Haunting of Catherine Blaque 6

Erin LeFey Copyright 2011

October 15, 1946

Dear Melinda,

Well, I’ve been away. Resting. I was at the shore again, but this time in a hospital. Sorry to have had to leave you for so long but they say it was necessary. I had a minor nervous breakdown.

Everything was going wonderfully again for me. I was out and about, socializing, party planning, going along with the crowd, but despite the medicine and activity, something in my gut still felt all wrong. At the hospital, they tried to explain it away as guilt and repressed anger – not wanting to move on after George’s death and the anger at him being taken away from me at such a young age.


It was a few weeks after the labor day party…I had agreed to go out on an afternoon date with that other retired officer who had been in our group lately. He picked me up just before noon and we went down to Andrews Air Force Base where a buddy of his took us flying! It was the first time I had been up in a private plane and it was wonderful! I remember having a delightful time. Afterwards we had lunch downtown in Baltimore and he drove me back here. I didn’t think it proper to have him in and he understood, so we had some lemonade on the porch before he left. I still felt weird being out with another man after having been married to George for 17 years. I sat out there alone for a while watching the sun go down.

You have to forgive me but the details from here are a little foggy. I opened the door and a huge wind hit me in the face. I could barely get in the house, and then the door slammed shut and all went silent. But all was not in order. The parlor furniture had been all upended and stood in a pile in the middle of the room.  I screamed for seconds until I remembered that no one was here to hear me. I slumped, then, on the floor and just stared.

About ten minutes later, when the shock wore off, I got up the courage to move past it and scurry up the stairs. For some reason, I think I had it in my head that I was dreaming, or I had forgotten to take a pill and if I took one of those pills and went to sleep – it would all go away and be right again in the morning. As I ran to the stairs, I had glanced at the rest of the house and it seemed fine.

I ran to the bedroom and shut the door behind me in relief. I rested my head on the door for a minute but then I got a chill straight up my spine. I lifted my head and a big dark shadow moved across the door. I spun around and no one was there. I was not in my bedroom though.

I was in the bedroom of the house that George and I had shared in the city. I felt my stomach drop. Behind me was no longer a door but a wall. There was a shadow again coming from the hall. I sank to the floor.

I expected George to come in through the bedroom door. The shadow stopped just before coming in and my heart was beating so fast. I don’t know if it was because I was so afraid by all the events of the evening or because I was hoping to see George or because I was just so out of my mind. What stepped through that door was not George. I had felt its presence before.

It was a kind of man in outline but seemed to be a black shadow sucking all of the energy from the room. I could feel nothing but dread, despair, darkness and foreboding. As quickly as he had entered the room to deposit this imaginary stake through my heart; he disappeared and George entered behind him.

Although, George was not George as I knew him. He looked at me angrily and said, “Why are you sitting there on the floor. Help me pack.”

I was stunned. I asked him why he was leaving. He looked into my eyes and said, “You know why.”

I burst into tears and could not move. I buried my head into my skirt and cried. I don’t know how long I was like that, but when I lifted my head, I was back in my room with my back against the door.

That was just too much for me.

I got up and ran down the stairs, grabbing my purse and keys from the counter. I fearfully looked into the parlor, it was in perfect order. Yes, Too much for me.

I ran out the door, got into the car and began to pull out of the drive when I saw the black shadow behind me. I screamed and screamed hitting my head on the steering wheel. I must have passed out on the horn because they said that neighbors discovered me. I was talking nonsense and they drove me to the nearest hospital. My doctor had me admitted to the sanatorium for a few weeks so I could be properly treated.

They said I needed rest, like I told you. “You haven’t grieved properly”; “the seclusion was too much for you”.

I don’t think they are right. But I played along anyway because after a week, it wasn’t restful anymore. I wanted my solitude back and hated their constant intrusions into my private world. Aren’t I allowed the privacy of my own thoughts and feelings? Why must they know every thought that is in my head? They threatened that new Electric Shock Therapy if I didn’t get out of my depression, and that frightened me. I spoke with a few of the patients that had undergone that procedure and they seemed like walking wounded to me. I don’t think they know what they are doing. So I just put on a happy face and went along with all of their counseling and so called drug treatments – actually, I spit most of them out when they weren’t looking. George visited me twice in my dreams and said he was waiting for me at home. That vision gave me all the courage I needed to survive the last few weeks.

Anyway, Dear Melinda, I’m home again – safe or not. I have decided that it is better to keep my head with the spirits I have here at home and remain in control of my future than to leave my welfare in the hands of those doctors practicing mind numbing so-called medicine there. One thing I had to choose in there was which I was more afraid of, and it was all of those people in the white uniforms. I choose freedom over confinement any day.

Ciao Bella,

Still Catherine

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Comments 6 comments

b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

You've done your research so well Erin, from Shock Therapy, to your thoughts...Wonderful, exciting, Hub...You leave me wanted more, as usual!


Nan Mynatt 5 years ago

I enjoyed your interlude and imagination. I will have to read your other storied!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Erin, This is so good..Kept me on the edge of my chair. What will happen to her now? I'm glad she's out of that institution. Who is that dark shadow ? I know. I must wait. I'll be back.

Cheers


Erin LeFey profile image

Erin LeFey 5 years ago from Maryland Author

b, Thanks so much for noticing. I loved the research and learning about this era, I really knew nothing about this time period before this. It's fun writing in character in another time, and challenging!

Nan, thanks so much and I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

Ruby, always happy to see you! Your enthusiasm keeps me writing faster...but with the research I can only go so fast! Take care my friend!


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Beautiful story. I am going to make a guess and say it was the widow's husband, who was a real control freak. He never allowed her to remarry after his death.


Erin LeFey profile image

Erin LeFey 5 years ago from Maryland Author

good guess, I never give away the end of movies, tv shows or books - even if I know the ending...and I hate when people tell me. Let the story unfold... :)

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