HALLOWEEN HAUNTS - Horror Writer's Association - Trick-or-Treating of the DEAD
I had just gotten out of a three week hospital stay during the harshest point of my radiation treatment on Halloween and decided that 18 was still not too old to go get candy.
CLICK TO READ! - I AM A ZOMBIE!
CLICK TO READ! - I AM A ZOMBIE!
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Submitted by Toni
After I returned to full time work after having leukemia I mostly worked the night shift. I was really excited to be working in a group home for children especially since I knew we were going to have a girl with autism. After awhile I came to learn that it was going to be exponentially harder than I expected. The client, Aurora, was non verbal but not mute and regularly screamed utterances. Often her frustration moved her to violence. It didn't matter because I needed the health insurance. I had to stay regardless of the danger in the environment. I was still sick.
Despite her disquieting quirks I grew to love her and insisted on taking on her care myself. She had a saddening history. A nearly absent father. Also well intentioned but in adept grandparents who raised her when she wasn't in and out of residential programs. Her mother had died of lupus when she was about 6.
I had to at least feel bad for the kid even if she did rip out clumps of my hair. One of the things that I had to do as part of my job was to watch the monitor for the video camera in her room. I was supposed to make sure she didn't get hurt or need anything because she was habitually self injurious.
One bleary night shift I was doing exactly that. Aurora was not asleep she was kind of pacing around chewing on toys and making strange noises. That was all totally normal and required no intervention on my part. Markedly less normal was that I thought I started to see this round light looking thing floating around kind of following her about the room.
My reaction was to totally doubt myself. "I'm on all kinds of medication" I thought. "I'm super tired" I thought. But even still I half jokingly mentioned it to a co worker the next night and she said she had seen it too. After that I kind of forgot about it.
I remembered real a week or so later when it was back. She was asleep this time and the room was dark so it was more obvious because it was a whitish, mobile, floating object that seemed to faintly be self luminescent. I had nothing else to watch as my charge was sleeping. I felt a little idiotic pondering this thing.
The floating "orb" as I called it for lack of a better term showed up regularly. It never appeared on any other cameras. It didn't do anything other than drift around Aurora's room at night. Not all the time but enough to make me think about it analytically. I remembered that Aurora's mom had died when she was still a toddler and had raised her on her own prior.
After that I connected those thoughts I began to refer to it as "Aurora's mom." I attempted to speak to it/her through my little monitor. I would say things like "Do you think you could get her to sleep a little more? I really think it would help her be in a better mood at school." It seemed to work well enough to be worth it. The only thing I remember ever feeling from the orb was lack of judgment. I remember that. I remember acceptance. Not the kind of peace one would expect but I sensed no malice either.
It provided me with a certain level of comfort to see the orb. I liked the idea that even though Aurora physically lost her mother at age 6 there was least in this one instance a hopeful epilogue to my client's otherwise mostly tragic life story.