Monday, October 14, 2013

My ghost story

Hi guys. How are you doing? All right, if you don't like creepy stories, you shouldn't be reading my blog today. It's October, and with Halloween coming up in a few weeks, I thought I should tell you a ghost story. I'm sure my dear friend Elyana Noreme will love this.

I think this happened either in 2010 or 2011, I don't know for sure. My school offered summer jobs, and I was working as a custodian on campus. I worked for a month, and I was saving money so I could pay for tuition. There was the possibility of staying in the dorms while I worked as a custodian, but I couldn't afford it, so I asked a friend of mine if I could help her house-sit for her host family. The family in question lived near campus in a small, comfortable house, and they were really nice to allow me to stay at their place with my friend while they were in Ecuador.

My job started at 6:00 and went until 2:30, from Monday until Friday. I had never worked as a custodian before, and I learned a lot from the custodians I worked with. The other students working there were great, too. Although I'm not an early bird, I think I adjusted to my new schedule quickly. I woke up every day at five, ate breakfast in ten or fifteen minutes, and ran to work.

Nothing odd happened for the first few days. I went to work, spent an hour in the library after work, ate dinner with my friend, talked on the phone for an hour or two with my boyfriend (who's now my husband), wrote some, read some, and was in bed by ten. On my first weekend (and I was really glad I could sleep past 5 o'clock), though, something weird happened. I woke up at around 7 or 8 with a strange noise coming from outside my room. I couldn't tell whether it was coming from down the hall or from downstairs. It sounded like someone was jiggling a door handle, as if trying to open a door. But, I was so tired to go check what was going on and ignored the noise. I thought it had been my friend. Later that day, though, I checked with her, and she said she had heard it, too. That was scary. My first thoughts were that someone had tried robbing us. I remember telling it to my boyfriend and he was concerned. He told me to make sure the doors were locked before I went to bed.

A week later, again on the weekend, the same thing happened. The same noise. I was in my room and looked down from my window, but I saw nobody standing outside. I don't know if not seeing a burglar made me happy or nervous, but it definitely got my adrenaline going. It had to be the back door, then. So, I did that thing that makes people yell at their TVs when they are watching horror movies: I went downstairs to check what was the source of the noise. And...

...nobody was home. My friend wasn't home. No burglar. No raccoons. No squirrels. Just Sky, the parakeet we also were taking care of, watching me from his open cage. One day I caught him jumping up the steps all the way to the second floor, but I was pretty sure he couldn't open doors. I was nervous, but I wasn't scared. There's wind, after all, and wind could have jiggled the door. So, I went to make myself breakfast.

I had just finished eating and was about to start writing, when I heard a floorboard creak upstairs. I looked up and stared at the ceiling for a second. It sounded like it had come from my friend's bedroom, right above the kitchen. And then I heard it again, and this time it was loud and clear, and it was footsteps. It was like a person running from one corner to the spot in the room right above my head. I stood up quickly, every inch of me suddenly getting very cold. There was someone upstairs. I kept thinking someone had managed to get in the house while I was in my room and hid in my friend's room while I made breakfast. It all made sense. I looked at the back door, ready to dart out of the house in case the person motioned to the stairs. But, the house was again very quiet. There were no more footsteps. And, after summoning all my courage, I checked the rooms upstairs and found nobody.

When my friend was back, I told her what had happened. She hates these stories and thought I was messing with her, but I assured her it really had happened. She assumed right away it had been a ghost, or some other paranormal experience, and told me that her host family joked that there was a ghost in the house. That was really strange, but the ghost actually had a name. Harry. That's probably because the girls in that family love Harry Potter.

She told me that things disappeared in the house all the time, and they blamed it on Harry. She told me she was playing a card game with them one night, and one of the cards disappeared. It reappeared later that night, when someone found it under books. They all swore they had not put it there. There's a chance someone was pulling a prank. But, you never know.

When the family was back, they were very eager to know whether Harry had made himself noticeable, and I was half amused, half annoyed (just a little) they had not told me they lived with a ghost. They were happy to hear about the footsteps. It's needless to say staying there inspired me to write a book. I felt very much like Stephen King. So... that was good, I guess. Nothing else happened after that. When my time as a custodian was over, I went to Seattle to stay with my boyfriend, and of course he had a thousand and one explanations as to why floorboards always creak in Wisconsin. I personally think it was Harry.

So, this is my Halloween story. What's the creepiest paranormal thing that ever happened to you? 


And, remember, you're only safe if you are under the blankets and way in the middle of your bed. Just kidding! ;)
  

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

What's Up Wednesday


Hi guys. I found out about What's Up Wednesday when I read Juliana Haygert's blog today (you should go ahead and read her blog, by the way!) and I thought that maybe it was a good excuse for me to come here and blog. So, here we go...

WHAT I'M READING

I usually have monogamous relationships with my books, but I've been reading a few bookS, and I switch reading them depending on my mood: (1) ON WRITING, by Stephen King, (2) CITY OF BONES, by Cassandra Clare, (3) EVER, by Jessa Russo. I'm almost done with ON WRITING, and I think it's brilliant. Every writer should read it. I don't know why, but I'm having trouble with CITY OF BONES, and that's a shame, because I really wanted to be in love with it. I just started reading EVER, and so far I'm really impressed with the quality of Jessa's writing. She's an awesome writer, and you guys should go ahead and buy her books now. 

WHAT I'M WRITING

I'm currently working on a YA historical novel (the first part of the novel is set in England, and the second part in China), and I'm really excited about it and equally afraid to write it. It's completely out of my element, and I think that's why I'm working on it. I felt I needed a challenge as a writer, and there's a chance I'll fail writing it, but at least I'll know I tried. What I love the most about writing it is the feeling of visiting new places as I write. I always want my writing to take me on a journey with my characters, and I must confess that doesn't always happen, and it's usually because I insist on controlling everything. This time, thankfully, I'm letting my characters take the lead.

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW

Victorian England and the Qing Dynasty. I've been reading articles and more articles online about both subjects, and I love doing research. And, I must say ON WRITING inspires me, too. So, thank you, Mr. King!

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO

When I'm not writing, I'm watching Anthony Bourdain with my husband, and we both dream of visiting new places. We were in Uruguay recently, and we want to go to Argentina soon, perhaps even before the end of the year. I've also been playing videogames during my free time... that is, I've been playing a videogame in particular, and I'm obsessed with it: Crusader Kings II. If you like medieval things, you should get it right now. I recommend it.