Encounters with the Unknown
The Earliest Encounter
by: Shirley A. Martin
I was around three years old when I had my first encounter with anything supernatural. I remember every aspect of it just as clearly today as the night it happened.
I was awakened suddenly but I didn’t know why. I sat up and scooted to the edge of the bed so my feet would dangle. I blinked at the dark room for just a minute trying to decide what to do (go find Mommy or go back to sleep) when a small, almost insignificant noise on the nightstand made me turn to my right.
There was a toy there I didn’t remember seeing before, which in itself was funny because Mommy always made me put my toys away in the box. It looked kind of like a caterpillar but it had big, human-looking eyes and a big, tooth-filled mouth. The teeth were large clunky looking things. It was grinning at me.
“I’m going to eat you up, little girl!” The voice was full of gleeful menace. The grin widened.
That’s silly a toy can’t eat me! I thought and moved to pick it up. It lunged at my hand making a chomping motion with its teeth. It was fast but I could tell it stopped short of really catching me. I snatched my hand away and a thread of unease started to creep into my little belly. This thing was bad. It continued to grin and inched a little closer.
Knowing that thing was bad made me mad. I was filled with a righteous anger as I thought Stupid toy is not gonna try and bite me! Bad toy! I moved to really swat that thing and it lunged at me again, barely missing me that time because I had been quick. At that moment a light began to fill the room. I looked directly in front of me and saw a beautiful woman step into the room as if from a cloud doorway. There was a brilliant white light in the cloud doorway and all around her and she was smiling so compassionately at me, so much love on her face for me, that I was instantly comforted.
She was wearing a diaphanous blue gown that was waving with the wind that somehow seemed to be coming from the light cloud behind her but that I could not feel. She had brown hair to her shoulders styled very much as my mother did at the time, and indeed for the next few minutes I would think that it was my mother.
“Shirley, is this nasty thing bothering you?” She smiled to show me she understood that it tried to harm me. Of course I nodded my head with an emphatic yes and tried not to cry. I shot a triumphant look towards that caterpillar that said you’re gonna get it now and was delighted to see that it actually cringed in fear when she came towards it.
The next thing I know she was gently getting me to lay down and covering me up with the blankets I’d kicked aside, telling me to go back to sleep now, nothing was going to hurt me, sweet dreams for the rest of the night. She kissed me on the top of my head and stood up. I glanced at the nightstand but the bad toy was no longer there.
I fell back asleep but woke the next morning with vivid recall of the previous night’s events. When my mother came to get me up for the day I was already awake and laying there watching the door because some deeper, older part of me said I should pay attention to what my mother was wearing.
She was in her light green nightgown when she walked in and my first thought was that wasn’t my mommy last night. Instead of being scared I felt safe and protected. But I was very puzzled by the light cloud doorway and wanted to know more about it because even at the tender age of three I understood it was something unusual. But I never saw the toy, or the woman, again.
At least that I can recall.