Everyone has some scary things happen in their lives. Hopefully, you live and are able to some day look back and laugh. Or at least act like you can. The things is, after I started writing this list, I realized there were many more scary things I could add, which was in itself rather frightening.
10. My House Burns Down
When I was eight, my house burned down. I was sitting in my room, reading or listening to Leif Garret records (which should perhaps be on the list at #11: I Liked Leif Garrett), when I suddenly saw my father go plummeting down the stairs yelling, “Fire! Fire! Get out of the house!” I actually thought this might be a joke until he grabbed me and yanked me down the stairs and out the door. Firefighters showed up and managed to put the fire out before it killed us. The whole top of the house was burned to a crisp and we had to live with my grandparents for a while - another scary experience.
9. My House Burns Down Again
Seriously. Nine years later, I was a sullen teenager sitting in my room, listening to music, when my brother started screaming, “Fire!” My brother was an inveterate prankster, so I knew better than to take him at his word - until I smelled smoke. I ran out to the living room (no stairs this time) and sure enough, the whole room was filled with smoke I grabbed everyone, ran out, and knocked on the neighbor’s door to ask if I could use their phone. For reasons never clear to me, they didn’t want to do it and eyed me suspiciously as I called the fire department, despite the fact that it was pretty obvious my house was covered in flames.
8. My Cat Falls Off the Fourth Floor
I lived in China for four years, and during this time, I got a pet cat. He was a naughtier-than-average cat, and oddly clumsy as well. One day, while I was out on the balcony, he tried to jump up onto it - and went over the side. I looked down, but he had disappeared. I ran down four flights of stairs to find him somehow unharmed, sitting in the patio of an empty apartment on the first floor. Cats really do have nine lives.
7. I Almost Kill My Best Friend
Like most teenagers, I tried to spend as little time as possible at home when I was in high school. My best friend had cable, a pool, and better food in the refrigerator, so I was never home during most of my teenagerhood. One day, my friend and I were making hamburgers, and I was cutting tomatoes. She left to go to the bathroom, and I decided to scare her by waiting around the corner from the bathroom, ready to jump out. I had totally forgotten about the knife., which I was holding in my hand, stomach-level, sharp side up. She somehow got the drop on me and came barreling aroung the corner faster than I could react. She barely missed the knife going into her stomach by a couple of inches.
6. My Brother Almost Kills Me
My grandparents had a pool in their back yard, and every summer, we practically lived in it. They had dug it themselves, and it was fairly shallow along the walls and then suddenly much deeper in the middle. My brother, who is three years younger than me, was supposed to stay along the outside shallow edge, but one day, he slipped. He frantically grabbed the nearest person, who happened to be me, and dragged me into the deep middle. I can swim, but not with a panicking brother hanging off my arm, and I went down. I started to swallow water and not be able to breathe, and was sinking to the bottom when my aunt dove in and rescued us. I stayed out of the pool the rest of the day, and my brother refused to believe he had almost killed us.
5. I Almost get Creamed By a Drunk
Driving down the highway one day, I noticed a van swerving back and forth across several lanes in front of me. I didn’t want to get too close, but I did want to pass in order to get away from what was obviously going to be a bad deal in a very short time. As I passed, as far away from the swerver as I could, I got a good shot of the driver. He was a white guy, lank dark hair, plain shirt, and he glanced over as I sped by him. He was wasted beyond any comprehension, his eyes almost totally closed, and he swerved straight at me as he looked at me. Only the fact that there was room ahead kept me from being nailed to the guard rails on a busy highway during rush hour.
4. I'm Shot At For No Reason
Coming back from a club one night, my friend and I see an alien pickup truck fast gaining on us, driving erratically. We moved over one lane just in time to see a redneck with a shotgun leaning out of the passenger’s side. BANG! The redneck pulled the trigger, and the shots went over the car. We immediately pulled onto an exit ramp and inspected the car and ourselves. No one and nothing was hurt, but not for lack of trying.
3. I Almost Slide Into an Intersection
I rode a motorcycle during my college years, which was great except for when it rained or when there was ice on the roads. This didn’t happen too often, but one year, I had a serious problem. It had iced and I could find no one willing to give me a ride to school. I set off myself on the bike, reasoning the roads were mostly clear and it wasn’t that far. All was well until I started going downhill toward a red light. My side had the red, and traffic was pouring into the intersection from the cross street. I started to brake and went into a spin. All the way down the hill, I spun, unable to brake. I closed my eyes and was thinking of ways to come out of it with as few broken bones as possible when, with a jerk, the bike stopped - right at the light.
2. I Almost Die From Appendicitis
While I lived in the burning house, the first one, I also came down with one hell of an upset stomach. My parents gave me soup, kept me home from school, let me watch TV, but I didn’t get any better. I began vomiting and was unable to hold down any food. Finally, I started turning colors and got taken to the hospital, where my parents were shocked to learn my appendix had burst. No one held out any great hope I would live, and I woke up from a nap one afternoon to the sight of priests giving me extreme unction. One of the nurses also let a little piece of not-very-encouraging news loose one day. there had been a boy checked in the same day as me, with the same condition, whose appendix had been ruptured for less time than mine, on the same floor. He had died. I, however, somehow lived on.
1. I See a Ghost
When I was very young, five years old or so, I kept getting visited in the night by an old man wearing overalls. He never said a word, just looked at me, looked at my baby brother sleeping in a crib in my room, and left. One day, I finally asked my mother who this visitor was. She had no idea what I was talking about and insisted there had been no old man in the house. She asked me to describe him, which I did. She showed me a picture of an old man in a pair of overalls and asked me, “Is this him?” It was. It was a photo of my paternal grandfather. Only one thing wrong - my paternal grandfather had died before I was born.