View Full Version : When have you been most scared? (Possibly TMI)
10-17-2003, 07:32 AM
I saw a thread on Snopes about this, and it was something I’d been meaning to ask, so eh. When was the most terrifying moment of your life, and why?
I can only think of a couple (thank goodness):
- First driving test. I wept and wept. Of course, I failed. I was SO happy to get out of that car.
- One night alone in my room I was absolutely convinced someone else was in with me, breathing. I sat up in bed, thinking that I must have imagined it. I heard the breathing sound again. I was so scared I wanted to vomit, and suddenly understood why people do that in movies when they see a dead body.
Yes, mine are pretty crap and not very serious. Got any better ones?
10-17-2003, 07:58 AM
Most scared? hmm.. Having been laid off and out of work for 11 months was the most scared I've been. Having 2 kids, wife, house, etc... and no idea when I'd get a job scared the crap out of me. It's still affecting me in numerous ways even though I am employed now.
I've been in scary situations (hit by a car, chemical plant fire, demo work) before, but nothing had the profoundly disturbing effect that being laid off did.
Knighted Vorpal Sword
10-17-2003, 08:07 AM
Going down the hall on a stretcher to the OR for 4 coronary bypasses. I was fine until then, but that long ride while staring up at the lights really got to me. And this was after the Demerol!
10-17-2003, 08:44 AM
Walking across a bridge that spanned a gully in my backyard, and discovered that stick I was about to step on was actually a snake.
I backpedaled like mad. Fortunately it was only a king snake, a harmless-to-humans breed that eats other snakes, but I didn't want to stick around long enough to make sure.
10-17-2003, 09:07 AM
Another hospital one here. Probably the most scared I've been (that I can remember) is going in for lower spine surgery.
10-17-2003, 09:18 AM
I've never been so scared in my life than when my husband went thru a big tdepression not that long ago. I was 100 times scarier to me than any car accidents or things like that. I wouldn't wish that feeling to my worse enemy.
10-17-2003, 09:25 AM
Two times come immediately to mind, and they both involve my kids! The first time, we were at Busch Gardens Tampa, and I was in The Land Of Dragons (play area for toddlers) with my youngest daughter, who was two at the time. For about 15 minutes, we couldn't find her, and I was terrified that she had somehow gotten out of the area (there was only one entrance/exit from that area to prevent that kind of thing from happening), and was wandering around the park, which is huge. The other was when my 16-year-old ran away. For about 4 hours, we didn't know where she was, and I was utterly terrified. Thinking that my children may be coming into harm's way makes everything scary that came before look like small potatoes, including the time my urologist thought I might have a cancerous tumor on my right kidney (it was a false alarm).
10-17-2003, 09:39 AM
I've got two kid-related ones too...
1) The one year old was playing in his sandbox and I went inside to answer the phone. A minute, maybe two, later and kiddo was no longer in the yard and the gate was hanging wide open. As far as I knew he couldn't work the latch so I had this immediate vision of some pervo snatching him. I was instantly hysterical, running around trying to see him, not wanting to go in the wrong direction and miss him somehow. A neighbor ended up having him--he'd seen him walking down the sidewalk and brought him up on his porch. Longest three minutes of my life. I cried like a baby when I saw he was safe.
2) In labor with kiddo #2, at the pushing stage. Suddenly, I realized that the doctor and nurses had gotten really quiet and were bustling around, punching buttons on the monitors and whispering. Then the doc says, very serious, "We've lost the heartbeat." Next thing I know they're running me down the hall to an OR for an emergency C-section. I just kept thinking about how much I had regretted getting pregnant, and how my punishment for not being grateful was going to be to lose this baby right when I realized how much I actually wanted him. All turned out OK--the docs pulled out a scrappy little guy with a very short cord wrapped twice around his neck. He was blue, but revived quickly and is now a perfectly healthy four-month-old.
10-17-2003, 09:39 AM
Twice, I've been really scared a few times.
Once, when I had a temporary job painting old-fasioned overhead suspension bridges owned by the county on back country roads. Everything was done with buckets, brushes, and ladders. I was high atop the bridge, straddling an I-beam and scooching backwards as I painted. As often happens in that part of the country, a sudden thunderstorm brewed up. So, here I am, the highest object in the area, sitting on steel in rain, gusty wind, and lightning. It took a while to get over to a ladder and climb down. I was shaking when I finally got my feet back on the deck.
It's been my experience that fear only has a hand in things when you have time to think about the situation. Most everybody seems pretty courageous when there must be immediate action w/o time for much thought.
10-17-2003, 09:41 AM
Crap. The "twice" should be edited out of the above. I was going to tell another ancecdote, but decided against it. Too verbose already.
10-17-2003, 09:42 AM
I have already posted on the Snopes thread. The most terrifying time in my life was waiting for my father or his body to be found after we heard from a co-worker of his and his therapist that he had called implying that he was going t ofinally kill himself after 7 years of major depression.
10-17-2003, 09:44 AM
What happened to your father?
Once, when I was 6 I was lost in FAO Schwartz for about half an hour. Scary for a six year old.
10-17-2003, 11:38 AM
I have two.
1) Three months shy of my tenth birthday, I had major spine surgery. I remember being wheeled into the operating room and seeing the equipment they were going to use -- for some reason, they didn't sedate me first. Scary stuff.
2) During the Northridge earthquake in 1994. I was SO scared I couldn't make a sound. I was waiting for the ceiling to fall and kill me just so I wouldn't be so damn scared.
10-17-2003, 11:51 AM
One time when my dad came to pick my brothers and me up for his biweekly visitation, my stepfather tried to pick a fight with him. My dad wouldn't bite, as he didn't want to freak us out any more than necessary. We got in my dad's car and he proceeded to leave. My stepfather jumped in his pickup and tried to run my dad off the road. Apparently, it didn't matter that we were in the car as well. Luckily nobody got hurt, but both sides had considerable damage to their cars.
10-17-2003, 01:00 PM
I lost my son for a few minutes at a family reunion at my parent's house. It was one of those situations where there are so many adults around, you assume *someone* is watching him, when in fact no one is. My parents live on a lake--I feared the worst. We found him on the beach at my neighbor's house, picking up rocks.
