The most frightening thing I ever read is the scene in Black House, Written by Stephen King and Peter Straub. Some bad ass bikers jump on their hogs and head out to the haunted house, yes, the Black House mentioned in the title. But this house has a defense. They are mostly through the woods and almost to the house when spikes of pain and massive waves of nausea knock them off their bikes and onto their knees. It was so descriptive. It was terrifying. That’s tangible power, not just doors slamming shut behind you and spiders crawling in the corners. How do you defeat something with that much power and you’re not even in the house yet?
But that is not what this passage is about. This is about the most frightening thing I’ve read so far in Babu’s journals. I’ve transcribed four years and two months and there were scares, Babcia getting hit by a car and suffering minor injuries, Drobey and Teddy hanging their feet out of the back of a pick up truck, getting side swiped, and suffering broken legs and feet.
This newest and most frightening moment again involves Babu’s mother not doing well. Here is the excerpt:
Thursday, February 10th, 1938
Last night mother put on that salve over her face, head, and neck and this morning when she got up, I couldn’t recognize her. All red, swollen beyond recognition, and how she’s suffering. Tonight Dad and I thought she would pass away on us. We both cried. At rehearsal they didn’t know what was wrong with me.
Oh my god! What was happening there? Was it an allergic reaction? Why wasn’t she taken to the doctors? It’s very confusing, as these journals often are. What was the salve? I am unsure if there was a preexisting condition or not because some things hint toward her not doing well before this passage. “She cooks better now that she’s not working.” Babu writes. Well, why isn’t she working? And there was a time maybe not a full month ago when a lawyer came to talk to her about suing over an injury but I wasn’t sure what that injury was. So I ask again, what was this stuff she put all over her head? I will probably never have those answers but the following days give us the information we need to know:
Friday, February 11th, 1938
Mother is a tiny bit better. Yesterday she could see nothing all day, but today her eyes are open. The boys sent her flowers tonight and I saw them after rehearsal. John is falling for Joan, I guess. I don’t seem to have much influence. Shall have to thank them for the flowers. Eddie Tyburski wrote me today.
And soon she is feeling completely better. What a scary close call!
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It really is an incredible treasure hunt trying to piece all the fragments of story together. I would love to know more about this illness, too! It must have been terrifying. Wonderful family narrative!
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Thank you. I am completely thrilled and great for this project. It keeps me excited! I don’t know any more about the illness except it seems to have been a bad allergic reaction. Thank you for reading!