Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Scary Side of Smoking

Admit it. This is scary...

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 an entertaining experience.
For so many reasons.

16 comments:

  1. You didn't mention that your two loving children did not fail to mock you at every opportunity for the next several days. "Oh! Oh! Watch out for The Man In Black!" "The Man in Black will get you!" Lovely children. Perhaps we should have pawned them off to The Man In Black . . . . .

    Anonymous Non-Mocking Husby-Figure

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Next several days?! You mean next several years!!!

      Delete
  2. Diane you are so hilarious! I would have done the same thing though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't worry. There's room under there for two of us to hide!

      Delete
  3. No no NO!! The first rule of scary stalkers is to never take your eyes off them!! That way they can't sneak up behind you!!

    There are disadvantages to having a good imagination :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Scary looking people in unexpected places scare the bejeebers out of us. I think we watch too much crime TV.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where's William Murdoch when you need him?!

      Delete
  5. I would have been right under that bed too. And if I had a gun I probably would have shot hubs in the butt when he entered.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Come on in! There's still room! Hmm . . . a gun . . .

      Delete
  6. I would have been back out of that room and downstairs at the speed of light, making a complaint at the desk. As soon as I could speak coherently that is. Scary moment. Smoking itself is scary. Sucking burning smoke into your lungs? Yech!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah. Coherent speech was definitely a bit of a problem for a while! And courage. I needed courage . . .

      Delete
  7. Hmmm...real spooky stuff. Thank God I gave up smoking decades ago so I don't run the risk of scaring the living bejabbers out of someone...all for a "coffin nail".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But think of the fun . . . Putting on a black hoodie. Scaring the snoo out of some hapless vacationer! :)

      Delete
  8. Popped over from Pearls blog was intrigued by your title. I laughed when I reached the end. Great story to tell the grandchildren someday:):) Broke smoker story come listen kids, I can hear it now:) B

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll definitely be doing that! Thanks you for stopping by! :)

      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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