Friday, June 3, 2011

PART 4 "My Haunted Life": "The Witch in the Nightclub," Based on a True Story by Chris Matheny

Part 4: "My Haunted Life"

The Witch in the Nightclub
Based on True Events by Chris Matheny

"My Modeling & Acting Career
Had Run Their Course. "
It was the late fall of 1985, and I had just turned fifteen. My modeling and acting career had run its course. Like many things in my life, I had lost interest in it and quit. Unfortunately, this was a recurring theme. It had been the same with T–ball, baseball and Tae-Kwon-Do.
Only a few years had passed since the arrival of my new “spirit” friend, and things were “normal” in my life. The voices that use to plague my nights were now just a bad memory. No longer did restless shadows flit around my darkened room. I felt as though I was a normal kid again.

The flipside of the coin was that I now had to share my nights with “Red.” I had given him the name due to the red velvet coat that he wore. Red didn’t come to see me every night. Rather, he would be there every night for a few weeks, and then he would not show up for weeks or months at a time. This seemed to be the cycle for the next few years. He proved to be rather unpredictable.  
"...I Now Had to Share
My Nights with “Red.”
I Had Given Him
the Name Due to
the Red Velvet Coat
that He Wore."
When he would show up, it could be quite unsettling. He could appear as solid as a living man, or as insubstantial as mist. There were times in which he would move around the room as if he were searching for something. Other times, he would just stand by my bed and whisper things that I just couldn’t make out or can’t remember. “What” he was exactly, I cannot say.
He always appeared to be wearing the same clothes, whenever clothes were discernable. He wore dark pants with riding boot a white shirt a long red velvet coat with tails topped off with a top hat. Since he appeared to be over six feet tall, the top hat always made his shadow reach the ceiling. You might think that I would have been terrified by what I was seeing, but I was so relieved to be rid of the voices and shadows that he wasn't much of a bother.

Red didn’t scare me and I don’t think that he intended to. In all that time, though, I never saw his face; not that I didn’t try. It was always obscured. Almost as if God had taken a big pencil and erased it. A simple analogy I know, but accurate nonetheless.
As usual, I went on pretending to have a normal life in spite of the situation. I was surprisingly successful at it too. I never told anyone about the things that were going on, and no one ever asked. Not wanting to attract any attention to myself, I continued to go to school and listened to lots of music. I had friends that I genuinely cared about. Although I wasn’t the Homecoming King, I was still fairly popular.
"I Am Lucky Enough to
Still Call Her My Friend."
(Chris Matheny, Kim Brouillette
& Charlotte in 2011)

It was Friday night; my mother was taking me and one of my dearest friends to a teen nightclub in Charlotte, NC. Her name is Charlotte and the club was called “Glory Days.” This was my first time going there. I was excited about the coming evening. You see, I was attracted to Charlotte. She is the kind of girl that never pretends to be anything other than what she is. “If you don’t like it, then tough.” I loved that about her. I still do. I am lucky enough to still call her my friend.
When we arrived at the club, there we some friends of ours hanging out in the front parking lot. My mother drove off into the night leaving me with Charlotte to enjoy some music and laughs. We went into the club and it was as expected, dark with loud music. 
We took one of the only open tables. It just happened to be near the entrance, as well as the bar. I sat with my back to the dance floor, because as anyone that knows me will tell you I never sit with my back to a door or window. Silly, I know, but sound advice.   

