October 30, 2013
She Called it The Wanderer
By: Dane Pecha
I played her game, and let her tell me who The Wanderer was. As we walked on that foggy October night, she told me the legend that she supposedly heard from classmate Tommy Hines. Frankly, I wasn’t too impressed. The gist of the tale concerns a man or a figure as she called it, wandering around our neighborhood, inviting himself in random houses and leaving without saying a word. That’s it. I was disappointed, I expected so much more from her.
We stopped at the light pole. It represented the halfway point between our two houses and would be the last place I’d see her until tomorrow morning. To avoid one of us walking home alone, we’d stop here and make mad dashes for our houses. Once we got home, we’d rush upstairs and turn our bedroom light on to let the other know we made it home safely.
My light ALWAYS went on first. I was fast. I’d even beat some of the boys at recess. My light went on again first that night. As we dashed off into the night I heard her yell something about The Wanderer. Good for her I thought, she was really trying to sell this. My mother worked nights at the hospital so I was home alone. I didn’t mind being alone at night, I was mature for my age and I loved the responsibility.
Moments after I got home and made my lunch for the next day, I was in bed reading. I was deep in some Steinbeck when I heard some footsteps downstairs. I took pause and sat up in my bed.
“Mom? Are you home?” The footsteps stopped for a moment and I waited to hear her voice. Not a sound. It was a pretty old house, and I was getting tired, surely I was just hearing things. Taking the hint, I shut it down for the night.
I was just on the verge of sleep when the footsteps came back. At first it sounded like someone was stumbling around downstairs. I called for my mother again and still heard nothing. Again I yelled, I just wanted to hear a familiar voice, instead I continued to hear footsteps. They grew louder. And now, they were coming upstairs. Since I had the only room on the top story, the stairs led right into my bedroom. I threw the covers over my head. Each footstep was deliberate; whoever was coming up those stairs wanted me to hear every step. My heart was racing; it’s the first time in my life that I can remember feeling my heart beat. I thought for sure I was going to die, surely whoever or whatever was walking up those stairs was going to kill me, just as long as my heart didn’t give out first. There was nothing I could do as the sounds reached the top of the stairs. Wrapped tightly under the sheets, my blood started to boil, anger took over for fear and now I just wanted to see the creep that was doing this. I was going to go out with a fight; the last thing I wanted was for my mother to find my lifeless body hiding under the covers. I was going to go out swinging. The first footstep reached my bedroom and I threw my covers off my body. My eyes darted around the room, and there it was staring back at me, nothing, absolutely nothing.
Adrenaline was jetting through my veins. I jumped out of bed and looked down the stairs, no one there. Rushing over to the window I now hoped to see Jeanie sprinting home after successfully scaring the snot out of me. Out of habit my eyes went to her bedroom window. Her bedroom lights the only sign of life in the neighborhood, neither confirming nor denying my theory that she was my night stalker. I rested my forehead against the window, replaying the events in the last minute when something catches my eye down below. There was a man walking away from my house, in no particular hurry. From the back I could only see a long black trench coat and an impressive looking black fedora with a bright purple feather tucked in the band of the hat.
My eyes were fixated on him as he strolled down the street. Of everything that happened that evening, I will never forget what happened next. It was as if he knew my eyes were transfixed on him because in one fluid motion he turned to face my window. He didn’t miss a step as he walked backwards looking up at me. At least I assume he was looking, I couldn’t be sure since the figure had no facial features. No mouth, eyes or nose, just a bright white head that shined brighter than the stars that night. He turned away and continued his confident stroll down the sidewalk. I couldn’t tell you where he went; he just wandered off into the nothing.
Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much that night. I must have peaked out the window at least 100 times that night. My mom didn’t believe a word I said, chalking it up to my vivid imagination and all those books I read. I didn’t expect her to believe me anyways. If anyone was going to believe me it would be Jeanie.
She was waiting in her usual spot as I came running down the street. As I got closer I started to say something when I froze.
“What’s wrong, Carol Ann?” she said, noticing what my eyes were stuck on. “Oh, do you like it? I found it this morning. Its looks cute, don’t it?”
She turned to the side to give me a better look of the bright purple feather she stuck horizontally into her hair bun.
October 29, 2013
A Visitor In the Night
By: Kiersten Sahlberg
Stupid train, I grumbled, lifting myself out of bed begrudgingly. This was one of the things I had forgotten to factor into my decision to move back into my parents’ house. The late night screeching of metal on metal has been a constant source of annoyance throughout my childhood.