I was whitewater rafting on the Gauley in WV and a boat ahead of us flipped over. Nobody could reach one of the older guys and he went through a rough part of the river which our guide said he'd never seen anyone go through as a 'swimmer.' We went after him and when we got him into our boat, I thought he was dying. We all did. I was terrified. Plus there was nowhere to go, no way to get help. I just wanted off the damn boat but we had to keep rowing (for quite a ways) before we could be picked up. I didn't want to go through any more rough water but we had a lot ahead of us. Incidentally, the guy perked up and got his color back and ended up fine.
10-17-2003, 01:46 PM
I once broke my wrist in a snowboarding accident. I was 14 or so. The dumb part was that I'd sat around at the top of the lift with a couple other people until after the lift closed and everyone got off the mountain. (This is the same way that Kennedy kid died a few years ago, IIRC.) They were all ahead of me, and I was sitting halfway down a mountainside with a busted wrist.
I got up and rode really cautiously to the bottom, then went to the ski clinic and got it X-rayed and put in a cast, and I was fine. But it was pretty scary sitting up there, watching it get dark, knowing that I'd broken a bone, and if I didn't strap myself back in and get to the bottom of the slope, I might be up there for god knows how long. I was on a pretty isolated part of the mountain.
Besides, it could have been way worse. I narrowly avoided landing squarely on my head.. :eek:
10-17-2003, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by Ilsa_Lund
What happened to your father?
He shot himself and died. This was about two years ago. The horrible thing though was he just left the house that morning like he was going to work but instead drove a couple hours up to some woods , calling the therapist and co-worker on his way up there. Also, we let the police know that day what the circumstances were but they did not find his body until 4 days after he had actually done the deed. The reason they finally found it was because someone tried to siphon (sp?) gas out of his car which had been by the side of the road for those for days then they kind of searched from there I guess and came upon the body in the woods.
10-17-2003, 01:53 PM
I nearly got stuck in a dark cave once when I was about 16 or 17. Two other friends and I decided to explore a cave. As we went farther back the walls got closer and closer until we were reduced to ducking and then crawling. Eventually we had to go single file through the narrowing tunnel. Being somewhat clausterphobic, I decided to head back while my two more adventurous friends continued on. All I had was a pocket disposable flashlight. About halfway back to the exit my flashlight suddenly failed and I was stuck in complete darkness. I knew I was going the right direction and the ground was fairly flat, but not being able to see anything while in an enclosed and unfamiliar environment really freaked me out. I was too far from my other friends for them to have heard me as I yelled for them. I frantically beat on the side of the flashlight hoping to revive it (I didn't think the batteries had gone dead since it was glowing bright enough before failing). I managed to bring it back to life just long enough for me to get back to the exit.
10-17-2003, 01:57 PM
I have two most scary instances but both have to be told to explain the full horror.
1. I had a stroke over two years ago. I had a really bad headache while I slept and when I woke up, my body didn't work. My parents found me on the bathroom floor. I was so out of it and in such pain that I wasn't really aware of what was happening. After the emergency room MRI, the doctor broke the news to me and my family that I had a stroke. Then, he asked me to move my leg. I looked at my leg, tried, and nothing happened. Being trapped in a non-functioning body and not knowing if you'll ever recover is horrible and scary.
2. After nine months, I had a procedure to correct the defect in my heart that allowed me to have a stroke. The plan was once my heart hole was plugged, I can go off the horrible blood thinners and just take aspirin the rest of my life. The afternoon after my procedure, I started having migraines and lost partial vision in one eye. The doctors thought I was having another stroke. The despair and fear I felt that day almost broke me. No matter what choices I made, I was destined to suffer. No matter that I survived a massive stroke, I'll have to through that horror again. Luckily, it turned out not to be a stroke. The heart hole is connected to aura migraines so once it got plugged, it gave one last migraine.
10-17-2003, 06:31 PM
Telling my non-roommate to move out, knowing he's an irresponsible, hot headed bastard, who keeps a loaded pistol in his room.
10-18-2003, 03:04 AM
When I was 16 I was home alone on Halloween. My father had passed away the previous year from cancer and my mother was out with friends at a party, my sister was spending the night at a friend's house with a bunch of other girls. I get a call at about 10 o'clock at night and it's the mother of my sister's friend telling me that my 14 year old sister had just been hit by a car and was at the hospital. Now... I know where my mother SHOULD be but this was shortly before cell phones became all that common so I have to call my grandmother and hunt down my mother and get to the hospital to see what shape she's in. It was pretty friggin scary.. both the worry about her and the dread of having to tell my mother who had been through so much what had happened.
So... my sister was out trick or treating and was wearing black from head to do (but with reflective strips) and a minivan going about 35 or so hit her. The driver had been drinking and my sister cracked the windshield and was thrown several feet from the car. She suffered a compound fracture of her shin and some minor cuts and bruises. It could have been ALOT worse. It was still pretty friggin scary.
10-18-2003, 05:00 AM
When my son was 2, he was playing across the street with some other kids. I came out to check on them and he saw me. He started to run toward me while a car came up the street. There were parked cars and I knew the driver of the car couldn't see him. I started screaming "Stop Stop," not caring if the driver or my son heard me. Luckily, my son stopped running.
More recently, I was actually scared by a dream. I dreampt that my wife and I had stopped a convenience store with our kids and two nieces. I went in to get some stuff but kept forgetting what I was supposed to get. The next thing I knew, I was driving in my car alone. I went home and my wife had told me that I ran out of the convience store. The neighbor told me I had run up and jumped into my car and took off. I couldn't remember any of it and it petrified me that I couldn't.
I woke up with that "thank God, it was just a dream" feeling.
10-18-2003, 05:04 AM
The most scared I've ever been was when I was really ill and no one knew what was wrong with me. My legs were going numb, I was having trouble speaking, I felt paralyzed at times....All pretty scary stuff. I thought for sure I had M.S. or something far worse. I remember my sister was trying to get me to watch a movie to take my mind off of things... and I couldn't feel my legs and I just wanted to start screaming because I was so, so terrified....Turns out I had/have Late Stage Lyme Disease. I'm much better now, but those are not nice memories...gah!
10-18-2003, 08:18 AM
It all started my senior year in high school, when my friend Loopy got his girlfriend knocked up.
The pinch came when they were deciding what to do about it. Loopy already had his future mapped out and he loved Shiela more than anything else on God's green earth, and he felt more than a little foolish for havin' jumped the gun on things.
...and he was also a little nervous.
There was one major fly in the ointment. The Roman.
