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A Strange Day, Long Ago

April 2007

I don’t consider myself particularly "sensitive’ to paranormal things. But I do feel there are events and circumstances that cannot be explained, and what I am about to tell is one of them.

This all happened years ago when I was only in first grade. This was a big adjustment for me because now I was in school all day long, with a break for lunch, which involved getting one’s lunch box or bag, hiking down to the cafeteria lunch room, eating, then returning to class for the balance of the afternoon.

That day was like any other, with the exception that I forgot my lunch bag. I was very embarrassed and did not want to cause this problem to be brought to anyone’s attention. What to do? Some kids who lived within a certain distance of the school were permitted to walk home for lunch, provided they returned in time for afternoon class. I made a snap decision. I would just walk home, explain to mom what I’d done, eat my bag lunch at home, and walk back to school. No one would be the wiser.

I was still a little nervous when I left the building, because even though we lived close enough to the school, you either were supposed to eat at school or eat at home; you could only switch by getting your family's permission and having it cleared through the school.

Nobody noticed me leave, and I scooted home. It was a chilly fall day, and it became more overcast as I walked the last few steps down our street and up to our house. Let me explain, back in those days we NEVER locked the house, never!.
I went to the back door, the way I always entered the home, preparing my "Stupid me, guess what I did" speech to explain myself. I grabbed the door and pulled, but to my surprise, it was LOCKED. The knob would not turn, it was shut tight. I called, "Mommy, mommy!" walking around to the front door. Amazed, I found it locked, too. I started feeling very scared, so I ran next door to the elderly neighbor’s house, Mrs. Beltran, she was always home, if fact, she would probably feed me lunch if I asked politely. But...her door was locked too. This was getting to be very troubling... I started to get panicky. The wind had picked up, blowing dust and dry leaves around. I was cold, hungry and needed to go to the bathroom. Worst of all, I had no idea what time it was by now. I waited a few more minutes that seemed like hours, hoping my mom would return from some unexpected errand. I went back to our house and tried the doors again. I started to hear a very strange droning sound, and looked up in the sky and saw a dark colored airplane flying overhead, visible intermittently through the clouds zipping by up there in the wind. This plane really frightened me for some reason, and I felt I had to get away from it, so I hid behind our storage shed until I could no longer hear it. Just as I was getting ready to try the door again (as if trying would magically make it open and mom be home!) I heard the droning sound again, this time accompanied by a deep, whispery chuckling sound, as if some man were nearby laughing to himself. Not knowing what else to do, I ran back to school, dashed to the rest room and made it back just in time for class.

I got scolded for visiting the bathroom without asking permission, but that was the only aftermath of my unauthorized (and seemingly, undiscovered!) trip home.

The rest of the afternoon found me a bundle of nail-biting nerves! I didn’t dare tell anyone what I did, and I dreaded dismissal time. I walked home, anxious and frightened. By now the weather had cleared somewhat and the sun was out. Trembling, I walked up to that back door, pulled, and it opened. Mom was there getting ready to fix dinner. I told her what I had done and asked her why she wasn’t home, and why Mrs. Beltran wasn’t home, either. She gave me a strange, startled look. "I was home all day, like I always am. You took your lunch bag, I handed it to you when you left in the morning, and you know very well that poor Mrs. Beltran died last month!"

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