Memory is a strange thing. It can be both fleeting and long-lasting, pleasant and terrifying, accurate and ever-changing, clear and distorted. I have memorized lyrics to countless songs during my lifetime, but can barely remember what I had for lunch yesterday.
I’m not about to go into a long discussion of why memory is so strange. It just is. But there are different types of memories and varying degrees of and reasons for strangeness.
I don’t think I was unique in that belief. Lots of parents told their kids things like that, right? And why not? It’s funny to have your kid believing things like that. And it’s pretty harmless, too. Mostly. I distinctly remember getting into a heated discussion about chocolate milk cows with my kindergarten teacher. She insisted that all cows’ milk is white. I insisted brown cows’ milk was chocolate. Afterward, when I told my parents what she’d said, they told me she was wrong. And said that that particular nugget of “information” wasn’t known by everyone. That I should just keep it to myself from then on.
I did. And I can’t remember how long I believed that secret.
A more-unique, terrifyingly strange thing I believe as a child was that Hell was underground, and that the Devil could sneak out through holes in the ground to get me. Sometimes, he could even push through the ground, if he tried really hard. Why would he try so hand? Perhaps if I was particularly bad on a given day.
That sounds pretty innocuous, right? It was terrifying. I’m not just talking about holes in the ground, but holes leading through the ground. Like pipes.
When I was a child, our bathtub’s overflow was covered by a metal grate. If I looked through the grate, all I could see was darkness. If I put my ear to the grate and listened, I could hear things. Scary things. Moving things. I imagined they were dark, wet, squirmy, evil things, because it was a gateway to Hell, of course. Sometimes, if the light was right, I could see the Devil looking at me. Or one of his demons.
If I sat very still in my bath, I could hear whatever or whoever it was breathing.
I had dreams about the Devil coming through the ground to get me, too. Dreams I still remember vividly to this day. He never actually came through, though. I never actually saw Him or his demon. But they were there. I KNEW it.
How scary was it? Believe it or not, I feel vaguely unsettled now having written about It/Him. Weird. I should have stopped with the cute-strange chocolate milk cow.
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This is post #9 in this year’s challenge. To read about the strange things other Moto bloggers believed in as a child, check out these awesome blogs…