"It was the late fall of 1985,
and I had just turned fifteen."
It was at this time I noticed a woman standing by the bar looking at me. I remember thinking that Stevie Nicks was probably wondering where her suitcase was at that very moment. She was wearing a black dress and shawl with several pendants hanging around her neck. I also saw that she wore rings on almost every finger. Judging by her jewelry and clothes, I could tell that she was most likely a practitioner of Wicca.
She had bone-white hair and a pale face. Her age was hard to determine. I do remember thinking that she was kind of attractive. Kind of like Morticia from the “Adams Family.” Our eyes meet and she smiled a smile that seemed to imply familiarity. Her eyes were a steel blue that seemed to pierce into the soul of whoever was caught in their gaze. It seemed as though she were looking right into my very heart. 
The crowd shifted and I lost sight of her. Shaking off the eerie feeling that was trying to crawl up my spine, I tried to find my place in the conversation that was going on at my table. Unfortunately, I was completely lost. So, I just nodded my head and sipped from my coke.
Suddenly I felt cold, boney fingers cover my eyes. A soft female voice whispered in my ear. “Guess who?”
“Uh…Stevie Nick’s mother?” I tried to sound cocky so that my friends wouldn’t see how nonplussed I actually was.
"We went into the club &
it was as expected,
dark with loud music." 

“Funny.” She chuckled, as her breath gently tickled my ear. She continued to whisper in my ear. “No, Sweetheart…It’s me Evie.”
We went into the club and it was as expected, dark with loud music. I knew this had to be the woman that had been standing by the bar, but I had no idea who she was. I knew that my friends at the table had to be watching this in amusement.
Did they know who she was? Was this some sort of joke?
Her hands slipped away and disappeared within the sleeves of her dress. I turned in my seat to get a better look at the woman.
She was careworn and beginning to show age lines, but she was strikingly pretty. Her face was pale and her makeup dark and mysterious. Her white-blonde hair flew about her head like curly cobwebs in a summer breeze. I was unsettled and nervous, but I wasn’t afraid or scared. Her gaze was piercing, but her manor was comforting. She took a seat at the table next to ours, and gestured for me to join her.
I looked toward my friends to gauge their reactions. They were sitting still, but then leaned in and whispered between themselves. One boy nodded his head in agreement to the silent comment of the girl to his right.

I looked Charlotte in the eye hoping that she would let me in on the joke. She only shrugged her shoulders and nodded in the woman’s direction. I took a deep breath to steady myself and gather my resolve. Then I stood and walked a few paces to a chair that she had pulled up close to hers.

"Her Eyes Were a Steel Blue that
Seemed to Pierce into the Soul of
Whoever Was Caught in Their Gaze."
“Have a seat, Chris,” she said.
I don’t think I hid my shock well at all.
She continued, “Relax, I heard the cute girl with the brown hair call you that when you came in. Now, sit down. I won’t bite you.”
“OK.” I slowly lowered myself into the chair.” And you say your name is Evie?” I asked, as bewildered as I could possibly be.
“Yes, my name is Evie. I’m a little disappointed that you don’t remember me,” she said with a twinkle in her eyes. “But then it has been a few hundred years.”
“Excuse me?” I almost choked. “You must have me confused with someone else.”
“Hardly, I would remember you no matter how many years have passed. You still look the same as you did the last time I saw you.” She leaned her head back and to the side as if she were drifting back to a pleasant place in her memories. “Well, you had more facial hair then, but there is no mistaking you. I’m glad that you still have your dimples.”
“OK, enough is enough. What is this? You going to give me your business card and tell me to come by for a reading?” I retorted with agitation building in my voice. “Well, no thanks…I’m sorry that you have wasted your time.”
"I noticed a woman standing
by the bar looking at me."

“Not so fast.” She said patting the air in front of her with her hands. “I don’t do readings. I’m a medium not a fortuneteller. I don’t read palms or tarot cards.”
“Then what do you want from me?” I asked hesitantly. “What’s the point in all of this?”
She flashed me the same smile I had seen earlier. “I just wanted to say hello to an old friend.”
“Rrrreeeeeaaaalllllyyyy?” I slowly muttered through tight lips, as I began to slump down in the chair.

