There’s Something in the Backyard
And You’re NOT Going to Believe It
Not a typical night.
Not a typical night at all.
I know this going to sound crazy, but I’m going to tell you anyway.
In the summer of ’89 I had to attend summer school in order to receive my diploma. I was short one English credit.
No big deal, I lived 500′ away from Hammond High’s main entrance. I could wake up 10 minutes before school started and still make it on time.
Which I’ve actually done.
The rules on attendance were very strict. You were not allowed to miss more than two (2) days. If you missed three (3) or more days, you were disqualified from receiving any credit for that class. NO EXCEPTIONS!
I don’t sick often, but when I do…look out. I feel I’m on the edge of death when I get sick, especially with the flu – but in the summer? Who in the hell gets sick in the summer?
Oh, wait…I do now.
I used to never get sick – especially in the summer.
But of course, when I have to attend summer school, I get sick with a summer flu.
The summer flu…? Am I kidding?
I am not.
Thankfully, it started on a Friday night. Because when I awoke Saturday morning I thought I got hit by a truck. This wasn’t a hangover either (even if it was during the BEER HEISTS era)…it was death creeping up on me. I thought I might have had a touch of the stomach flu as well, because when I unloaded – man, I unloaded.
I was losing it out of both ends.
And at the same time too!
Trust me, it’s a disgustingly neat trick.
That Saturday Night
I shouldn’t have drank as much as I did the night before. All day Saturday I felt horrible. I couldn’t keep anything down. I was constantly on the toilet. I was freezing, but yet I was sweating as if I was burning up.
I was alone and I thought that I just entered the beginning stages of death.
I needed medication; some sort of medical attention, but I was clueless. I didn’t know what to do. By late evening, I realized that my dad wasn’t coming home and so I managed to gather enough sense to get off the living room floor and check the medicine cabinet.
But soon realized that we haven’t had anything in the medicine cabinet for quite some time.
I hunted through the kitchen cabinets, looking for anything that could ease my stomach and found nothing. I went for the cabinets above the stove – nothing.
Then something happened. Through the kitchen window I saw something that caught my attention. It moved across the backyard. The backyard light wasn’t on so it was hard to see clearly. It was large, stocky and low to the ground. I immediately thought it was a dog, but then I heard the rattle of the chain-link fence as if someone (or something) was trying to climb over it. Dogs don’t climb fences…do they? I tried to take a closer look, but the backyard was almost in complete darkness.
Whatever it was – it was gone now.
Later That Night
I still had no luck on finding any relief. I felt miserable. I couldn’t eat, drink or sleep. I eventually wandered into the kitchen to take another look in the cabinets. Again, I looked in the cabinets above the stove. Nothing.
I remembered that “thing” or whatever I saw move across the backyard. I moved the curtains even more off to the side and took another look. I decided to get a better look. I walked a few steps down to the landing and opened the back door. I stood inches away from the screen door and scoped things out.
There was the garage, the boat-house, the row boat…then I saw it. The street light in the alley gave the silhouette of what looked like a small husky figure wearing a horned helmet standing on the garage roof. I wasn’t sure, but it looked like it had a beard too. Before I could make ‘heads-or-tails’ of anything, it was gone. It must have ducked towards the back of the garage roof, becoming completely out of sight.
“What the…?” I said to myself. I thought, “Did I just see what I think I saw?”
I stood quietly and tried to listen for anything out of the ordinary.
But this is East Hammond, out of the ordinary is hard to distinguish.
Whatever it was, there was something definitely standing on the garage roof. Watching my toes, I quickly closed and locked the backdoor and ran back upstairs. I went to the back bedroom (which I called the “Red, White & Blue Room” for obvious reasons) and looked out the window which faced the backyard. Through this window, I had a better view of the garage roof, which I saw nothing.
Once again, whatever it was – it was gone now.
I still felt like crap Sunday morning. This was no hangover, I knew then that I was officially sick. I hardly slept because I kept tossing & turning. Not only because I wasn’t feeling well, but the thought of that ‘whatever-it-was’ on the roof really bothered me.
I know I saw a horned helmet.
I just know it.
I laid in bed and watched the sun rise and shine through the sides of the window shades. I finally got out of bed. It was 1 PM.
Yep, I’m sick.
Perfect. And I’ve got summer school the next day. Well, I might as well start the day.
I wore my sweat pants and a Hammond High School sweatshirt. I wandered out of my room and into the kitchen. I looked out the and noticed that the chain-link fence had been damaged. I pulled up my hood and got myself ready to go outside.
As I stood and looked at the fence I noticed that something had bent the chain link. It looked as if something heavy and/or strong climbed over the fence bending it all to hell.
My dad was going to be pissed.
Just when I was about to head back inside, I noticed a rather large boot print in the dirt/grass. This boot print (and several others) had tore up the grass as if someone were running through the yard. These prints were as long as mine, but were much wider.
My suspicions that I saw someone on the roof grew stronger.
Something wasn’t right.
Later that evening I spoke to Lisa and Brandy. They happen to be out-and-about with their friend Micky. I told them how sick I was, had nothing to treat it with and that I had school the next day. I wanted them to feel sorry for me – and it worked. They went to the drug store, bought me a BUNCH of stuff.
I didn’t tell them about what was going in the backyard, I figured I’d keep this to myself…for now.
Before bed, I loaded up on some over-the-counter medication and went to bed. My bedroom was at the front of the house, closer to the front yard. I slept with the side window slightly open. The sound coming from the traffic on Calumet Avenue I found soothing.
Not even fifteen (15) minutes in, I heard the chain link fence being rattled.
Once again, it sounded as if someone was trying to climb over it.
I mean, I heard it plain as day. But I just laid there with my eyes open and feeling heavy; listening to the clank and the rustle of the chain link fence. I didn’t care.
That’s because the NyQuil gel-caps I swallowed with a couple of chugs from the NyQuil bottle made it so that I was in no condition to go and investigate.
Good night, NyQuil.
In the END
I never found out what it REALLY was that was running around in the backyard. My dad never said anything about the fence being damaged when he came home a few days later. I wasn’t really sure if I should tell anyone…so I didn’t.
That is – until now.
I’ve wanted a war hammer ever since.