The Roman was a local rancher. He was Shiela's father. And he was one major league tough sonofabitch. He was one of those guys you'd get John Wayne to play in the movies, and he was the kind of guy they had to invent John Wayne to portray in the first place. He was legendary among my generation. We all knew quite well that he'd shot fifty or sixty wetbacks who'd tried to rob his ranch house over the years, and that even in his fifties, he could still bench press an enraged Brahma bull, and that he didn't even bother treating rattlesnake bites any more, since he'd had so many he was immune by now, and that he'd once brought down a dope smuggling plane that dared to overfly his property by SHEER FORCE OF WILL.
You did NOT fuck around with the Roman.
And Loopy had gone and knocked up his only daughter. You can't blame Loopy for being a little concerned.
What to do? He could just ASK the Roman for his daughter's hand in marriage... but that would be putting off the inevitable. Either the Roman would ask "what's the rush," or he'd simply put two and two together when his grandchild was born, seven months after the wedding. Loopy didn't THINK the Roman would simply murder his son-in-law, right there on the spot... but... well... this was the Roman we were talking about. The man had been known to use tarantulas for target practice when he was bored. His house had more guns in it than some South American countries do, and when one has found that some no-account roughneck has gone and impregnated one's baby darling child, well, sometimes one acts without THINKING, and what was the likelihood that there would NOT be a loaded firearm within reach... in the Roman's house?
Plainly, a weighty matter.
And this was how I became involved. One day during lunch, Loopy approached me and asked me to be his second in an affair of honor.
I said, "Huh?"
And Loopy filled me in on the Shiela situation... and what he intended to do about it. He was going to go out to the Roman's house, this very evening, and have a man-to-man talk with the Roman about what had happened, and what he, Loopy, intended to do about it.
"Nice knowin' you, man," I replied.
"No, no, you don't get it, " he said. "I want you to come with me."
"And dive in front of the Roman when he tries to kill you?" I asked. "I don't think I like that plan, Loop."
"It ain't like that," said Loopy. "I mean, I'm gonna take the rap for whatever happens here. It's my fault, and I know that, and I mean to tell the Roman about it, to his face. He'll respect that. He won't LIKE it, but he'll respect it."
"Will he respect it enough that he doesn't, like, rip your head off and shove it up your dying asshole, right there on the spot?" I inquired.
"I think he will," said Loopy. "I mean, Shiela loves me, and I love her, and the Roman knows it. We've been goin' together since we were sophomores. Hell, he probably suspects somethin's up as it is -- he's no dummy."
"So where do I fit in?" I asked.
"You're there in case he loses his temper."
"Ah," I replied. "So you DO want me to dive in front of him when he tries to kill you."
"Uh," said Loopy, "not quite. Y'see, I also asked Weeble to come along."
"Well, it's flattering to think that YOU think that Weeble and I, together, could take the Roman right after you tell him you've been porking his daughter," I said uncertainly. The Roman, all exaggeration aside, stood some six feet four or five and probably weighed as much as Weeble and I put together. Maybe he couldn't quite bench press a bull, but I had no doubts he could quite likely kick the shit out of Weeble and I without working up much of a sweat, particularly if he was in a bad mood.
"No, no, NO!" said Loopy, exasperatedly. "There isn't gonna BE no fight! That's what YOU'RE all about!"
"Goddammit, the Roman KNOWS you! You're in the PAPER!"
"I repeat: huh? I write for the newspaper, sure. This will keep the Roman from killing all three of us without stopping to take his smoke out of his mouth?"
"It'll make him stop and THINK, dammit!" said Loopy. He spoke with a hint of desperation in his voice... and I really began to realize at that point that Loopy really was scared about this. "The Roman's no fool. He might well beat the shit out of me, but there's no way in hell he's gonna kill anybody in front of witnesses, especially one who works for the local paper!"
I thought about it. He did have a point. On the other hand, the Roman owned a great deal of land, much of which was difficult to access, and any portion of which would have been dandy for a selection of unmarked graves, and I said so.
Loopy sighed. "I... shit, man, I ... I don't know what to say. I know he won't get THAT crazy. I mean, he KNOWS me. He knows YOU. And I'm countin' on that. Hell, I don't think he'll actually do anything any crazier than deckin' me, even if I go by myself. I'm just askin' you to come along as insurance. But if you won't come, I can't make you. But I'm beggin' you to come, if it'll make any difference."
I had to stop and think at that point. Loopy was a proud guy, and the fact that he was begging made quite a difference. I could plainly see that he was scared, too. And we'd been friends for quite a while.
On the other hand, I'd never seen the Roman angry, and I didn't particularly want to.
On the other hand... well... Loopy was right. Maybe my presence would keep the Roman from doing anything we'd all regret later. And how likely, really, was he to want to do anything to ME? I'd never even touched his daughter.
"All right, Loop," I said. "I'm in. But you're gonna owe me for this one."
That night, we drove out to the Roman's place, all four of us, jammed into the cab of Loopy's pickup... Loopy, Me, Shiela, and Weeble (so named because he wobbled, but never fell down).
The more I thought about this situation, though, the more I hoped Loopy's faith in the Roman's good sense and patience wasn't misplaced. Weeble and Loopy were the best of friends, and Weeble would gladly walk into Hell with Loopy if Loopy asked him to... but Weeble stood six foot two and weighed maybe a hundred and twenty pounds, and even when he flexed his biceps, you had to hunt for the bulge. Furthermore, his habitual posture made him look like something you'd squeezed out of a tube onto a toothbrush. I liked Weeble just fine... but he wouldn't have been my first choice of backup if I'd thought I was going to get shot.
Shiela had no worries at all. She was quite certain her daddy would understand everything. Her only concern was the fact that they were... well... they WERE kinda "springin' it on him." She was quite certain that he would not so much as raise a hand to Loopy, though.
Loopy was very quiet during the entire drive. We finally reached the main gate of the Roman's spread, and turned onto the dirt road leading up to the main house, and pulled up in front. Loopy stopped the truck, and killed the engine.
"I'm gonna do this alone," he said.
Weeble and I both looked at each other, then at Loopy. "What?"
"I said, I'm gonna do this alone," Loopy repeated.
We all looked at Loopy for a minute. "Are you sure?" Weeble asked.
