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Dead At The Bottom Of The Stairs

December 25, 2011

I’ll throw this one out there, since I’m idle at the moment and enjoy reading the other stories. I hope someone enjoys mine.

One of my high school friends, Jim, turned out to be a friend that lasted beyond those formative years. We were in a band together back then, and ended up working together at the same restaurant a couple years after graduating.

Jim’s father died a few years before we met in high school–Jim was, by the way, a likely unplanned pregnancy as his mother was fairly older than all my other friends’ parents, and Jim’s sisters were adults with kids of their own.

He never talked about his father. I would imagine that losing a parent at such a young age is a more traumatic experience, but I’m no expert. Anyways, Jim and I would hang out when we weren’t working, smoke pot, drink… the usual early-twenties kind of stuff. Jim liked to drive around aimlessly and i was always happy to tag along. His car at the time was his father’s before his death. his mother didn’t drive, and only got her license recently–to the best of my knowledge, the only people who ever drove Jim’s car were Jim and his father (and probably his sisters, whatever).

So late one night, Jim gets his automotive wanderlust on and I tag along. Nothing out of the ordinary there, except that this evening we are not under the influence of any kind of intoxicant. That WAS out of the ordinary for us, as we usually did our best to spend as many hours of the day as farked up as possible.

He decides to drive south of town. I’m from a medium-to-small sized city in Pennsylvania; the kind of place where you don’t have to travel very far to find yourself out in the sticks.

We drive for a ways and get to a crossroads where a sharp left will take us back to town on a different road. We get to about the area on this road where there are a series of sharp bends–one of those “dead man’s curve” kind of deals that many people have in their towns and where many serious accidents take place.

I’m risking a tl;dr situation already, I know, but I need to state at this point that while I don’t necessarily believe in psychic powers and all that, I do believe that at times we can know a little more than we should. Call it a gut feeling or whatever–most of us have had it, and some have it stronger or more often than others. I never thought I was particularly special in this regard.

Back to our drive: I start to have a vision. I’ve been in Jim’s house enough times to be able to call to mind what it looks like. With an older parent, the decor of his mom’s house was “vintage” to put it nicely. The basement was finished, and we spent a lot of time down there as that was where our band would practice. I spent enough time there to be able to vividly the room’s details in my minds eye… I’m doing so now as I type. It had a very 70’s feel and was actually his parent’s “club room” where they would hang with their friends, play cards at the big, round table… maybe grab a drink at the wet-bar in the corner. Good times, I’m sure.

My vision is of me walking down the stairs to the finished basement room, but it’s off a little bit as if my visual perspective is just a bit higher than I’m accustomed to seeing that trip down the stairs as I had so many times before.

I’ve got a corded drill in my hand. Interesting, that seems kind of random for a “vision” that I seem to be being forced to have–I do have a vivid imagination, but this scene is playing in my head like a movie over which I have no control.

Halfway down the stairs, I acknowledge the fact that my chest hurts like a motherfarker. I’ve just had what can only be a massive heart attack and I fall the remainder of the way down the stairs, landing on the floor in a twisted, unnatural position. The drill I was carrying beside me, it’s cord tangled about my body just a bit from the tumble down the steps.

I realized that I had been narrating this vision as I was experiencing it. I knew I was in the car and was in motion, but there was this detached sense to reality at the same time. I was there, but I was also somewhere else. When the episode was over, I looked to my left to get Jim’s take on that little scene and he is quite pale, both hand gripping the steering wheel at 10 and 2. He’s staring forward out the windshield with a look on his face that was along the lines of someone desperately stifling a much-needed fart.

Silence for a hot minute, then Jim starts to speak. He tells me he’s seen that same scene too, just not the actual motion but the result. He came home from school one day many years previous to find his father, dead at the bottom of the basement stairs. Earlier, his father had asked him to bring some tools in the house from their shed in the backyard. Jim didn’t do as he was instructed, so when he found his dead father with those tools around him, his young mind came to the conclusion that had he done as he was told, his father wouldn’t have tripped down the stairs and could possible still be alive. This kid lived for years until that moment believing that he had essentially killed his father.

– Posted by Papa Rotsy ; Fark

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