|The Taylight Zone - Anthology Seven
08 - Beware of the Night - Alecia
The first time I heard it was when I was 9. At night I heard strange noises coming from my older brother Taylor’s room. It never had happened before, but when I started to hear the screams and cries late at night, I began a mission to find out what was REALLY going on in there. I’m sorry I did.
* * *
I was laying in my bed, I was 9, and I was tired. I tried to sleep all night, but I couldn’t. I had this eerie feeling that something was going to happen. So I tossed and turned. I finally looked up at the clock to see what time it was, "3:30 in the morning already, and I’m still not asleep!" I said silently to myself trying to get to sleep. I heard a loud noise come from Taylor’s room. I thought he just got up to go to the bathroom or something, so I rolled back over and closed my eyes. Then I heard it again, and again. Then a scream. I tried to pay no attention to it, but I just couldn’t ignore it. Something was wrong and I had to know what. I got out of bed and crept out into the hall. A loud voice came from behind me, "Zac, why aren’t you in bed sleeping?? You and your brothers have a big show tomorrow!" It was only my dad.
In relief that it wasn’t some psycho trying to kill my family, I responded, "I was….only up to get some water."
"Ok son, but you better get to sleep quick, or else you’ll be too tired to sing tomorrow."
I quickly scurried back into my room and closed the door, thinking nothing more of the noises I had heard.
The next morning was just as hectic and tiresome as always. I couldn’t reach the cupboards where the cereal was, Taylor couldn’t find his favorite blue shirt, and Isaac had lost his shoes for the 3rd time in a week. I eventually reached the cereal, with the help of a chair, Taylor found his blue shirt in the laundry basket, and Isaac’s shoes were under his bed.
We set out on the road to do a performance for the Mayor of Tulsa. When we got there I had asked Taylor, "Tay, what were you doing last night?"
"Probably sleeping Zac, why do you ask?"
"Well, I was just wondering, because I heard a loud noise coming from your room."
"It was probably just a dream Zac. C’mon, we have a performance to do!!"
The show went great! It could have been our best performance yet in our career, which really hadn’t been that long.
When we got home it was already time to go to bed. I changed into my PJs and crawled into my bed. I wasn’t all that tired. The excitement of the day had kept me wide awake. So I laid there, and I stared at the glowing stars on my ceiling.
All of a sudden, noises, screams, and cries were heard again. All coming from Taylor’s room. I really couldn’t ignore it this time. I had to know what was going on. I got up and walked out into the hall. I didn’t want to go into Taylor’s room, but I knew I had to. It seemed as though I was the only one noticing the weird sounds. I was terrified, and I was alone. I was all by myself in the long dark hall. At any minute something could come out and grab me. But it felt as though I had to know. I had to know what was making all that noise.
As I reached for the door knob, the door opened without me even touching it. Standing in front of me was my dad. He was real tall compared to me. It felt as if I had to strain my neck to look at him.
"Zac, why do I keep catching you out in the hall at night?" "Dad, I heard a noise. It was loud, and it was coming out of Taylor’s room!!" I replied.
"Zac, no. It was a dream, or you were hearing things. There were no noises. I was in there with Taylor the whole time. Everything is fine. Go to bed." He said sternly.
I began to feel that he was right. I turned around and went back to bed. I began thinking, ‘Maybe I was tripping out and hearing weird noises. Or maybe it was a dream.’ I fell back asleep thinking nothing more about the strange noises.
Years had passed, and Hanson, a singing group consisting of me, my brother Taylor, and my brother Isaac, had become a big international hit! Our single MMMBop had just reached the top of the charts and our lives couldn’t be any better.
We had just finished shooting a video for our new single, Where’s the Love, when Taylor came up to me and said, "Beware of the night."
I asked him, "Tay, what the hell is that supposed to mean? He just walked away ignoring my question. I ran after him, "Tay!! What do you mean by that?" I asked.
"I mean what I say. Just be very aware tonight!!" He snapped back at me. He had a dark look in his eyes. I was scared. It was like it wasn’t Taylor anymore, but some devil or demon that had consumed his image and was using it to torture me.
As the day went on, I had just came to the conclusion that Taylor was just having a bad day and he just took it out on me. The night came and I had totally forgotten what Taylor had told me. I was sound asleep in my bed, and then I heard the door open. I looked up and it was my dad, Walker. I sat up and said, "Hi Dad, what are you doing in here?"
"Oh, I just came in to say, real nice job on the video today." He said to me. I had a feeling that wasn’t all he came in here for, so I asked, "Is that all you woke me up for? To tell me good job?"
"No son, that is not all. Just go to bed. I’ll tell you later."
