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I get it.
Everyone has their ‘spooky stories’ to tell around the campfire. Things about ghosts, goblins and other assorted things; that’s not what I want to talk about.
It’s more a venting and hopefully someone here can help me figure out what happened to me and my family.
To start, some background: I grew up homeless in rural Michigan. Being homeless in any situation is awful and I don’t wish it on anyone. Ever. But it’s even harder trying to eke something in a part of the country where a normal winter can get to -19.
My father and mother were the type that wanted to be farmers so they put every cent they had into this farmland in Kalkaska, Michigan. It’s right about ‘upper palm’ as we Michiganders.
In any case, my parents were devoted to making this work and invested everything they had into it. We got goats, chickens, ducks and cows. We spent the spring, summer and fall building a barn, erecting fencing and once winter started creeping in; actually made a house like you see on TLC when they do a documentary about the Amish.
I remember the night we stayed in that home for the first time and I can’t describe to you how amazing it feels to sleep in something you built with your own hands. My brothers and I all had to share a room on the first floor but whatever, it was ours.
Then we heard The Steps.
That’s really the only way I can describe them. It sounded like something gigantic coming down from Heaven. Or coming up from Hell. I still don’t know. I never got to see It. All I heard were these heavy footfalls of something that shouldn’t exist to make such loud noises.
When we woke up the cattle were gone.
There wasn’t any blood. There was no sign of struggle and I am positive I closed the gate to the barn. I mean, if I didn’t the chickens and ducks would have gotten out too right?
We searched every fenced in acre of land. There were no breaks in the line and the ground around the gates hadn’t been disturbed.
When we got back home, we tried to put a positive spin on things; tended our land and planted some crops that would make it through what was feeling like a rough winter.
That night The Steps were closer. I remember watching Poltergeist and Amityville as a kid, my parents raised me on old school horror and 80’s slasher flicks so when I went to them; freaking out about this noise I had heard for two nights now and could hear while I was talking to them, they just wrote it off as just that: an overactive imagination and told me to try and get some rest. I went to bed listening to The Steps get closer and closer, underscored by muted arguing between my parents about whether all this was a good idea or not.
When the Sun came up the next day, I shit you not; the barn was gone.
It was like it had never been built. The grass we had cut, the earth we had moved to make a base. It was like it had never happened. I asked my Dad and Mom about it, where the 32′ building we had spent weeks creating had gone.
They looked at me confused and told me it was because it hadn’t been built yet. That my parents were still discussing whether or not they wanted to farm the land or tend to animals.
I swear to God I’m not crazy. I spent weeks building this fucking barn and now it’s gone. I had blisters on my hands from holding a hammer. I had callouses from working the wood into specific brackets for the roof.
Those were gone too.
My family could see I was concerned (which is a really light way of putting it) about everything and suggested we go into town for the day, maybe get a motel room or something so we didn’t have to stay in tents that night like we had since we came out here in April.
I screamed and started crying.
When my parents and brothers tried to console me, to ask me what was bothering me so much; I told them.
“We have a house! What tents?!”
My dad put his hand on my shoulder and helped me to my feet. Tried to make light of the entire situation and turned me around to look at where our house was.
It was 2 tents around a campfire.
They told me we had to go into town, to find somewhere else to stay through the winter or we could die.
That my dad and mom had found a job at a gas station in town and the man that owned the place was willing to let us stay there, since there were only three of us.
I have memories that never happened according to everyone I talk to. I have recollections of brothers that don’t exist. At least once a year or so, I’ll go to sleep and hear those Steps and when I wake up the next day; something else is gone.
I first heard those Steps nearly 20 years ago. Since then I’ve had a car that I never had, a child that was never born, a wife I never met and a job I never worked at. I’m writing all this down this evening because I heard the Steps again tonight and this is a test. I want to see if this is still here in the morning.
Hopefully I’m not.
Please help me.