This week, my house became a house of horrors.
It started in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, while darkness still cloaked the world. While most of the town was still snugly tucked into bed, Hubby was running a gauntlet through a cluttered maze, hand over mouth, as a savage beast completed its hold over his body.
Only an hour before, a terrible foreboding woke me. I dismissed it as a silly notion, adjusted my sleeping position and rumpled bedclothes, and drifted off to sleep.
Hubby woke me with a start just before 6. Soft morning light was just beginning to illuminate the room through the curtains. He shared the details about the vicious attack he had sustained earlier, and asked me to wake him at 8. Meanwhile, something was already begin to wrap its talons around my insides.
By 7, I lay groaning quietly in my own bed, desperate to drift off to sleep for the final delicious moments before heading into my day. But every time I settled in, something squeezed my insides and I was forced to run my own gauntlet.
I caught Little Guy standing frozen on the landing at 7:30, mouth gaping as he stared in shock and disbelief at the ominous sounds erupting from behind the bathroom door. He knew, instinctively, that no human inhabited that tiny space. Only once a foul wisp of vaporous gas assaulted his sense of smell and the tears began to well in his eyes, did he find his legs beneath him, and he fled the scene in terror.
* * *
I left with house with Little Guy around 8:30 to take him to camp. My head was pounding and I had already endured several attacks of my own. I had tried in vain to ward off the waves of nausea with a piece of toast, but I only managed 2 bites before I had to set aside the crispy slice. I was only armed with a pink plastic bowl, my purse, and my work lunch bag. Hubby had issued a caution as a stepped over the threshold: “If you’re in any doubt, don’t go to work. When it hits, there’s no warning”.
Little Guy safely delivered, I stumbled into a tiny neighbourhood convenience store for a 2L bottle of gingerale. I wondered if I looked as bad as I was beginning to feel. The clerk had stepped back noticeably as I shuffled to the counter, and smiled weakly as she passed me my change.
I made it home.
For the next several hours, Hubby and I took turns bowing over a white porcelain chalice in our ugly “vintage” bathroom. We only have one!
We did not speak, save once. I heard the floorboards to my bedroom snap, but by the time I rolled over, no form stood in the doorway. It was then I heard Hubby calling my name, like a question? “Jenn? Where are you?” Fearing that he was now delusional, or worse, was passing into the next life, I slipped from my bed and faltered my way to the top of the stairs. He had heard a thump in the dark, had feared that I had lost consciousness in my travails, and was looking for me. He did not see me amidst the tangled knot of sheet and quilt, and pillows, and had in his weakened state, had gone looking for me.
He loves me.
The trip to the community centre to pick up Little Guy is a blur now. Hubby had considered coming with me, but abandoned the notion when he had to sit down half way up the stairs. We slept the remainder of the afternoon way, and thankfully, I woke up in time to fix Little Guy some supper, before slumbering on the couch until darkness started to set in.
Every now and then, Little Guy crept over to the couch to gently rub my forehead. I think he was checking to make sure he wasn’t an orphan. Then, in an extraordinary act of kindness, he helped me drag the garbage and recycle containers to the curb before he tucked himself in bed.
* * *
I awoke the next morning, still a zombie; Hubby was recuperating. And so, I have remained, back at work now, but still subsisting on the golden elixir, gingerale, and tiny golden fish crackers.
I have boiled the bedding, but I have yet to face the gory focal point of the day’s deadliest attacks where, no doubt, the evidence of our torture clings in the shadows and underbelly of the portal. Our house was truly, a House of Horrors.
* * *
If I do not return on Monday, then I have undertaken the final cleaning task, and did not survive the great peril. Please know that writing my blog and interacting with so many of you has been both a joy and a pleasure. My final word of advice for surviving your mid-life crisis is this –