Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

Daughter of Ishmael

by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Smoking Can be . . . Scary

Admit it. This strikes terror into your heart!
Okay.
Maybe I overreacted.
Maybe.
We were on holiday.
In a foreign land.
France, to be exact.
And having a glorious time.
Our family had just finished an underground rafting trip.
Did I mention that we were under the ground?
Well we were.
And it was fantastic!
Feeling slightly euphoric, we had driven to our hotel and were unpacking in the parking lot.
Suitcases.
Food.
Other stuff that wasn't suitcases or food.
Our rooms were on the second floor.
One door opening from the long communal balcony into two separate units.
I dragged myself and my load up to the second floor.
Then looked back into the parking lot where the rest of the family was still in the process of unloading/loading.
There, standing in the very center of the lot was a young man, dressed completely in black.
Black hoodie pulled up over his head so that only his nose showed.
He was just standing there quietly.
Looking up at me.
It was . . . startling.
I stared back at him for a moment, then turning, shoved my key in the door and escaped into my room.
Throwing my load onto the closest bed, I took a quick look around.
Nice, quiet little room.
Two double beds.
Comfortable.
Then I walked over to the window.
And threw open the curtains.
The man in black was standing directly outside the window, now looking into my room.
I screamed.
I admit it.
He had been mysterious, standing down there in the parking lot.
Standing right outside my window, he was downright frightening.
And really, really creepy.
He made some sort of gesture, but I didn't notice.
I was too busy pulling the curtains shut and crawling under the bed.
Okay, so heroine material, I'm not.
My husby toted his burden of suitcases, etc. into the room a couple of seconds later.
And stared at me as I crawled out from under the bed.
“Ummm . . . looking for anything in particular?”
“No. That guy just frightened me,” I said, as calmly as possible.
“What guy?”
“The one dressed in black. Out there on the balcony.”
“There was a guy out on the balcony?”
“How could you miss him!” I demanded. “He was right there!”
My Husby walked across the room and whipped the curtains back.
I caught my breath.
Isn't this sounding mysterious?
There was no one there.
“But he was right outside! Looking into the room!” I stomped over to the window and peered out.
The man had disappeared.
“Huh. Weird.”
My husband was staring at me. “I think you were down in that cave too long,” he said.
I snorted.
I want to point out that it was a ladylike snort. Because I am a . . . oh, never mind.
When my kids arrived a few seconds later, I challenged them.
“Did you guys see the scary guy in black?”
They too, stared at me. “Scary guy in black?”
“Yeah. He was down there.” I pointed.
“Oh, you mean the one down in the parking lot who was trying to bum cigarettes?”
Cigarettes? Ahem. "Yes. That would be the one.”
“Yeah. We just told him we didn't smoke and he left.”
“Oh.”
So much for my scary encounter.
I had been hiding under the bed to escape a . . . broke smoker.
Holidaying can be such a learning experience.
But never quite the way you imagine it.

14 comments:

  1. Well yeah but what was he doing looking in your room? That's just a tad too pushy if you ask me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was like a scene out of a horror film. You look away and suddenly, the bad guy is right beside you. Eeek!

      Delete
  2. Strange....you are a great writer I was on the edge of my seat. Thank you so much for the sweet comment on my blog, I really appreciate the encouragement. I am heading to over there now to hop around and do some reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have a sweet blog! Thank you for letting me scare you!

      Delete
  3. The same reaction would be coming from this girl, too! Freaky. He'd probably have more luck if he didn't scare off people (well, except your kids.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See? You get it! My family just thought I was a wuss!

      Delete
  4. You are a great writer! And I believe you :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you lesa! With you and Trina, that's two who believe me!

      Delete
  5. I would have been frightened as well. I know one time we went to a hotel and my two guys went in and then went out. I followed behind them and came in a few minutes later, locked the door and while undressing, someone opened the door and walked in. Then saw me and ran out. That was a robber with a key and possibly someone who worked there. They knew my husband and son took the room and felt safe since they were at the pool and the room empty. But it wasn't empty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. I would have been back under the bed. Good thing he ran out!!! So scary!

      Delete
  6. How frightening. I would have been scared out of my mind too!

    Regina
    www.thecrazynutsmom.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad to hear you say that! My family just laughed at me. Mind you, I was under the bed when they did it . . .

      Delete
  7. I would have been scared to death! I'm so paranoid when it comes to creepy people when I travel anyway. I'm glad it was just a broke smoker. lol... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am paranoid, too. I think it comes from having such an active imagination, kindred spirit!

      Delete

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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