Barry and I enjoyed our time with Mary Beth so much, we wanted Mom and Dad to go to the drive-in movie every weekend.
Shouts of joy accompanied jumping up and down when Momma said, “Mary Beth is coming tonight.”
After she put baby Stephen to bed, she returned to the living room. “What shall we do?”
Barry answered first. “Tell us a scary story.”
“I don’t know if I should.” She looked at me. “Phyllis will get scared.”
I was indignant. “No I won’t.”
“Well, okay, but if you get scared I have to stop.”
I nodded and made up my mind not to get scared.
Barry and I sat cross-legged on the blue, shag carpet. I leaned forward with my heart racing.
“On nights like this, when the moon is full and wind is blowing the trees. See if the leaves are upside down.” She pointed to the window and Barry and I peered out. “They are,” Barry said.
“Is there lightning in the distance?”
This time I answered. “Yes.”
“Then don’t go outside. This is the kind of night the Headless Horseman looks for a head. If he sees you, he will come for YOURS.” She lunged at us and I screamed.
Mary Beth and Barry laughed, but I couldn’t breathe.
“He can’t get you if you are in the house.” She smiled. “Only if you are outside.”
She wouldn’t lie to me, but I moved away from the window, just the same.
“Scaredy cat.” Barry teased.
Mary Beth chuckled. “It’s time for you to get ready for bed.”
My heart raced as I went down the dark hallway and flipped on the bathroom light. Lightning flashed outside my window and I coward under my covers all night.
When the moon is full and the wind is blowing, I look for upside down leaves and distant lightning. I smile and remember Mary Beth.