"Yeah," said Loopy. "I've been thinkin' about this all the way out here. The more I think about it... the more it sounds... wrong, somehow. I mean, how would YOU feel if some guy came out to ask YOU if he could marry your daughter...but he brought a couple of guys with him, just in case you decided to kick his ass?"
"That would depend entirely on my reasoning," I said. "Is there some reason I'd want to kick his ass? If he knocked up my daughter, I might well think he was wise to bring some backup."
Shiela gave me a dirty look.
Weeble nodded sagely.
"Well," said Loopy, "he may just kick my ass to the dogs and back, but he's not gonna shoot me. He's not going to do anything crazy with Shiela in the room."
"How much of your ass are you willing to bet on that?" asked Weeble. Me, though, I suspected Loopy was right. It had never occurred to me that Shiela would be standing right there when Loopy made his pitch, and no sane father is going to try to murder anyone with his li'l girl standing right there. I began to realize I'd been dragged all the way out to the Roman's place for nothing. Well, maybe not nothing. Moral support, if nothing else.
"I'm gonna go in alone," he said. "Me and Shiela. I'd appreciate it, though, if you guys would stick around, maybe on the porch. Just in case."
Weeble and I nodded solemnly. Anything for a buddy.
And so Shiela and Loopy entered the dragon's den, and Weeble and I sat down on the Roman's expansive front porch to wait.
I should have known that a discussion like this wasn't going to get cleared up anytime soon. Duh. I hadn't brought a book, or anything, and even if I had, the gathering darkness would have made it impossible to read the thing. Weeble and I talked a little, but keeping our voices down; after all, if Loopy wanted the Roman to think he'd come alone, making noise would be counterproductive. That, and it might get us shot as trespassers or something.
The time dragged. I hadn't even brought a watch, so the only way I had any clue what time it was was by the darkening of the sky to black, and shortly the moonrise. It had to have been at LEAST an hour, and we hadn't heard any screaming or gunfire yet. This had to be a good sign.
I found an old wicker chair, and sat down. In time, I leaned the chair back against the front of the house, and closed my eyes and drifted, a bit. Weeble, on the other hand, was soon the object of some interest on the part of one of the Roman's hound dogs, who had come up on the porch to investigate the strangers, and maybe get scratched behind the ears. Weeble was agreeable, and before long, he began amusing himself by pitching a stick into the yard, which would send the hound galumphing after it, jowls flapping in the wind.
This went on for what seemed like another hour.
The hound, though, did not get tired of the game. Just the opposite. When Weeble tried to ignore the stick after having it brought to him, the dog began to prance around, and wuffle and chuff and finally, to bark. Finally, Weeble grabbed the stick and threw it, just to shut the dog up. The dog joyfully launched himself back out into the yard, fetched the stick, and ran back to Weeble... who tried ignoring the dog... who pranced, and whuffled, and BARKED... whereupon Weeble would throw the stick again.
...until Weeble finally refused to throw the damn stick any more.
Whereupon the dog pranced, and whuffled, and barked some more.
Weeble ignored him some more.
The dog began to howl.
Weeble crossed his arms and ignored the dog some more.
The dog put his paw on Weeble's knee and hooowwwwwled for more playtime.
INTERMISSION: INSIDE THE HOUSE
Loopy tossed back the bourbon. He wasn't used to it, but he wasn't about to admit that to the Roman. Things were going far, far better than he could possibly have hoped, and he wasn't about to screw THAT up.
"…And I know this can't have been easy for you to do," continued the Roman. "I want you to know that I respect you for it. You're sure this is what you want to do?"
Loopy and Shiela looked at each other. Shiela beamed. Turning back to the Roman, they both nodded.
"Well, I can't say this is exactly how I would have had it happen," said the Roman, "but you have chosen the honorable way of doing things, and no mistake. So long as you hang in there for my baby girl, I won't stand in your way. Is there anything else I can do? If you're looking for a job, I could use a solid ranch hand, but I'll understand if you don't quite wanna go to work for your father-in-law. I was the same way when I was your age."
"I thank you, sir," said Loopy, "but money's not a problem. I have a fine fat bank account, and a great job out on the rigs. I've been saving up for this; I just didn't expect it to be quite so soon. Still, it's going to be quite a while before we're hurtin' for money. Not that we'd turn down baby clothes." He grinned. This really was just going too well, despite the bourbon burning in his stomach. Next to him, Shiela was absolutely radiant.
The Roman slapped his knee and laughed. "You're likely to get some," he chuckled. "It'll give your new mother-in-law an excuse to go shopping!"
…and the conversation continued, alive with joy and new possibilities… until, out at the front of the house, the dog began to bark… and finally, to howl.
Abruptly, the Roman shifted from pleased grandpappy to Rancher Mode. "Someone's out front," he growled, standing up. The gun rack was within arm's reach of his easy chair, and the Remington was in his hand before he was completely out of his seat. The Roman was not as harsh a man as his reputation might suggest… but his spread wasn't far from the Mexican border, and between the occasional dope smuggler and desperate illegal immigrant, he had learned to keep his ears open after dark… and his guns loaded and at hand.
"Oh, Daddy, that's just Weeble and Wang-Ka," laughed Shiela.
"Um," said Loopy, uncomfortably. "They're friends of mine. They're waiting out on the porch."
The Roman looked puzzled. "You brought friends? Why'n't you invite them in?"
Loopy opened his mouth to reply… and stopped. Shiela's face took on an "oh, dear," kind of look.
The Roman, as mentioned earlier, was not a stupid man. "Felt the need for a little backup, did you?"
"Um," said Loopy. "Well… y'know, I came out here not really knowin' how you were, um, gonna, um, respond to all this. I mean, you know, it's all kind of sudden, you know?"
The Roman looked bumfuzzled for a moment… and then grinned. "Thought I might decide to march my new son-in-law to the preacher at gunpoint, did you?"
"NO, Daddy," sighed Shiela, rolling her eyes, "but you DO have a reputation in town, you know. You OUGHT to know. Spent your whole life BUILDING it."
Loopy looked sheepish, and said nothing.
"Well!" said the Roman. "So you brought backup… and then decided to come in and face me alone, at the last minute. Not sure whether to think you're clever or crazy. Damn, son, did you really think I was going to shoot you?"
"Well, naw," said Loopy, "but, well, you know, I wood'na been surprised if you'd have maybe lost your temper… and, well… y'know, Wang's a good-sized fellow, and I figured if I brought a couple of witnesses along, you might not get TOO crazy in front of them."
