Spirits in the Night

I’m related to John Paul Jones. He was a famous naval fighter in the Revolutionary War. I had a poster of him in my room when I was a kid. I used to look him in the eyes and repeat back his famous phrase, “I have not yet begun to fight!”

I looked to him for courage. I had an intense fear of monsters underneath my bed. At night I would shut out the light and sprint to bed before the monsters had a chance to attack me. I would pull the sheets over my head and lay still. I listened carefully for the monsters movements. I felt they were awake the entire night and would basically wait for me to get out of bed to go to the bathroom where they would attack and devour me. I wouldn’t drink anything from 3 pm to insure my not having to go to the bathroom after I went to bed.

I lay in bed at night praying for the strength and resolve of Commander J.P. Jones. I knew it was in my blood. If I could attain this, then I had a chance to live.

Things came to a head on December 21st, 1967. I made the mistake of having drunk a glass of eggnog after dinner. I love eggnog. I woke up at 1 am and I had to pee. I thought I could hold it in till the morning. But eggnog is a diuretic. I basically had a handful of seconds before I would pee in my bed. Urine makes monsters go crazy. They would leave their home under my bed and rise up and attack me. I had no choice.

I threw off my sheets, stood up on my bed and screamed, “I have not yet begun to fight! I have not yet begun to fight!!” I lept off the bed and landed halfway across the room. I slid and slammed into my bookcase, knocking my car and dinosaur models all over the floor. I figured this unplanned move was in my favor since the monsters could possibly slip on them. They are vicious, but in no way agile.

I lept again, this time landing and sliding through the doorway. But it wasn’t the door. My time and space radar was jarred from the bookcase debacle. I’d landed in the closet. A catastrophe of the unimaginable. This is where the monsters go when they are tired of being under the bed. I felt them apon me. I fought them but to no avail. They were on me from all sides. I screamed, “I have not yet begun to fight!!”

The lights went on. My parents yelled, “What the hell is going on?!” I yelled, “Save yourselves!” I fought as they pulled clothes from me that were wrapped around my head, neck and body. Clothes that had been just been on hangers. My dad reached down and pulled me up by my pajama top. He said, “What in the Sam Hill is going on here?!”

I couldn’t say. Telling my parents would have put them in danger. Once you know about the monsters, they know about you. I said that I was sleep walking and I wouldn’t do it again. My dad said, “You better not. Now get to bed.”

I got in bed. He shut off the light. I pulled the sheets over my head. I listened. And then I remembered, I had to go to the bathroom.

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