A College Memory: Are You Mary?
When You're the Main Character in a Horror Story
On the blog, I have a series I like to call Childhood Memories where I relive some sort of crazy story. But since it's October, also known as spooky month, I wanted to tell a story that happened a little later in life that I consider one of my most bizarre and scary moments. This story takes place during my second year of college and whenever I tell people this story they often bring it up later telling me how often they think of it. I honestly can't believe it happened to me either but I can see it as if it were yesterday.
It all started when a group of friends wanted to go swing dancing. I, being one who gets motion sickness and doesn't find the upbeat dance that great, decided to hang back for the night. My best friend, Allie (yes Kali and Allie lol) agreed to stay back as well. But shortly after the others had left, we felt like we needed to be doing something. It was Friday night after all.
With it being dark outside, I decided it might be fun to head to a pond a few blocks over to watch the tiny brown bats, that occupied the surrounding trees, swoop over the pond's surface feeding on the small insects flying about. Allie, not one to miss out on something as cool as bats, gathered her things and away we went.
With most of the freshman class busy dancing the night away, it left the campus almost abandoned with only a few others scurrying from one building to the next.
The night was quiet, the only sound of bat's wings fluttering in the air above us. That's when a shadow appeared. Immerging from the tress only yards in front of us. In its hands a bag of sour patch kids. "Kali?" Colton, a boy I had English with my senior year and his junior year of high school, called out to me.
Taken aback, the goofy and very overweight boy who had a crush on me the entire year, had completely changed. 300lbs down and almost a foot and a half taller, he had grown up since the last time I had seen him over two years prior. While very sweet, Colton was more of the artistic type. Whimsical with a vocabulary like no one I had ever met. He usually kept to himself and let his work speak for itself. Though I didn't find him attractive then or in that particular moment, Allie, seemed immediately drawn to him as he took a seat next to me.
After a few minutes catching up, I found out Colton was living on campus only one dorm away from ours. Even though great with the arts, his math skills were lacking. So, he did what most people would find to be inconsiderate, and pretended to like a girl just so she would do his math for him. He also had scoliosis surgery the summer before explaining his sudden change in height and weight. I unimpressed turned toward Allie who was all about minimal to no work while still getting a passing grade. Even still, he scooted closer to me his hand very close to mine.
After a while, the sour patch kids had run their course, the last few thrown to the ducks wading in the water and the excitement of swooping bats dulled. We decided it was time to leave the pond, but none of us wanting to head back to the dorms.
"Hey, a friend just texted saying there's a party off of the corner of Olive and 4th, Want to go check it out?" I wasn't sure who this 'friend' was Allie was speaking about. She had only been hanging out with our friend group formed the first week of school that I knew of and never mentioned anyone else. Shrugging my shoulders, I agreed. I had never been to a college house party yet as I was known to be a 'good kid' growing up. But now seemed the time to start breaking out of the box. So, the three of began walking.
The house party was located in the older part of town where streetlights were scarce. This meant walking in the complete dark, the mature trees blocking out any light from the sky above. But it didn't matter because the music pouring from the house down the block guided our way. There just kitty corner was the red house Allie's friend had told her to come join. It was like a scene from a movie. Kids passed out on the front lawn, the music blaring from every room, people making out upstairs. I took a deep breath ready to cross the street when, just like the movies again, three cop cars pulled up in every direction jumping out to catch the kid's who tried to run for it. Still hidden amongst the trees, the cops hadn't spotted us, not like we had been doing anything bad, but before anything else could happen we decided to head back to campus.
Again, in the complete dark we were silent as we walked, our footsteps filling the silence. "Ow!" Colton called out, his hand taking hold of mine.
"Are you okay," I asked steading him.
"Yeah, I just tripped over something," he said his voice low to the ground feeling for whatever caused him pain.
"Hey, look here, a keyboard," he said tapping at the keys. "I would except I can't see you," I reminded him. Even though he was only a foot in front of me I still couldn't see him or Allie for that matter who I assumed was still in front of us.
"Ohhh, right. Well, I've been needing a new one of these so I guess it's mine now."
He couldn't see, but I rolled my eyes. The chance it would work was slim to none. College kids often moved, leaving behind anything broken on the curbside for others to find. All of it junk that would eventually find its way to the landfill, but I didn't want to ruin his excitement.
Before turning to continue our journey back to campus, Colton grabbed my arm again. "Do you hear that?"
"What?" Both Allie and I asked.
There it was a faint sound almost like a clopping of horseshoes hitting the ground except these weren't consistent. We listened as the noise continued. Straining my eyes, I tried to pick up on any light that might give us a hint of where and what the sound was coming from, but it was useless. The faint clopping continued.
Allie chimed in, "What do you.."
"Ahhhh!" A scream rang out from Colton as a rush of air whooshed by my face. A loud thud by my feet told me someone or something laid there.
Colton grabbing my arm again pulled me away, "Sorry dude!"
"What is going on?" Allie and I asked together. I was now reaching for her to make sure she was okay.
"I think I hit someone with the keyboard. He snuck up on me." Colton still held my arm. I wasn't sure if he was trying to keep me safe or just scared.
"Ugahahah," the noise came from the darkness along with some shuffling as whoever Colton had taken out regained their composure and was standing once more. Before any of us could say anything, the faint clopping returned, this time heading in the direction we were going. "Follow them." Allie replied now running after the person.