Outside, the dog barked, and barked, and hoooowled.
"Might not get too crazy in front of witnesses, you say?" said the Roman, as his grin grew wider…
On the porch I sat, leaning back in the old wooden chair, my cap drawn down over my eyes. "Dammit, Weeble, can you shut that damn dog up? The last thing I wanna do is louse things up for Loopy right now."
"Tired of playin' fetch with this damn dawg," said Weeble. "How about you play fetch with him for a while?"
…and the front door of the Roman's house exploded open with a KA-WHAM!
Framed in the burning light of the doorway was the Roman, all fourteen feet of him, wielding a mighty Remington pump-action shotgun that was about the size of an atomic cannon...
10-18-2003, 08:20 AM
Fortunately, the door had swung the other way, and I had not been behind it when it hit the front of the house. Unfortunately, the Roman had startled the hell out of me, and when I jerked, the chair's legs promptly slid out from under me. I struggled to catch my balance, and managed to accidentally shove my arm through the wicker chair back right before I fell on my ass.
Standing on the porch in the moonlight, Weeble's eyes got as big as softballs.
"Oh, fuck a DUCK!" he screamed.
The Roman jacked a shell into the chamber.
Ever see one of those Looney Toons cartoons, where one minute the Roadrunner is standing there, and then the next, there's just a little puff of dust? This is actually possible, although the only time I've ever actually seen it done was right then and there, because Weeble did it.
Meanwhile, I struggled to get up. What the hell? My left arm was hung up in the back of the chair, and my left leg had slipped through the rungs below the seat, and I couldn't get any leverage, and I couldn't get UP!
The Roman slowly turned his head to look at me. The barrel of the shotgun might have moved a hair in my direction.
To this day, I don't know what happened. One minute, I was hung up in a broken wicker chair, flat on my back on the Roman's porch, and the next, I was sailing over the porch rail, and I hit the ground running. Furthermore, I had somehow managed to do this with the broken chair still wrapped around me, because my left leg was still hung up in it, and I was not able to use it to run.
So how was I running? Goddamned if I know. I seemed to be making pretty good time, though, and it didn't much seem like a time to ask questions. I do remember that when I slowed down every so often, I seemed to be using my right HAND to push off from the ground…
Up ahead, I saw Weeble, running like hell, making for the treeline. It didn't occur to either of us to try Loopy's truck; both of us were quite sure that if the Roman had come out to get us, Loopy was quite dead, and he still had the keys.
However… this was a cattle ranch. In deep south Texas. The Roman had spent years getting the mesquite trees cleared off his land, and in that part of Texas, there ARE no other trees to speak of. The treeline was some two hundred yards away, up by the road!
This didn't seem to bother Weeble, whose feet I don't think actually touched the ground since he left the porch. I did notice that he was running in a straight line, though, which was bad, because--
A shotgun, when discharged, makes a very characteristic sound, a kind of sharp, hollow explosion. My ghod, the Roman was actually--
Up ahead, I heard Weeble scream. Oh, holy SHIT--
Weeble had leaped a good five feet in the air, and arched his back. I was quite sure he would hit the ground rolling, dead--
Nope. He hit the ground running like a deadbeat dad on Father's Day. Still in a straight line, though.
Fuck THAT, I thought, and began zigzagging like mad. If the Roman was gonna try and kill me, goddamned if I was going to make it EASY for him…
Weeble screamed and leaped again. I was sure he was hit THIS time. But, no, he hit the ground running again, and KEPT running.
Weeble screamed and leaped AGAIN, and hit the ground running again…
…and in the distance, I heard the Roman. Laughing.
Ghod damn, I thought, a man is trying to kill me, and he is laughing while he's doing it. If I survive this shit, I am going to quit school tomorrow, change my goddamn name, and move to Wyoming.
…and this kept up for what seemed like about five hours while we ran two hundred yards into the treeline, and a measure of safety. Weeble beat me there by a good hour and twenty minutes, but HE didn't have a goddamn chair wrapped around his ass.
Once in the ditch, behind the scrub and mesquite, I began trying to get extricated from the damn thing. Weeble was somewhat helpful, in that while I wiggled and shook and finally tore the damn chair apart to get it off me, he stood there and flapped his arms and craned his neck and tried to look in all directions at once while keeping up a more or less continuous stream of whispered profanity.
"Well," I said, once I was free, "what now?"
"Beats the shit out of me," whimpered Weeble. "Let's get the fuck OUT of here."
We scrambled through the brush, and got up onto the road, and took off running… only to realize that if the Roman wanted to clean out the witnesses, he had five pickup trucks back there to choose from, and if we were on the road, on foot, we were sitting ducks. We promptly dove into the underbrush on the far side of the road.
"Well… NOW what?" I said.
"We gotta get back to town," said Weeble. "If we can get back to town, we can tell somebody, we can make sure somebody knows we were out here, we can make sure he doesn't get away with it."
"Get away with what? What, you think Loopy's…"
"Man, if he came out gunnin' for US, would YOU give two bits for Loopy's chances right now?"
He had a point. We began working our way through the underbrush. A short while later, headlights appeared on the road off behind us. We froze. A truck drove past… slowly… like it was looking for someone. One of the Roman's? Hell, I didn't remember what any of them looked like. It might well have come from the Roman's place, though…
We kept going. We couldn't make very good time, though -- trying to pick your way through prickly pear cactus and overgrown mesquite is a slow and ugly process, and we could measure our progress in yards per hour. From time to time, though, a pair of headlights would cruise past… slowly… back and forth. It HAD to be the Roman!
…and this kept up for what felt like hours.
…until finally… the truck slowed down even more.
Weeble and I froze. Again. For about the sixty-third time.
The truck stopped.
Weeble and I quit breathing.
The headlights turned until they shone directly into the chaparral where Weeble and I were hiding.
"Nice knowin' you , Weeb," I whispered.
"Shut the fuck UP!" hissed Weeble under his breath.
"Hey!" called a voice. It was Loopy's.
Weeble and I looked at each other in the moonlight. Huh?
"Hey!" called Loopy again. "Hey, you guys! Come on, dammit, I saw you a second ago!"
"It's a trick," whispered Weeble. "The Roman's in the cab with him. I bet he's got a gun to Loopy's head. He wants to trick us into comin' out so he can get us ALL!"
I was confused. What the hell?