I pulled the curtains back from the windows. The storm had really picked up since I fell asleep around ten. The rain was beating sideways and the trees were doubled over in a struggle to fight the wind. The clock glared the time at me, 1:27 AM. I forced myself to my feet, fighting the veil of exhaustion. I had one intention; water.
Stumbling, I made my way out of the bedroom and into the hallway. It was dark. Quiet. The walls were lined with portraits from the past as many household hallways are. I remembered as a child I had always felt discomfort making the trek to the kitchen late at night. I didn’t like the way my deceased relatives watched me, their eyes empty, following my every move.
I padded quickly past them. C’mon, I thought to myself, you’re 24 years old. Get a grip. Still, flipping the kitchen lights was a welcome relief from the darkness. I made a beeline to the sink and grabbed an empty glass from the counter, trying to avoid looking out of the window to the field in the backyard.
Suddenly, my eye was caught by something peculiar. The field was a blur of heavy fog. It was so thick that the flower pots on the patio, barely two feet from the window, were nearly indiscernible. The fog twisted and turned like smoke, unwavering and sinister. But hadn’t it just been pouring rain? It must have been a dream, I thought, pushing it out of my mind.
Without warning, the kitchen lights flicked off. I resisted the urge to let my silly childhood fear of the dark keep me from thinking rationally and took a deep breath. It’s no big deal, it was really storming out there, perhaps a tree fell on a power line. But when I glanced out again, there was no rain or wind. Just the fog, now inching closer to the windows, little wisps clawing at the window panes like fingers. I suddenly became aware of how eerily quiet it was. The hum of the refrigerator, the tick tock of the hallway clock, even my own shallow breaths seemed to be muted.
The pounding of my heart echoed inside my head, little beads of sweat forming in my palms. Quickly I dashed to the light switch and frantically switched it off and on again. Without protest, the light flipped on. A brief wave of relief washed over me followed quickly by the realization that the light had been turned off not by some electrical mishap, but by someone…or something.
I turned around, staring blindly into the hallway. The path to my bedroom seemed somehow longer and more ominous. I felt a prickle reach from the bottom of my back to the top of my neck. A soft scratching at the front door suddenly interrupted the quiet.
I stared at the door, paralyzed by the fear of what I might find either staring back at me through the peephole or waiting for me at the end of the long, dark hallway. In a snap decision, I bolted back through the hallway, avoiding the hollow stares from the portraits and jumping into bed before I could register the uneasy feeling in my stomach, the quickened beating of my heart.
That’s when I saw it. A figure, shadowed and grotesque, lurking at the foot of my bed.
It was a woman, her skin leathered and tight across her brittle arms, her white hair matted into knots against her face. She suddenly appeared to me as familiar.
“Gr-grandma?” I stammered, all at once relieved and confused. My grandma lived hours away, what was she doing here, and looking so worn?
She lifted her head and my heart stopped.
This face was not my grandma’s. The cheekbones were hollow and skeletal, her eyes sunken and glazed over, her lips cracked and bone white.
And then she smiled at me and the air went cold. The cracked lips turned into a wide grin that stretched across her face and her eyes pierced deep into me, registering no emotion.
“Come closer, Karel,” her voice dripped as she beckoned me slowly with her bony finger, “You’ve grown so big.”
I gasped awake. A pale dawn light peeked through the curtains. So it was all a nightmare.
I pushed my sheets aside and climbed out of bed, feeling oddly shaken from the experience. The portraits were much less intimidating in the morning light and I strolled past them with ease as I made my way to the kitchen. Mom was standing with her back to me in front of the sink, staring absent mindedly into the back field.
“Everything okay?” I asked. She slowly turned around and I knew something was wrong.
“I just got a call,” she said hollowly, “Your grandmother died last night.”
I felt myself go rigid.
“Wh-what?” I asked. “Do you know what time?”
Mom looked at me a little confused, slowly replying,
*This story was written by Kiersten Sahlberg. It is based off of true experience her mom had when she was younger. Hair, Makeup and pictures of me by Paige. Other model is Taylor. Be sure to check out yesterdays Halloween story, written by Dane, based off of a ghost experience my grandma had.
