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MRS. WINSTON 
Night Crawler

Read Another Story from Dr Don!

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PHOTO CREDIT: SHADEN


By Dr Don Noyes-More Ph.D.


“I heard a shriek that is laden with sorrow, shrilling out her hard grief she cries out upon him who betrayed both her bed and her marriage.”  Euripides

 

      My family lived across the street from the Winston's. Mrs. Winston was a wispy sort of person; thin, 5'3", with light brown hair. Her face was thin and angular with a thin long nose and darting dark eyes that never looked directly at another human being. She was married to an executive who rarely found his way home during the week, preferring the company of other women to his wife. There were two daughters, 14, Yvonne, one younger girl, 10, named Judy, and a boy Mark who was 13. All the kids in my neighborhood got along well except for Mark who thought sexually exposing himself to the neighborhood was fun and endlessly variable. 

Mrs. Winston avoided talking if at all possible. She slept during most of the day but was awake and making dinner when the kids came home from school. Sometimes Yvonne and I would study together at her house. It seemed like the most silent place on earth.

Mrs. Winston often peered out her front window at night. No front lights were on and just the bare reflection of a street lamp illuminated her face. I would sit and watch her from my bedroom window. I would count out the minutes. Slowly she would open her front door then suddenly she would rush out on the front lawn half-naked. I was 14 years old and found her oddness interesting late night viewing, especially her  pointy breasts.

One night I saw the dull glow on her face through the window. Slowly she moved to the front door, the door opens. She leaves the door open and walks on the front walkway. She's doing something different. I can't see her anymore. She has gone to the rear of the house. Why? 

Next Day:

Yvonne tugged on my shirt while we stood in the cafeteria line at school, “We need to talk,” she said. “OK, after school, we'll walk home together,” I smiled at her and picked up a plate of food. We met at the side gate, Yvonne was looking sad and dejected, “What's up?” I ask. "My mom, she's acting real strange, she creeps through the house all night long. She keeps everyone awake. I told her the whole story about watching her mom late at night. Yvonne sadly responded, “She talks to snails too, honest! She lays down in the back yard and crawls on her stomach, talking to the snails in the garden, naked!” We both laughed, but it's a sad and tense laughter.

“She needs some kind of help, psyh,..psych,...ologist type help.” I said. Yvonne looked at me tearfully, “You telling me my mom is mentally ill or something?” We said nothing else the entire walk home. There was nothing else to be said. We were two friends in a sea of craziness. 

Friday, 1:30 AM:

I am determined to see Mrs. Winston talk to the snails. I wait and wait. Finally I see her face look out the window. The front door opens, out she comes, fully naked! She goes around the house to the backyard. I have my jeans and T-shirt on. I jump away from the window and sneak out the front door. I run across the street and around the Winston house towards their backyard. I turn the corner of the house looking into the back yard. I'm in hot pursuit. 

There next to the garden was Mrs. Winston on her stomach, naked and covered in wet dirt. She was talking to unseen things in the garden bed. The yellowish glare of a dim back porch light bathed her body in a jaundice of insanity. “No one is going to hurt you,” she whimpers. “I'll take care of you. Don't worry, don't worry, you have a friend.” She starts to softly cry, wrapping her arms around her  dirty, wet, yellowed body, rocking slowly. “Don't worry everything is going to be OK, you'll see, all OK, all OK, all OK, all OK, allok........okokokokokokokok.” I ran away, I had seen this all before.

 

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