About then, the headlights went out, and we could see what was behind them. Shiela had turned the dome light on in the truck. Loopy was hanging out the driver's side window. There was no one else in the truck.
Carefully, Loopy and I worked our way out of the chaparral, and onto the road. We were a mess, slathered with sweat and dirt and dust, and prickled with thorns and burrs.
Loopy and Shiela were laughing, fit to burst. "Jeez, Wang," snickered Loopy. "How far a range you think a Remmy's GOT, anyway?"
Then it hit me. Remmy. Remington pump-action shotgun. The Roman had been holding a shotgun, not a rifle. Nasty antipersonnel weapon, but its effective range wasn't much greater than you could throw a baseball. And the Roman hadn't even started shooting until we were a good thirty yards from the porch…
"He was shooting in the AIR!" crowed Shiela. "Ghod, I wish we'd had a movie camera, Wang! With that chair on you, you looked like a frog with its ass caught in a mouse trap! And you were runnin'! Lord, you were runnin'!"
"Not as fast as Weeble was runnin'," coughed Loopy, tears running down his face. "Shit, man, every time the Roman popped off in the air, I thought Weeble was gonna jump straight up to heaven! Man, I don't think I've ever laughed that hard…"
And Loopy and Shiela sat there and laughed while Weeble and I did a slow burn and picked cactus thorns out of each other's butts.
"You can come back to the house," said Shiela. "Daddy wants to apologize. 'Course, after he gets a look at you two now, it might take him a bit to stop laughin...."
10-18-2003, 08:48 PM
Talk about a thread killer....
10-18-2003, 09:36 PM
Wang-Ka, I had a (nonfiction) post all ready to share in this thread, but after you hogged all that space with your story, which should have been submitted to a men's magazine, for crying out loud, instead of IMHO, I thought "why bother?".
10-18-2003, 10:23 PM
Wang-Ka, that just made my weekend. What a great story.
10-19-2003, 12:28 AM
About a year ago, I was driving to work, on a windy backroad, and like any other 18 year old, I was driving way too fast (75-ish). I got in the middle of a curve, and about halfway through I decided 75 was a bit fast, so I put my foot on the brake...big mistake. I did a 360 in the middle of the road. Some how, I managed to end up in a ditch without so much as a scratch on my car. I got out, throw up, and got back in and went to work. I've slowed down quite a bit since then, and aviod that road at all cost.
10-19-2003, 11:30 AM
I remember quite clearly being in hard labor, and the nurses explaining to me that I didn't hurt that bad yet, that I'd likely be laboring another 10-12 hours before any progress would happen. I realized then that death was imminent, but it wasn't scared for myself so much as I was for the baby.
Turned out, those monitors they strap across the belly can't read the contractions if they get moved and shifted about. Since I was moving too much, they were far off where they should have been, and measuring only about 1/3 the strength of the contractions. I simply knew how much pain I was in, and that those little numbers on the contract-o-meter needed to spike to triple digits before the pushing would start, and since they were barely cracking 40, yeah I was going to die. 30 minutes later a very surprised intern made it into the room just in time to catch the baby. Funny how hard "I told you so" is to get out when one's teeth are clenched.
Almost 4 years later, the same child decided not to go thru the water spraying maze thingy at Sea World's playland. He'd walked in, and I went quickly to the other side to wave at him as he walked out, he changed his mind and walked back out the entrance apparently. A very tense 40 minutes later, he was located happily using the water cannon 4 stories up in the pirate ship. I assign responsibility for at least half of my grey hairs to that incident.
10-19-2003, 12:14 PM
Funny, those of us who have kids have a whole 'nother definition of fear than those of us who don't. Not that either is to be pooh-poohed - fear is fear - I just think it's interesting.
For me my worst moment was when the Terrible Teen, who was then 8, was playing "puppy" with her 2 year old cousin. They were crawling around the floor barking at one another when TT knocked her head on the edge of a table. Now, I have heard that heads wounds bleed a lot, and I understood that. But nothing prepares you for the sight of GUSHING blood coming out of your kid's head! She soaked through two bath towels, and still managed to get enough blood on the floor and walls that it seriously looked like a murder had been committed. I'm trying not to panic overmuch - reminding myself that head wounds do indeed bleed and maybe this wasn't as bad as it looked - and I'm trying to keep this terrified child from catching MY fear in addition to her own. Inside my poor overactive imagination I'm envisioning brain damage, lifetime disfigurement, all the while patting this child comfortingly and saying "it's OK, it's OK." FINALLY got the bloodflow staunched enough to see her scalp, where after much searching, I found a cut literally the size and depth of a papercut. Despite the innocuous look of the wound, I rushed her to the ER, where they took a quick look at her and determined it was just a scratch, not even a bandage required. The attending nurse listened to me pour out my fears, then patted me on the shoulder and said, "Well, head wounds DO bleed."
It was probably two full days before my heartbeat returned to normal.
When I was about... maybe 14 or 15, my family took a trip to Cancun. I can swim, but I'm not a *strong* swimmer. I'm used to the East Coast ocean where there's undertow, but nothing major. I went out maybe thigh-deep, into the amazingly crystal blue water, and next thing I knew, I was being pulled out.
It was early-ish morning, and there were a few other people in the water, but I couldn't get to any of them. Waves started crashing over my head. I was treading water, trying to stay above them. I remembered hearing you should swim *parallel* to the shore to get out of a riptide, so I was trying to do that, but kept getting pushed under, and pulled out further.
I swear, I saw my life flash before my eyes, like they always say. I saw my family on the beach and was thinking "God, they're going to watch me drown." They had no idea I was in trouble. Every wave that crashed over my head I thought "This is it. I'm going to die."
Finally I got close enough to a woman holding a body board. I grabbed that and said "I'm sorry, I need to grab this!" and she let me. I got far enough in that my feet touched, and managed to walk to shore, unharmed, but really shaken up.
Come to think of it, I don't think I've been in the ocean, other than like to wet my toes, since. I'm 27 now and I still remember that feeling of *knowing* I was going to die. ::shudder::
I'd say the other time was when I finally was overtaken by my panic disorder and had a complete nervous breakdown. I was convinced I was going to "go crazy" and lose my mind and end up locked in an institution somewhere, crazy, and knowing I was crazy. That was almost 2 years ago now and I'm much better, but that was almost as horrifying as almost drowning.
