I work so close to home, I sometimes eat lunch at home and then rush back to the office. I can remember one such occasion
when I chose to eat at home.
consisted of long overdue frozen onion rings and a soda—I am not a health nut and it took less time to cook the onion
rings then say, a helping of spaghetti.
it was while I was cooking the onion rings when I heard a group of dogs, down the block further, barking. I peeked out of
the window and though I didn't see anything, I heard a resonating whistle. The whistling seemed to carry very loudly throughout
the quiet, deserted neighborhood.
I saw the source of the whistle—a man dressed in a suit across the street. I saw him go up to the door of a house and
stop there for a moment.
he came to my house and asked if I would like to buy some biodegradable cleaner. He was adamant, as most salesmen are, and
tried to sell the cleaner to me based on the fact that the lady across the street purchased some from him. Apparently, her
name was Sally. I know this because he used her name several times in our conversation.
it was around the Christmas holidays and money is always short around that time, so I sent him away without purchasing anything.
left my house, he continued to whistle. The dogs continued to bark. The whistling was starting to wear on me. I had half a
mind to yell out after the man to stop whistling, but he soon disappeared out of sight. Nevertheless, the whistling eerily
resonated throughout the neighborhood.
When I had
finished lunch and went out to my car, I heard the whistling yet, but there was no sign of the man, nor was there any sign
of him or his whistle when I finally came home that night.
until the following week when I was reminded of the whistling again.
It was a
Tuesday night. I had gone to bed after finishing a grilled-cheese sandwich. As I usually do, I read a little before going
to bed—a travel magazine of one of my hopefully soon-to- be destinations. Then, I fell asleep.
I have a vivid imagination, I can only say that my imagination may not always turn off at night, because my dream could be
attributed to an overactive brain. However, it was enough to frighten me out of my wits.
I saw a middle-aged man dressed in Victorian clothing come in from the cold night air. He took off his jacket and it struck
me how pale he was--unearthly pale. He did not frighten me; however, because he did not look menacing.
As he was
on the bottom floor of some apartment building, he made his way up the old stairs.
I was standing
on the upper floor with a few other people—who they were I cannot recall. The room I can recall—it had a wooden
floor with gaps. One could easily see through to the lower floor. The walls were made the same. There was plenty of light,
but no furniture.
came up the steps and now, he was holding an axe. I did not have time to look at the instrument, and I had no interest in
seeing it up close.
started hacking away at the group of people. He slashed his way through them quickly and I managed to get away from him into
another room. I heard screaming and then, silence.
came into the room I was in. Just as he was about to strike me with the blade, the scene started over again. I could see the
man opening the door to the apartment building, take off his jacket, then head upstairs. Again, he came at me with an axe.
The scene repeated. After the third repeat, I awoke from my dream, my heart beating rapidly. The noise of the night filled
was faint, I heard a resonating whistle. For a few moments, I listened only to the whistling sound. I looked at my clock.
It was midnight. Eventually, the whistling gave way to the gentle electric sounds of my clock. I fell back to sleep dreaming
of better things.
I did not
think too much of the nightmare, though I was still somewhat anxious the next day. I figured the nightmare could be attributed
to a flu bug that was going around and it was starting to affect me.
night I dreamt again. At first, it was a pleasant dream about driving up in the coastal hills, close to where I live. However,
a feeling of fear kept creeping in. At first, I was able to keep it buried and continued with my travels in my dream, but
soon fear turned to dread and I found myself veering off one of the roads. Suddenly, the car I was driving disappeared and
I was floating in complete blackness. It was not just a blackness, but a nothingness. The dread turned to panic. There was
nothing in sight and nothing to hear. All my senses feared the black emptiness. I tried to cry out but I was panic stricken.
I woke up.
Again I looked at the clock—midnight. Again I heard the whistling. I turned on my light. The whistling stopped. I got
up out of bed and went to get a drink of water. The cool water not only brought my dry throat back to life, but also awakened
my logical thinking. It was all just a dream I said to myself. I went back to bed and fell asleep, again dreaming better thoughts.
night, I dreamt I was walking down a dark, deserted street. I turned the corner and found myself surrounded by a mist. Farther
down the street, I could make out a shape. As I walked closer, I saw it was a man standing in front of an alleyway. He beckoned
see his face, and I felt no fear until I came within five feet of him. Something inside me told me not go any closer. I felt
fear come over me and I turned to run, but he caught my shirt.
I woke up
and turned on my light. The clock displayed 12:00 midnight. This time, I heard the whistling for just a moment, then it stopped
abruptly. I looked out the window between the blinds. I saw nothing outside. I thought, just for a second, that the whistling
wasn't coming from outside, but from inside my room.
night, I dreamt a million bugs climbed up my bedroom walls—big black beetles with long legs and red underbellies. I
tried to run away from them but they were all over the house. They were coming out of the cracks in the walls and windows.
They were coming out of the drains. I couldn't get rid of them. Finally, I ran out of the house and found myself on a quiet,
deserted street. The moon shown on the peaceful night. In front of me was a manhole. I did not go near it. Something was coming
out of it. A large black beetle, almost the size of a man, crawled out of it and said, "You should use biodegradable cleaner.
It keeps the bugs away." The beetle came within inches of me, then gave a maniacal laugh. I screamed.
I woke up
to the sound of whistling. I already knew what time it was without looking at my clock. Instead of turning on my light, I
listened to the whistle. The whistle was right beside me, blowing in my ear. Quickly, I turned on the light, and found nothing.
say I'm a fool, but the next day I decided I had to do something to end the nightmares. I went over to see Sally, the lady
across the street who had previously purchased cleaner from the salesman, and I asked her for the man's name and where I could
somewhat reluctant to talk to me about him, but I finally got her to tell me why she bought some cleaner from him. And what
she told me only confirmed my own thoughts.
stiffly, "I suppose it was just superstition, but the man was whistling. Maybe you didn't notice. Please don't get me wrong,
I don't have a fetish for salesmen who whistle, but his was strange. You see my grandmother came from a small village in Eastern
Europe where superstition runs rampant. When I was little, she told me stories of witches who could take possession of animals
by whistling. Sometimes, they can even possess a person's dreams. I know it sounds stupid, but I went ahead and bought some
of his products. Strange how much children's stories affect you even after you grow up."
I have not had any nightmares, nor heard any mysterious whistling coming out of the dark. And the biodegradable cleaner works
wonders too. Go figure.