Shattered

On a warm summer evening, when I was around five years old, I had been sitting outside with my mother, grandmother, and sister. We spent a lot of time outdoors when I was growing up. A lot of unusual things happened in and around my childhood home. On this particular night, we came inside right at dusk. My mother sent me to get a bath before bed. Afterward, the four of us settled in my bedroom to play a board game.

We set everything up on my bed, and were sitting there playing the game, talking, and laughing when the sound of breaking glass shattered the night. Falling quiet, we listened to figure out where the sound had come from. It remained quiet for a little while, so we resumed playing the game. After a little while, the sound of breaking glass filled the night again. This time, it was even louder and lasted longer. We could tell this time that the sound was coming from outside. My mother opened my bedroom window to try to determine exactly where all of the glass was being broken.

Once more, the night grew quiet. Instead of resuming the game however, this time we stayed quiet, waiting to see if more would happen. We weren’t disappointed. Before long, the sound started up again. This time we could tell that the noise was coming from the garden area which was up on the little hill right behind the house. For whatever reason, my family had a large number of canning jars up there on the ground and would bring some in from time to time to sterilize them for canning vegetables. Thinking back, I am pretty sure that we would take jars up there which had gone past their date and dumped the contents onto the garden ground over the winter as compost.

Anyway, the sound was incredibly loud and from the duration, we fully expected to find dozens of broken jars up there. My mother went to wake my father up so that all of us could go out with flashlights to see what was going on. Dad responded in his usual way, “Whatever it is it out there and we’re in here. Just go to bed.” My mother was furious with him for not being interested enough to go and find out what was going on. Since he wasn’t willing to get up though, we decided to wait until the following day to go up there and check things out.

My grandmother lived right next door, but decided to spend the night at our house rather than go outside with whatever or whoever was out there breaking all the glass. She called my grandfather and simply told him that she wanted to stay the night with us and told him good night. I’m not sure why she didn’t tell him about what as going on. The next morning, the three of us headed up onto the hill to the garden to assess the damage. To our utter surprise, there was not a single broken jar to be found.

Thinking that we may have been mistaken about the location, we went down the hill to the small stream, where there was another garden to see if perhaps the jars down there had been broken. There was nothing there either. We were out of places to look, so we went back into the house. I was sent into my bedroom to play while they talked in the kitchen. I’m not sure what they discussed about the events of the night before. What I do know for sure is that all of them had a look of fear in their eyes when we had come into the house.

This was but one incident of unexplained things which happened in and around our house. I’ll be back next Wednesday with another story from my childhood home.

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