10-19-2003, 01:07 PM
You know those barbacue lighters, the ones with about a three-inch flame? About six or so years ago, I go over to a kid's house to ask him if he wants to play flashlight tag. He asks me to wait a minute, goes into his basement, and comes out with the lighter. Then he turns it on and starts chasing me around his couch with it. I thought he was going to kill me, or at least injure me terribly. I managed to run outside, and he didn't chase me then.
The next day, his parents made him write me a note that said "I'm sorry I chased you with the lighter". He moved to New York shortly thereafter, thank Ford.
Second-scariest thing was probably when I was six or seven and had to get a hernia operation. When the nurse came in to take me into the OR, I grabbed onto my mom's shoulders and screamed for her to not let them take me. The idea of being put under total anaesthesia still scares me a great deal.
10-19-2003, 07:54 PM
I think the most frightened I have ever been was when I thought our beautiful boy Tahoe had parvo--a very scary thing in the dog world. He was vaccinated against it, over a year old, a whippet--all things which made parvo an unlikely culprit, but at the animal shelter I worked at we'd just had four out of six puppies die from it and Tahoe had never been so sick and listless before, with terrible vomiting and diarrhea. The bounciest, snuggliest dog in the world just seemed to want to lay down and die, so even though it was terribly unlikely, it was all I could think about.
Far below it in fear ranking was my fear of myself after my bike was stolen. I was living in Sacramento, had no money, and was working a soul sucking Starbucks job. My bike was my sole transportation after my beater truck was broken into and the alarm system I blew my meager savings on malfunctioned--a sensor thought it was being attacked constantly, drained the electrical and locked the kill switch and Good Guys wouldn't admit the problem was in the system they installed, so until I had the money to have a mechanic take out the alarm system my truck was DOA. I have a point, relating all that crap, I promise.
Anyway, I was mopping the Starbucks late one night and saw a guy ride by on a bike. A nice looking bike, a bike which looked just like mine, and was that a pair of bolt cutters he'd had in his hand? A quick turnaround glance at where my bike had been, and I hit the door runnning. He was halfway down the long block, but heard the door hit the glass front and stood up on the pedals and started pumping--still, I almost caught him...I got so close, he turned around and looked at me, and all I wanted in the world was to get close enough to rip those heavy bolt cutters out of his hand and beat him to death with them.
That scared me. That I was so fed up with the thieving ghetto rats of Sacramento that I would actually want to beat someone to death over a stupid bicycle really bothered me at the time, though I can look back at it now and just see it as a weird reaction to the flood of adrenaline.
Semi-Happy ending, apparently I really freaked the thief out, because he ditched my bike in some shrubs and the people who saw him do it and called the cops also saw him get picked up by a car.
Never caught him, but I did get my bike back so it could be stolen when we lived in the Montclair district of Oakland two years later instead.
10-19-2003, 08:04 PM
My scariest experienced was being robbed at gunpoint. I knew I was going to die.
I was Night Manager for a Taco Bell, and one night after closing, a guy with a gun came in after one girl went out to take the trash out (this was in the early 80s, back when fear wasn't quite as rampant as now).
I was apparently in charge (being the night manager and all...) so I felt somewhat responsible. The guy took all the money, herded us into the walk-in cooler and told us to count to 500. We did. AFAIK, he was never caught. I dount he got more than a couple hundred bucks.
But when I first saw him, and the gun, I knew I wouldn't see tomorrow.
I've been robbed other times, at gunpoint and knifepoint, but that time was the scariest as I was in charge and responsible.
Ahhh, retail. Glad I'm in theatre now.
10-20-2003, 12:30 AM
One time I was stepping off the curb onto a one-way street, after looking ONE way, but neglecting to look the other way in the reverse direction bus- and taxi-dedicated lanes. I literally had one foot forward and my weight was shifting when a bus whooshed by and missed my face, hand, and foot by an inch.
I wasn't scared at the moment because I didn't even see it coming, but I thought about it every day for a year and it always gave me the shivers: "If I'd been one foot further along..." I still think about it from time to time.
10-20-2003, 12:44 AM
After eighth grade, my school sent the whole class (about a hundred kids) to the Great Escape theme park. (Ok, we had to buy our own tickets, but they bussed us.) My friends and I went in the wave pool while the waves were turned down low, and we weren't aware that they cycled from low to high periodically. I was taken completely by surprise - and was pretty far in to the deep end - when the high waves started hitting.
Now, I'm a pretty good swimmer, but I was completely unprepared for the first wave, so I had no air in me when I got pushed under. After that, each time I tried to surface another wave would pound down and I'd be pushed back to the bottom. I panicked and tried to swim away from the waves, hoping they'd help push me out, but I was out of air and horribly disoriented. I was seeing big black spots and no matter how hard I tried I could not fight those waves enough to get to the surface and get a breath of air. I thought I was drowning.
Eventually one of my friends realized he hadn't seen me surface and he ducked underwater, found me, and dragged me to shallow water so I could sit up and breathe.
I hate wave pools.
10-20-2003, 01:18 AM
I'm a man.
All I can really say is that I like dorky women. I like cute over hot, plain over made-up. I wish more women were as indiscriminate as me... *sigh*.
I don't generally like women that are overweight, but other than that there aren't really any "rules" to my attraction. I either like you or don't. I also think certain types of personalities match certain people's appearance, as if they complement each other.
10-20-2003, 01:28 AM
That's terrifying, MFZ.
10-20-2003, 01:55 AM
That's the damn funniest post I've read in eons, Larry Mudd. Anyways, I think he intended to post that in the "What do you find attractive in women, (physically speaking)?" thread.
Hahaha, god that was funny, I actually laughed out loud and that doesn't happen often on message boards.
10-20-2003, 08:21 AM
Ooh, thanks for all your stories.
I realise now putting TMI up top wasn’t quite right – I meant some of the stories could be harrowing, I didn’t mean they might be adult content. (On the other hand…)
10-20-2003, 12:01 PM
I've got my own moment, and my fathers which is told to me when we had a conversation about this very subject after his first massive heart attack (you can guess what the second did). It confirms the "If you have got kids...." separation this thread has thrown up.
Mine. Mountaineering. Not roped up, and not scary until it was over and I had survived without a scratch. Then I couldn't move for about 5 minutes which seemed like five hours.
