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Papa's Back

April 2006

Let me start off by describing the layout of my bedroom:
My room is what used to be the attic in my house. Technically, there are three bedrooms, which go clear across the length of the house. The room at the front of the house was my sister's old room, but is now used for storage. The middle room is mine, and the room at the back of the house is where my bookcase and closet are located, as well as the doorway to the stairs. I am now the only person who goes upstairs now, because my sister and dad's rooms are downstairs. This is to let you know that when I'm not in my room, nobody else is upstairs at all.

My grandfather, Papa (my dad's dad), was very flighty. He couldn't stay in the same place for very long, whether it was a position he was sitting in, or even the state. About four or five years ago, he left my family. He was in contact with an aunt and uncle of mine, and he occasionally stayed at his mother's house, who lives half an hour away, but never visited my immediate family, including his oldest son (my dad). Then about a year or so ago, I came home from school, and received a phone call from a hospital somewhere in Louisiana, telling me they had my grandfather's body. He had died, and nobody had known where he was at, or that anything was wrong with him. About a year and a half after my grandfather had left (still alive), my grandmother and her children went to the trailer where he had been living at, and cleaned it out. The trailer was going to be repossessed, and if there was anything his children wanted out of there, they had to go get it. One of these items was a rocking-horse made for and named after my cousin Andy. My grandfather had made it by hand, and because it was special, my family wanted it.

Most of the stuff taken from the trailer was brought to my house, because none of my relatives had the room for any of it. A lot of the items that couldn't be left out in our garage were taken upstairs to the extra bedroom next to mine (including the rocking-horse). This didn't really bother me, because none of the stuff was in my way. Everything was fine for about a year or so. Then one night, I had a dream that I saw the rocking-horse move, as if a little kid was sitting on it rocking back and forth, although in the dream, no one was there. The dream freaked me out enough that it woke me up, and what I saw next really got me. I'm able to see the horse from my bed, because there are no doors at all in the attic, except for my closet doors. I lifted my head from my pillow, and instinctively looked toward the horse; it was slowly but surely rocking back and forth, like in my dream. At first, I thought I was still asleep, and my eyes were just playing tricks on me. Then as I began to become more awake, I saw that the horse kept rocking. As I watched, the rocking-horse rocked faster and faster, until it looked like it was going to tip over. At first, I thought maybe a breeze, or the air conditioner (it was summer when this happened), might have made the horse move. Then I remembered that no windows upstairs were open, and if any were open downstairs, the breeze they let in would have to go through the downstairs part of the house, turn and go up the stairs, and go through my bedroom to reach the horse. As for the air-conditioning, the only vents upstairs are in my room, and would not create enough of a draft to rock the horse as violently as it was. But funnily enough, I was never actually scared. I was a little unnerved at first, but then I felt this immense feeling of calmness, as if someone was there with me comforting me. I think it was my grandfather that night. I didn't have a chance to say good-bye before he died, and I think that was him, rocking that old horse, perhaps checking to see if it was still fit for his grandkids and great- grandkids to use. I remember thinking to myself that i wished I could've seen him before he died (he wanted to be cremated when he died) and say good-bye, and although I said nothing out loud, thinking it did the trick. The horse stopped moving, and I fell back asleep.

The rocking-horse was a one-time thing. I have never seen it move again, and I take care not to move it when I have to search through the room for something. Nothing else has happened, either. I think my grandfather was saying good-bye to me that night, through the horse.

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