Call it a moment of temporary insanity. Or one two many drinks during my daughter’s birthday sleepover. No matter. It won’t change what happened last night.
It began with Truth or Dare. I stood outside the room eavesdropping on pre-teen banter. There was nothing unusual coming from behind the door. “Do you like Tommy Shields?” “Make a prank phone call and act like you’re British.”
As a matter of fact, it wasn’t even unusual to hear the next dare. “Go to the bathroom and call Bloody Mary.” Whispers. Nervous giggles. A dozen scampering feet running towards the bathroom.
In the silence that followed, I realized I had forgotten to breathe. It was only a moment before a heard the shriek. Grabbing the door handle I began to turn, only stopping when I recognized the sound of hysterical laughter. Breathing out, I let go of the door knob, chuckled and went to pour that final drink.
My bedtime didn’t come until the girls were finally asleep. Once in my pajamas, I began to turn down the sheets and hesitated just a moment. Straightening up, I glanced towards the bathroom door. Smirking, I gathered my courage and headed to the powder room.
Biting my lip and squinting just a bit, I rummaged through my memories to find the correct steps.
Turning off the light, I began without hesitation. The words tumbled out of my mouth with ease. “Bloody Mary.” Dutifully, I spun once in a circle. The second time I was surprised to feel my throat tighten. “Bloody Mary.” Feeling a tiny bit wobbly I nervously chuckled to myself and spun a second time.
Slightly avoiding direct eye contact with the mirror, I whispered the final chant… “Bloody Mary.” Halfway through the last turn I remember thinking, “Did the girls know to spin three times?”
Finishing rotation number three I kept my eyes closed, hearing blood roaring through my ears. I might not have held my breath if I’d known there were only a few respirations left in my forty year life.
Slamming my eyes open, my heart pounded out of my chest. For there in front of me was Mary herself. She was frozen in place, with blood flowing down her face and skin sliding off her long fingertips.
I didn’t feel the first slice of her nails down my face, nor the tiniest sensation as my eyeball slid out of it’s now empty socket. But I felt the second slice as pain seared towards the back of my brain. Through the very marrow of my bones, actually.
No, the girls must not have known to spin three times. But I knew. In a single moment of temporary insanity, I showed the world I knew.