It was in the Italian Appennines, Monte La Meta, in a worsening weather - wind getting up. I am leading but we have reached ground which you can walk on, and a gust comes out of nowhere as I near the ridgeline and literally lifts me into the air and over the ridge. Must have travelled maybe five or six feet upwards and perhaps fifteen or twenty feet laterally and landing plumb on my two feet. No worse than jumping off a wall. I look down and see that this side of the ridge was much much steeper than the one I had been on, and the ledge I had landed on was, oh, perhaps two feet wide. Queue one doper turning into a blob a shaking jelly....
My mate on the other side of the ridge had a bad moment too; watching me dissappear over the horizon towards a certain death. I am not a Christian but ever since then I have had this strange feeling that somebody/thing was looking out for me that day. If so - [b]thank you![b]
And my fathers story, the day when aged eight I was doing up my jacket zip on the pavement when a lorry gets far too close and clips me across the head with a cage of it's wing mirror. Sends one small kid flying and my father running faster than he had ever had before to find out I was alive. He then had to endure the journey to hospital where I was stitched up again. Another inch or so nearer and I would have been stiffed apparently.
10-21-2003, 12:42 PM
When I was working for Hazardous waste disposal company we worked at the Maximum Security State Pen and I had two profoundly stupid and terrifying moments.
Episode I - We were preparing the site with barricades and hanging Poly for the containment and I was standing by myself when these two huge cons come walking by with a guard escort. They look over and ask what we are doing and I told him. He said "Asbestos? Doesn't that shit give you cancer? I am going to sue you for exposing me. I have a witness. You will hear from my lawyer." I snapped back "I hope you have a better lawyer than last time." Good thing for me that two other guards showed up just as he looked like he was going to rush me.
Episode II - Same Prison, Maximum security wing, end of a long night. We are getting ready to walk out. For some reason our escort slowed and I did not notice. Now I had never paid any attention to the fact that our escort always opened the Exterior door for us. This was a leading cause of my error. When I opened the door and stepped out I was immediately hit with two buge blinding spotlights and a booming voice said "Halt! Stay right where you are or you will be fired upon!" Holy Shit! I froze midstep and on instinct alone started to turn back into the building. Our escort started yelling "Don't move! Don't move!" When I realized I was actually disobeying a direct order from a prison tower guard with a rifle, I managed to stop in the doorway.
I have never been that scared in my life except maybe when my wife first told me we were going to be parents.
10-21-2003, 01:11 PM
Lilly, Queen of the Universe, and I were eating dinner when she started to choke on her food. I tried the Heimlich manuever, I tried patting her back, I had her upside down and shaking her, nothing would dislodge the food. She turned that bluish-purple color and I was just freaking out. Do I stop and call 911, do I keep trying, LILLY GOD DAMN IT DON'T DO THIS TO ME, please please please please please breathe please please please breathe, BREATHE NOW, and then ...plop...it fell out of her mouth and she did this WHHOOOOOSSSHHHHHing inhale and started to cry. I fell on the floor bawling like no tomorrow, then threw up from the nervous tension.
NOTHING can ever prepare you for that kind of scared. Nothing.
10-21-2003, 09:11 PM
When Whatsit Jr. was one month old, he was hospitalized and put on a ventilator due to severe RSV that led to antibiotic-resistant pneumonia. He was in the NICU at Children's Hospital. Their protocol for visitors is that whenever you show up, you check in at the registration desk outside the doors of the NICU and the nurse checks to make sure all is well, then lets you in. We'd been doing this for four or five days, and we always showed up and got waved right through.
Then one morning, we were home at 4 AM (the hospital didn't have any place for us to sleep so we had to go home to sleep) when we got a call from Whatsit Jr.'s doctor telling us that they were going to have to put him back on the ventilator because taking him off the day before had failed; his O2 count was falling again and he was struggling to breathe. So we got up and headed to the hospital, as there's no sleeping after news like that. When we got there, the reception nurse told us we couldn't go in. That was maybe the scariest moment, because I didn't know why we couldn't go in. I feared the worst.
Then Whatsit Jr.'s doctor came out and in an extremely rushed manner, told us that Whatsit Jr. had developed a pneumothorax as a result of the pressure from the ventilator and that they needed to perform surgery to relieve the pressure and insert a chest tube right away, and we could go in and see him but only for a very short moment because they had to do the surgery RIGHT NOW. I went in to look at him, burst into tears, and had to leave immediately anyway. MrWhatsit did a little better and said some comforting words before leaving.
Then we spent the worst 45 minutes of my life in the waiting area outside the NICU. I thought, for some reason, that it would be a quick 15-minute procedure and I didn't know why it was taking so long. (Turns out 45 minutes was the expected length of time.)
End result: Whatsit Jr. survived the procedure just fine and today the scar is barely visible. He's a happy, healthy, rambunctious two-year-old who likes to attack the cat and climb his toybox. But even remembering that morning is enough to make me want to throw up. It was gut-wrenching.
I've had a gun pointed directly at me in the course of a grocery store robbery; I've been in a major roll-over car accident; I've lived through a 7.0 earthquake. Nothing compares to that morning at Children's Hospital, and frankly I hope nothing ever does.
10-21-2003, 10:27 PM
I can't believe mine's the first 9/11 one here.
My husband works downtown Manhattan (corner of Canal and Varick, very close to where the WTC was). On that morning, I was driving to a meeting, I was almost out of gas and I kept repeating in my head "God, get me to a gas station. God, get me to a gas station".
Then I heard something had gone wrong with a plane downtown so I amended it to "God, take care of those people and get me to a gas station." When the second plane hit and this was obviously no longer a "mistake" or an "accident", my first thought was of my husband.
I couldn't remember exactly where his office was, or how close to the WTC (some of the clearest pictures came from the top of his building, BTW). My mantra became "God, fuck the gas, get my husband the hell out of there!" I tried calling his office, no answer. I tried the cell phone, it gave weird beeping noise. I tried again, it rang once and gave out. After about 10 minutes of sheer terror, our best friend from Boston called my cell. It seems my husband got one IM out to our friend and said he was alright, would our friend call me, my in-laws and my parents.
So I'm sitting on the highway and my only choices are to believe someone 300 miles away or to have another, uncomprehensible answer to my question "how is my husband?" I went to my meeting, got home to my parent's house and cried for an hour when my husband finally walked in the door at 2:00.
I'm trying to think of a witty, or insightful way to end this, but I just can't. That was simply the scariest day of my life.
vBulletin® v3.7.3, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.