of the blood. It was like a bad horror movie. I had apparently been crying in my sleep. Mom had come upstairs to find me in my bed this time, lying on a blood soaked pillow and sheets. My window had been open too. It was a hot night in July or August and in those days there was no central air.
I had a fairly large gash on the left front of my head at the hairline. I was bleeding pretty good, so Mom and Dad took me to the ER in the middle of the night. It took six stitches to sew me up.
Years later, after some counseling and hypnosis, I kind of pieced it all together. I have no evidence, but I believed it was Mrs Holton's son that did this to me. Had there been blood elsewhere in the house or my room, I might be able to believe that the head injury was the result of a sleep walking mishap. Such was not the case. The only place my blood was found was in my bed. How does a seven year old get blunt force trauma to the head while sound asleep? He doesn't. There had to be someone else in the room. The only thing needed would be a ladder to reach the roof that led to my window.
I also found myself wondering what else he could have done to me - if it was in fact him. I do not remember seeing him next door much after that, but I always knew when he was there, sitting in the back yard smiling and smoking in the almost dark.
We found out later, when I was about 13 years old, that I had some brain damage from the night in question. It manifested itself in temporal lobe epilepsy (at that time called psychomotor epilepsy) that I had to endure all through junior high and high school. I was on some powerful anti-convulsants during that time to minimize the seizures. The seizures finally stopped when I was 17. I don't know why they stopped and the neurologist had no explanation. My EEG was still a mess, but I was seizure free. I still have the occasional deja vu, but my head remains clear. It would be interesting to see what my brain waves look like today.
We eventually moved from that place. I kind of hated that house. There was other weird stuff that went on there, but I will have to save it for another time. I need to go to sleep. I will try to stay in bed when I do it.