“You really don’t remember me?” She asked as she reached for a drink on the table next to her. “That’s ok…I can tell you’re still young now. You just haven’t awakened yet.” She took a sip from her mixed drink. “I can tell you if you would like to know.”
“Oh please, this has to be good.” I smiled as I sat forward.
“Smirk now, Son. There will come a day when your world will change and everything you know will be suspect. You just wait and see.”
“OK…OK…Tell me then, who was I?”
I sat up ramrod straight and looked her dead in the eye. If she lied to me or tried to spin me a yarn, I would know. I have always known when people were lying. In truth, most people are terrible liars. They might think they can lie, but they just don’t seem to get it right. Much like poker, there are many tells. A person that is being honest doesn’t have to think about them. They are free to answer. Those that seek to deceive have to think about a great many things and in the end, they will always slip up.
I nodded for her to proceed. “Go ahead.”
“Yes, I see it in you. I’m surer now than ever.” She shook her head and laughed to herself. “You still have the fire in you. I can see it right behind your eyes.” She pointed at my face “Tell me, do you still sleep with your eyes open?”
I can only imagine the look on my face. Only my family knew that secret. I stuttered and stammered but made no real reply.
“I see it on your face. I’m right.” She looked very smug as she wrapped her arms around her shoulders. “It feels good to be right. “
“How in the hell did you know that?” I asked my voice rising in alarm. I involuntarily began to rise from my seat again. “There is no way that you can know that.”
“Chris, you have always slept with your eyes open. You use to say that it was because you didn’t trust anyone. Others use to insist that it was because your inner power wouldn’t let them close or the lids would burn off.” She convulsed with laughter. 
“Imagine that? Such primitive minds people had back then.” She sucked in her breath to steady herself after her bought of laughter. “The truth is I don’t know why you sleep with your eyes open. You just do.”
“Your right, I sleep with my eyes open.” I was reeling at the revelation that this lady might not be the nut job I thought her to be. “What else can you tell me?”
“I first met you over fifteen-hundred years ago. You were a great necromancer in the Far East. You could commune with the dead. In fact, you had power over them. You use to summon the dead to do your bidding. You would ring knowledge from them like tear drops. You profited greatly from the dead. You were powerful and wealthy. However, it couldn’t last. You were betrayed by the one closest to you. You were murdered.” She said flatly and without any flare.

"Over Fifteen-Hundred Years Ago...
You Were a Great Necromancer In the Far East."
"I was murdered?” I gasped as I clenched my hands to my throat involuntarily. I stood up and looked down at her. Through clenched teeth, I said, “You’re out of your mind! How could you possibly know any of that?”
“It’s simple, my dear. I killed you. Then I took your place.” She said this without batting an eye or missing a beat. “In my defense, you were a terribly wicked man, and deserved what you got."
“You’re serious?” I shook my head as I sat back down. “You really believe this?”
“Yes, I do…And you should too,” she said rather matter-of-factly. “Your future could depend on it. You see our paths have crossed many times over the centuries. I have seen you in countless guises. You have been sorcerers and warriors. You have at times been great, and at times you have given in to darker forces.” She leaned forward and rested her chin in the palm of her hand. “Who will you be this time? I wonder.”
I sat in stunned silence as she stood up and walked past me.
She paused and rested a hand on my shoulder. “Take care, Chris. Your actions do not go unnoticed.”
There was a slight breeze and a swooshing motion as her skirt shot passed me. I half rose and turned to watch her go, but she was already gone. I searched for her, but I could not find her. I never saw her again.
When I returned to my friends they acted unaware of what had just transpired. I decided to avoid any long explanations or embracement by pretending nothing happened. I didn’t mention anything to anyone. The rest of my night was, however spent under a dark cloud. I was ready to go home and put the entire incident behind me.
I would like to state for the record that I never said that I believed any of what she told me nor do I present it to be the truth. I make no claim to other worldly powers or knowledge. I am merely reporting to you what happened to me that night. I have no explanations for the things that she knew about me, nor did I ever find out who she was. To this day, it remains a very unique and memorable incident which occurred in my teenage years. It just seems to have added to the strangeness of “My Haunted Life.”

Read the other parts of "My Haunted Life," based on true events by Chris Matheny. 

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