October 28, 2013
That Final Drive
By: Dane Pecha
I haven’t had a driver’s license since high school. My children, and eventually my grandkids always asked why, and I would tell them I didn’t need it. Or that I just let it expire... That was only half of the truth. My last night as a driver started off innocently enough. My friend Taylor and I had just picked up our dates for the homecoming dance. None of the guys had cars, so I was stuck driving everyone. I was bummed at the time, but it was for the best since I wasn’t ready to trust these guys to get us through the heavy, late October fog. I tried my best to socialize with the group, but navigating that fog was all I could concentrate on.
Another small fib I’ve told my grandkids is that I’ve never swore; I like to tell them it pollutes the air. And for the most part, I stay true to that. However, when that thing jumped out in front of the car, I let the expletives fly. My friends halted their yearbook club gossip.
“Did you see that?” I asked them. “I swear I just saw a hat and jacket FLOAT across the road."
Laughter filled the car.
“Come on Carol,” Taylor said.
“Probably just a giant owl, my dad saw one a couple weeks ago,” one of the boys chimed in.
Yeah it was foggy, but that was no owl. Tough to blame them though, if I didn’t see it I would have laughed too. It was eerie.
We were at the dance for a few hours, nothing memorable happened. We did the whole dance picture thing, and the guys couldn’t dance a lick, which was expected. If I wasn’t their ride home, we would have ditched them after the pictures. Nevertheless, the four of us crammed back in the car. Unfortunately, the fog had stuck around too.
As I sat behind the wheel, concentrating on the twists and turns of the road, the boys started getting under my skin. I was in no position to talk, and quite frankly, I couldn’t wait to drop them off. Did we want to get something to eat? Watch a movie? Cruise down main street? No, no and no. I was tired, cranky and these boys were starting to make my Norwegian blood boil. And for the record, you don’t want to get on the wrong side of a Norwegian temper.
Just when I was about to explode I slammed on the brakes. The boys got nervous and started apologizing.
“Shut up,” I said, as I pointed forward. I didn’t stop to yell at those boys. I stopped because the disembodied figure had appeared again.
“Do you believe me now?”
One of the boys broke the silence.
“So I think we’ll just go home now,” he said sheepishly. I ignored him. The figure started moving in our direction and that’s when Taylor lost it.
“Carol, drive, DRIVE!” she was hysterical.
That was probably the moment when I lost my cool too. You might think it’s silly to be running from something you’d find on a Macy’s clearance rack, but I’d like to see you keep calm when a paranormal phenomenon is happening six feet in front of your MAC covered face.
Tires squealed as I floored the accelerator. I was hoping to make it into town before it could catch back up, but Taylor’s shriek killed that thought. It was in full vision in the rear view mirror now, and gaining rapidly. The lost and confused movement patterns from earlier were now focused, fast and still hot on our tail. As hard as I tried, it was near impossible to keep myeyes on the road; they were fixated on what was going on in the rear view mirror.
The chase ended with a crash. It lasted no more than 30 seconds, but it felt like longer. With my eyes dancing back and forth and the three other sets all looking out back, that left really no one looking forward. Had someone been looking forward we could have seen the young girl slowly walking in the road. Instead, I saw her at the last possible second, giving me just enough time to jerk the wheel to the left to avoid her, and lose control of the car. We rolled the car multiple times, thankfully, we all had a seat belts on so we weren’t injured. The car on the other hand, totaled. We landed on the upside down, the four of us hanging from our seats by our seat belts. I wanted to believe someone was looking out for us that night, but we were still being chased by a disembodied object.
walking towards us. The closer they got I made out a content smile on her face. Her physical
body started to vanish, leaving only a dress, and those blood red shoes. Coat, hat, dress and
shoes then began to ascend as one.
*This story was written by my brother, Dane. You can follow him on twitter, @Dane67, for a good laugh and tell him I sent you. It is loosely based off of a ghost experience my grandma, Carol, had when she was younger. Pictures, hair and makeup by my cousin Paige and other model is my cousin Taylor.
October 25, 2013
Skirt & Tights || Forever 21
Sweater || Boutique in Newport Beach
Shoes || Target
October 22, 2013
this post when I mentioned I wanted a burnt orange cable knit cardigan? Well looky here what I got... from my moms closet! I had no idea she had this and just decided to look in there for other sweaters she might have and found this one. I was so happy! I also just bought this dress from H&M and I cannot get enough of it. You can remix it so many different ways. Definitely a staple in my closet now.