"Tell me later?" I asked. "If I fall asleep now, and you came in here for something else, shouldn’t you tell me or ask me BEFORE I fall asleep?? I’d rather not be woken up later Dad."
My Dad sat on my bed, "I tried to make it easier on you Zac." He saidto me.
"Dad, you’re scaring me…what do you mean?" I stuttered.
"Just like Taylor. He wouldn’t listen to what I said at first either. So I told him to give you a small warning, and he did. Did you listen?No!"
"Dad!! What do you mean?? What was the warning? What are you hearfor?!?"
"Beware of the night, how can you miss that warning?" He asked me.
"That was a warning?? A warning of what?" I asked shakily.
"It is a tradition in the Hanson family. When a young boy turns 11 years and 6 months of age, the father must give his son the gift…"
I cut in, "A gift, how can a gift be bad?"
"Zac," Dad had continued, "You know the time when a boy becomes an adolescent or a teenager?" "Yes Dad. I know all this, but why are you here?"
"Well, the Hanson family tradition believes that for a boy to become a teenager, he must be molested by his father."
"WHAT THE HELL!!" I screamed. "What the hell kind of tradition is that Dad!?! Can’t you just STOP the tradition?"
"I’m afraid not Zac. I’d be denying my father, and my grandfather, and all of the rest of my male ancestors."
"Dad….is that what you’re here for?" I asked in an innocent yet shakyvoice.
"Yes Zac. It is now your turn."
"No Dad!! You can’t!! PLEASE! I am BEGGING you…DON’T!"
"It’s ok Zac. It only happens twice in your whole lifetime. And besides, I went through it, your brother Taylor went through it not too long ago, and so did Isaac."
"Dad, remember when I was 9, and it was around the time when we sang for the mayor, and I kept hearing weird noises from Taylor’s room? Is that was going on then?"
"Why yes Zac. My, you are a quick one! Now come here my son. The sooner it starts, the sooner it will be over."
"Dad, you were once the man I looked up to, but now, I think you are the DEVIL!! Dad, I hope you DIE!!" I threw a near by vase at him and ran out of my room. I could hear him running after me. I screamed and I yelled as loud as I could when I got out to the streets.
"Zac! You have no idea what you’re doing!!! Come back!" I heard my dad yell. I ignored it. I just ran. I was losing energy though, so I was slowing down, but the police station was just around the corner. I knew I had to make it there or else I’d have to go through what my poor older brothers went through. ‘How could they let him do that?’ I thought. ‘I know he’s our father, but that is wrong!’
I kept thinking about it all the way to the station. I ran in out of breath. "Help me!!" I yelled to the police man at the desk. Not too much later my dad ran in. He was bleeding and had glass cuts all over hisface.
"Help me!!" I yelled once more.
"Sir!" The police man ran to my father, ignoring my cries for help. "What happened Sir?" The police man asked my dad.
"Oh officer, I tried to catch him! My son, little Zac, he’s having one of his episodes again. He came in my room and threw a glass vase at me. I tried stopping him before he got to anyone else to hurt. Please officer help my son."
"NO!!" I yelled, "He is lying!! He was going to MOLEST ME!! A stupid tradition or something, please officer!! Help me! Get him away!"
"Zac", My dad said in a calm voice, "You know that is not true." My Dad turned to the officer and asked him, "I suggest mental help officer. We’ve tried everything from shrinks to juvenile."
The officer looked at me, watching tears rolling down my face. Then he turned to my dad. Watching the worried look on his face and the blood rolling down his forehead he said, "Sir, we’ll do anything to help your son get better, but we better get you to the hospital first."
"NO!! I yelled, "DON’T BELIEVE HIM!! HE DESERVES TO DIE!!! HE MOLESTED MY BROTHERS!! I AM NEXT!!"
"I’m so sorry officer", My dad said to the policeman, "I really hate when he gets this way. He has never showed an act of violence untilnow."
"We’ve dealt with many kids that are just like your son. Don’t worry, he’ll be in a mental institute very soon."
"You ASS!! You STUPID OFFICER!!! Why don’t you BELIEVE ME!?!" I yelled to the policeman. He started walking toward me. He took out handcuffs, pulled my hands behind my back, and strapped them on me. I struggled to get out, but it was useless.
The ambulance came and I watched from the police car. They put my dad in the back and he was rushed to the hospital. I was taken to the local mental hospital where I am now. I hate being in here knowing that I was right. I never understood why Taylor and Isaac never told anyone. Maybe one day they will and I’ll be set free. I get little temper tantrums every now and then. That’s when the nurses have to hold me down and stick a shot in my ass so I’ll fall asleep. Oh look, here comes one now. Wow, this one is pretty. NO! A needle!! Oh no….she…is..injecting….me……..