Voice from the Crawlspace
I was about six years old when it happened. My father, sister, and I were in the front yard one day playing baseball, as well as could be played with players varying in age from mid-thirties(father), mid-teens, (sister) and myself (around six) when it happened.
I had gotten a new, full-size (MLB) wooden bat for my recent birthday, a grossly oversized piece of equipment for my age, but that didn’t prevent my father from getting it for me because he, like so many other fathers, had the great American dream of his son playing in the major-leagues someday.
At any rate, for some trivial reason or another, I can’t remember exactly, I started being an insufferable brat. I got mad at something during play and actually pulled the “I’ll take my ball and go home” expression with the exception, it was a bat instead of ball, and I was already home. I retreated to the side-yard, leaving them in the front-yard, where their game continued on.
There I was with my bat, stewing in whatever real or imagined slight I had suffered, when I heard my name being called. The voice was coming from a small, man-sized opening to the crawlspace from beneath our house. At first, and for a few moments thereafter, I thought it was my sister trying to egg-me-on. I thought it vaguely sounded like her. I ignored it at first, but it continued saying, “Kelly, come under here.” It repeated over and over.
I had enough, and still being fairly certain it was my sister I said, “Geneva, you better stop messing with me.” To this the voice responded, “I’m not Geneva, come under here”.
When first I heard it, I was twenty-feet or so away from the crawlspace opening, and after first engaging it, I had been inching closer. I keep repeating, “Geneva, you better stop, I mean it”. The voice kept denying it was Geneva, and beckoning me to “come under here”.
I loved my sister, and she me, but there was sibling conflict, regardless of there being a gap of several years between our ages, so pulling a prank such as this was well within the realm of possibility.
I inched closer, and I was not afraid. I was however getting angry thinking she was being particularly relentless in this “joke”. Still the voice said, “Come under here”. So I said, “No, you come out here”, while cocking back my bat behind my head, storing up all the potential energy my six-year-old arms could muster.
The exchange went on for a few moments more, until it became apparent neither side was willing to compromise. I was certainly not, “coming under there”, and “it” wasn’t “coming out here”, so the dialogue ended.
I am ashamed to admit this now, but had “it” showed its head through the crawlspace opening, whatever it was, sister or no, it would have tasted every ounce of hickory I could have brought to bear.
Still provoked by anger mainly, but by then fear had certainly gained ground. I decided I had enough “alone” time and decided to go back to the front-yard. I was fairly certain I would be greeted with laughs and teasing from my father and sister, but none came. I surveyed their demeanor closely; hoping for some hint that it had been a prank, there was none. I went and sat on the front porch for a few moments replaying my experience. I then rejoined the game.
I never mentioned this to anyone for well over twenty years, then one day the family conversion happened to turn to the “paranormal”, so I decided to ask the only other person at home that day, that being my mother. She told me it was not her. My sister also steadfastly denied it. Now for a person reading this, there is certainly the possibility that one or both was lying, and while I would be 99% sure of the truthfulness of my sister, I am 100% certain my mother would never lie to me, especially when asked about such a thing. This woman was and is the epitome of Christianity. A mother who never told her children there was a Santa Claus because, she “wasn’t going to tell her children lies”, and “that our father worked hard to make a living for us and no bearded fat-man in a red suit was going to get the credit”. You would just have to know her.
So there is my conversation with the “unknown”. Take from it what you will.