Dress || H&M
Sweater || Bass
Boots || Modcloth
Tights & Belt || Target
Necklace || Forever 21
Bow || Shop Pretty Lovely
October 21, 2013
Dress || Spool 72
Flannel, Belt, Tights & Boots || Target
Cardigan || Old
October 16, 2013
Whimsy Darling written by two lovely ladies, Paige & Alex. I love reading every single one of their posts, from the outfit posts to the DIY's. Take at look at their interview below, then wander on over to Whimsy Darling and say hello!
If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?
Paige - For a romantic (and maybe less personality based) answer I would say a willow tree. Not that I think I’m a “weeping willow”, but I love the beauty of the willow tree. I have also always loved “The Wind in the Willows”, so there’s a bit of bookish nostalgia involved in my choice.
Alex - I would be a cedar tree! At first I wanted to say evergreen because I am obsessed with the Christmas season, but I had to go with a cedar just because they are all over our neighbourhood in Toronto and I just think they are so pretty. I also just love the way they smell!
Which Disney Princess would you want to be for a day?
Paige - I would love to be Belle! Obviously if it was just for a day I would prefer not be Belle at the beginning of the story where she is chased by creepy men or locked in a semi-prison. If there was choice involved, I’d love to be Belle on the day she’s gifted an entire library! It’d feel pretty wonderful living in a semi-gothic enchanted castle too.
Alex - Does Pocahontas count? I’m going to say yes. This was an obvious choice for me because she was always my favourite as a child. I would always play “Pocahontas” outside and force my dog to follow me around so I could pretend that she was Meeko. My poor dog.
Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall?
Paige - Fall! I really wanted to cop out and say I love all the seasons, but if I had to choose, it’d be Autumn. I love this time of year because of the beautiful changing colours on the trees, and the amazing hiking weather it provides. I’ve always associated Fall with back to school, which makes me view it as the start of a new year. Probably for this reason, Fall usually involves some sort of drastic change in my style.
Alex - Spring! Hands down. There are so many things I love about spring. The smells, the melting snow, blooming flowers, the temperature… It’s just the perfect season.
If you were to design a clothing line, what would your inspiration be?
Paige - So many things come to mind! At first I wanted to say Jess from New Girl, or Zooey Deschanel in general, but that might run the risk of just copying her style completely. I think I have to go with the artist Gustav Klimt. Hopefully my clothing line would abstain from the nudity that Klimt seems somewhat drawn to, but I love the rich colour palette and tones he uses. For me, colour is everything and I love clothes that have that richness in colour or design that make it a little bit different.
Alex - Salvation Mountain in Palm Springs. I have never been before but it is at the top of my “to-go” list. It’s such an inspirational place for me. I love the bright bold colours that are used but mainly I just love the fact that someone who normally wouldn’t be considered an “artist” was able to create something so beautiful while throwing all the rules of art out the window. I would love to do something similar with a clothing line. Be inspired by the colours but also create things that don’t necessarily follow trends or fashion rules, just create whatever makes me happy.
You're hosting a dinner party, where would it be and whats on the menu?
Paige - Weather dependent I’d love to have a dinner party on my back deck/gazebo surrounded by twinkle lights. As for food, I’m really not a great cook, so I’d probably stick to a relatively raw menu (and probably ask someone to help me bbq up some meat). I’m really a salad gal so I’d have 2 or 3 salad options. I’d also probably make a few pies to satisfy my dessert fetish. Other than the food, drinks are so important! I love having a drink that fits the occasion and is a little bit creative.
Alex - It would definitely take place at my apartment. Does that sound lame? I am just such a homebody and love hosting guests at our place. As for the menu I don’t think I would have any big meal items but instead would stick to appetizers and cocktails. I absolutely hate cooking large meals, but love creating cheese trays and simple hors d’oeuvres to share with everyone. And of course there would be lots of cocktails. They are my favourite thing to come up with before a party.
October 15, 2013
those posts where I tell you, you should try on the clothes you have in your closet, often. This trench coat I bought when I was a sophomore in college and have worn only a handful of times. One day after wearing it, I got it stuck in my mind that it didn't look good anymore. And so it sat for a very, very long time. Until now. Having this blog, really makes me try on all of my old clothes and I love that. Its like I'm shopping my closet and finding new items that are actually pretty old.
Dress || Target
Boots & Tights || Forever 21
Trench || Old Navy
Necklace || Borrowed from my mom