During my reckless younger years (before I developed a conscience), I had an adventure that was troubling and if I hadn't been there myself, I probably would have thought it was made up.
I was in college, studying literature and making ends meet by living with a crowd of other girls. I was working part-time, robbing fruit from farmer's fields on the side, dumpster diving when possible, and occasionally foraging in the woods to help put food on the table (I ate a cooked squirrel once...for real....it was horrible....another story).
My boyfriend at the time was really adventurous and loved to explore. One day he said there was a neat piece of property that he wanted to show me. We drove out of the city to a secluded area, walked through woods and acres and acres of fields that were dry and barren until we came upon a giant old stone house. There were also a few abandoned outbuildings and a giant old silo or water tank that was completely overgrown with weeds and thorns.
The old brick mansion had boarded-up windows that looked like blinded eyes. Then we both noticed a hole in the wall, a broken-in window, just above the level of the ground. There was a "No Trespassing" sign above it. We crawled through and lowered ourselves legs first into the darkness below (remember, pre-conscience days). We found ourselves in the pitch-black of a cold, dark cellar that smelled of rotting wood and alcohol. He managed to locate a staircase that brought us up into the main floor. It was a little difficult to see, but we were aware of big empty doorways and a giant wooden stair-case. There was a glow of light at the top of the stairs, and we went up to explore.
One of the windows had a few boards missing, which let in enough light to show us that we were in a old children's nursery. Dusty furniture and bits of old toys lay about. There was a journal lying on the dresser. It said Miranda's Journal on the cover. I picked it up and began reading:
"Why is mommy so mean to me?" It started out. "She took the head off my doll. She says no one can know I'm here."
Starting to feel upset, I closed the journal and looked up to see these words written in red on the wall: Miranda is watching you. I felt really sick, and told my boyfriend we had to leave...now. So we went downstairs, and made our way back to the basement stairs. He stumbled over a pile of dirt, and picked up a couple of pencil crayon drawings. They were sweet, and kid-scribbly, and signed, Miranda.
I wasn't sorry to leave that place.