Ms. Williamson’s home was small but clean. She had a formal living room with light carpeting and furniture. We walked past the living room, down a hallway and into the kitchen. As the adults spoke, I soaked in my new surroundings. The house felt like home, it reminded me of my Grams’ house back in NY and there was a scent that transported me back to my Grams kitchen. Best of all I was reunited with my sister and brother.
As the weeks passed, we fell into a routine. We had chores and we were expected to behave. Ms. Williamson’s had an adult son that lived in the home, but was hardly seen. There was an incident with okra, that left a plate of cold okra on my plate for two days, until my sister managed to smuggle a couple off my plate at every meal until my plate was clean. To this day I can’t stand the smell of okra. Then there were vampires.
If you do not know anything else about me, I am scared of vampires, zombies, and all things that live in the ocean. With that said, 1983 there was a vampire mini series that was being pushed so hard that I begged Ms. Williamson to stay up and watch the promised horror. Even though I scared nearly to death, for the life of me, I can’t remember the name of the movie. I do remember dreading bedtime. At the end of the movie it appeared that all the vampires were killed, it just as they were rolling the credits, a surviving vampire appeared on the screen. Oh the horror!
That night I snuck into Ms. Williamson’s son room and took his baseball bat. My plan was to knock the head off any vampire who attempted to suck me dry. So I sat at the foot of my bed ready to kill a vampire. I must have dozed off with I was awaken by something walking towards me. I screamed as I jumped up ready to swing! Ms. Williamson son was able to catch the bat as he turned on the light. Everyone came running into my room to see what the commotion was about.
It is not lost on me that my bump in the night was a fear that steamed from a horror movie. That even in foster care I was allowed to be a child and have normal fears.