Colton and I followed. I prayed my shoes didn't snag the uneven ground the sidewalks were known to have in this part of town. It wasn't long though when a dim light coming from one of the dorm rooms shone in the distance. There, I could finally see the silhouette of the person Colton had knocked to the ground. I turned to Colton in that instant, surprised to see him still clutching the keyboard against his chest.
"C'mon," Allie coaxed still chasing after the boy who was trying to run but was stumbling erracticly. It made sense to me now why faint clopping had sounded so strange, but how did he sneak up on us so suddenly?
Before I could think anymore of the strange incident, the young man crossed the road wavering with each step. Then, one to many wavers, he lost his balance tumbling sideways into the bushes beside him. Allie sprinted towards him, Colton and I following in her wake.
"Are you okay?" I wasn't sure if she meant in general or the fact he had just been taken out by a keyboard as well as been engulf by some branches.,Pushing himself up, the boy turned to us and without blinking or missing beat asked, "Are you Mary?" He was staring directly at me. Caught off guard by his question I shook my head indicating no, I was not Mary. As if on cue, his phone began to ring to which he answered, "Yeah, on my way."
He hung up, turned and continued his erratic walk into the neighboring houses.
"Um should we follow him," I asked. I didn't really want to, but it felt like the right thing to do. Clearly his guy was on something.
"I think so," Allie backed my statement.
"Okay, we if we do we need to stay on the other side of the road and like half a block back." Even though there was three of us, maybe even 4 with how tall Colton stood, I wanted to be safe. Who knows what this guy was up to?
So, we began to follow, keeping our distance as agreed upon. The young man stumbled and staggered but kept moving in a determined direction, when he crossed the street and disappeared into the dark shadows of a driveway.
"Keep walking," I said to the others. Something was not right. We continued our way down the block and out of sight. The driveway the young man had walked into had no light and was covered by thick bushes on one side of the drive with the house completely dark. According to his phone call conversation, it sounded as if he was meeting someone so why would he walk into the dark driveway? As if she was having the same thought, Allie turned to Colton and I, "Stay here. I'm going to peer through the bushes to see what he's up to."
We both nodded in agreeance. Clearly neither of us had the bravery to go check out the situation. Watching, Allie crossed the street and began peering through the bushes.
"What do you think he's doing," I quietly asked Colton. But when he didn't respond I turned to look at him. Except he wasn't there. Searching, I called out to him. Where had he gone? It wasn't like he was hiding behind a tree or gone into someone's yard in those few seconds it took Allie to cross the street. Allie? I turned back still thinking she would be by the treeline searching for the young man. Instead, my heart sank.
Allie was running straight for me, fear in her eyes, and behind her the young man running as fast as he could after her. Fear and adrenaline overtook my body. Instead of flight or fight, I froze. My eyes connecting with his. Anger seething as he came hurtling my direction. Allie sped past not thinking twice to look back. It was then the thought came to my mind. It was a nice life I had but getting stabbed wasn't how I thought I would go out.
Where I got the thought of being stabbed, I don't know, because the young man wasn't carrying a knife. Instead, he was plowing his way toward me still furious. Getting ready to close my eyes for the impact a miracle happened. Just as he was about to reach me the curb caught his front toe, propelling his body forward causing him to come crashing down face first into the sidewalk.
Suddenly the fear that had come over my body ceased. "Are you okay?"
I turned to see where Allie and Colton had gone, but they were nowhere in sight. I looked back to see the boy standing and staring at me.
"Are you Mary?" He asked me once again.
"No," is all I replied before I heard the ringtone. As if on cue he answered, "Yeah, I'm on my way."
He hung up the phone making his way across the street. There was no urge to follow him this time as he turned the corner disappearing into the dark.
"Where'd he go?" I heard Colton ask.
Standing behind me both Colton and Allie huddled together.
"Where'd he go? Where the hell did you two go?" I asked their eyes wide with fear. But before they could answer a giggle escaped my lips and then a full laugh. Relief flooded my body and I began to hysterically laugh. What the hell just happened?
Wiping the tears from my eyes while trying to calm the laughter, I motioned to the other two who now giggled nervously.
"Let's go back to the dorm rooms." And so we walked not speaking of what happened. After about an hour I decided to call it a night kicking both Allie and Colton from my room. Colton handing me his number told me to call him while Allie closed the door to her room. I said goodnight and went to sleep wondering what in the world had taken place.
The following days, I reached out to Colton but his number had been disconnected. I had hoped to connect him and Allie but thought maybe it was for the better to leave him as someone from my past. Eventually, Colton and that night was forgotten.
Two years later, while hanging out in the living room of the new house I lived in, a thought came to me.
"Allie, what did you see on the other side of the bushes that night with the weird guy that scared you so badly?" I didn't have to explain more for her to understand.
"Oh, well," she paused the night's events slowly coming back to her. "Well, he was standing there. His back was turned to me so I couldn't see what he was doing. But both of his hands were to his side and then slowly he turned on one heel. His body rotating until he was fully staring at me. I don't know how he knew I was there in the dark, but he did and that's when he started running towards me crashing through the bushes. I didn't look back and took off towards you. The next thing I remember, you were by yourself watching as he made his way across the street."
"Hmm, interesting. Do you think he finally found Mary?"
"I would have been surprised if he made it another block without passing out from whatever he was on."
"Yeah, I think you're right," I said and then changed the subject.
Well, that's the story! It was never discussed again between Allie and I and I haven't seen Colton since then. It was a strange night and I one I will never forget. Definitely a twilight zone moment. Has anything weird ever happened to you like this? Tell me in the comments below.