“We’re almost there”, my Dad said as the car hugged the steep, winding road without guardrails. My stomach did a flip. You could see straight down the cliff next to the road. My mom’s stress was palpable. Of course you could also hear it because she yelled at my Dad to “slow down!” the entire way.
We were going to Dad’s new friend John’s house. The house was located on the far side of the big Island of Hawaii. My family lived in Kona, Hawaii at the time. I was 7 or 8 years old.
Usually when Hawaii comes to mind, you might think of tropical beaches, crystal blue water and palm trees. But John’s place was remote. It reminded me of the Stephen King horror movies I had seen on TV.
“Oh my God! This is like Texas Chainsaw Massacre!,” my mom shrieked, pointing to dozens of animal skulls lining the roof of the house. John was a hunter. A chill crept up my spine as I ran past the terrifying pig skulls.
I don’t remember much about the inside of John’s home. What I remember is the many dogs in the pen in their backyard (and the creepy neon pink hot dogs we were served for lunch). I don’t remember what the dogs looked like, but I remember feeling sorry for them. I felt that they were sad in the cage. And so I did what any sensitive, animal loving kid would do.
The gleaming silver latch on the cage glinted in the sun. This latch was calling to me to open it. I felt magnetized to it. I imagined the dogs free and happy. And so I made it happen. I lifted the latch, which felt cool in my hand. The door squeaked open and the dogs bolted out of the cage. I still remember them sprinting past me, free at last.
I love dogs and still do. I had no idea that the dogs in the pen were hunting dogs. I didn’t know they were supposed to be kept in their pen. I also didn’t know that the family’s beloved pet chickens were roaming the yard.
Of course, you can probably guess what happened soon after I let the dogs out. We all heard screams and clucking as we pretended to eat our strange mystery meat. It turns out John’s kids were screaming as they watched the dogs eat all of their pet chickens.
Fast forward to today. Chad and I downsized to a smaller house in Marshall, NC. We moved last week. To our delight, this house came with 5 pet chickens in a little coop outside. Chad insisted on letting the chickens free range during the day. “We need a fence!” I kept saying daily.
The chickens would walk around our property eating bugs all day. We would put them away in their cage at night. I knew (and kept telling Chad) that we needed a fence to keep predators out. There are bears, coyotes, raccoons and other animals lurking around. But I wasn’t expecting one of my favorite animals to be a predator.
On Saturday I startled awake. “Get out! Hey! Get out!” Chad was yelling outside. I could hear our new chickens clucking and crying. And dogs barking. “Uh oh” I thought as I took a deep breath in bed. Chad didn’t run up the stairs and tell me what had happened. So I figured that the chickens were lost and he was looking for them.
I was right. As I ate my gluten-free pancakes, Chad walked in the front door and looked at me. “I’m really sorry. Two beagles had come running after the chickens out of nowhere. They had collars on and one of them looks like a puppy. Two of the chickens are gone.”
I was eerily calm. Shockingly, I didn’t get upset. Instead I pendulum dowsed the chickens’ locations.
Of course chickens can move, but the pendulum pointed toward the bottom of our pompous grass field. So Chad went out there with coconut oil to lure them back to their coop. About 20 minutes later, Chad came in with a smile on his face. “I went down near the greenhouse and I didn’t see the chickens there. But when I walked back up to their Coop, they were outside of it waiting to go in.”
So naturally we went to Lowe’s and got materials to build a fence for the chickens. However, Chad has to insulate the well first because it’s going down to 11 degrees tonight. It’s currently snowing. Did I mention it was almost 70 degrees yesterday afternoon? Chad has been working nonstop on house projects (and his day job) so this has been a stressful few weeks for us.
That said, we love our new house. With the exception of the flies that love the octagon window in our bedroom. I mentioned I enjoy exploring the paranormal and horror. Well, last month, even though I knew I was moving into a new house, I made the dumb decision to read the Amityville horror.
Is this place haunted?
The house in the Amityville story had a huge problem with flies, even in the winter. I’m talking like thousands of them! I’ve never been a fan of flies, especially that horrible blood-curdling noise they make. So I fought back. At first I stood on our bed and threw Chad’s balled up socks at the flies. (Sorry Chad, he he). But they wouldn’t even budge.
So then I used packing tape to attach a flyswatter to our Swiffer. These flies aren’t like ordinary flies that fly away when anything comes near them. These flies are in LOVE with this window, to the extent that they will not move off of it even when socks are being thrown at them. These flies are also eerily slow. So slow that and they let us kill them with this homemade fly killing contraption. I thought we got them all yesterday. There were about five.
But today there are at least four more flies circling the window. Sure, we live further into the country now. But we were pretty much in the woods before. The only difference is that instead of flies in our old house, we had wasps. I’ll take the flies, as long as its place isn’t haunted.
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Beagle Photo: Photo by César Cardoso on Unsplash
Caged Dog Photo: by Fredrik Öhlander on Unsplash
Other photos were taken by me.