Monday, October 14, 2013

The Hand.

 When I was growing up, we spent many years living in an old farmhouse amidst the West Virginia countryside...we had no cable and we cooked our meals and heated the house with an old wood stove in the kitchen. This place was very desolate and very quiet, and I remember an hour-long bus ride (at least) to get home after school.  My mother worked a lot during this time...and my brothers were older, with vehicles and lives of their own...leaving me (4th grader) to come home to an empty, old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere by myself. We also had two options when it came to getting from the 'main' narrow, back country road to our either crossed the creek by foot or you crossed the old swinging bridge that hovered across that creek.  I hated that bridge (4th grader), it always seemed to be ominously towering over the dark water below...and it always seemed ready to snap at any moment. When I saw this photo of the bridge, if it weren't for the lack of an old, white house standing in the trees across that creek, I would have been certain it was the bridge that led to this childhood home of mine.
But every weekend, when we were all home, my mom would usually rent a movie from the local video store and we'd all huddle around our little 12" t.v. to watch it.  Once, near Halloween, she rented an old silly movie entitled 'The Hand'...and I will never understand why that movie bothered me the way that it did...but man, did it bother me...haunted me (4th grader). For weeks I was convinced that I would lose a hand during some horrible and traumatic childhood experience and that severed thing would come back to murder me and my family...for whatever reason a hand would want to commit such atrocities.  I can even remember there being a old leather glove in the weeds next to the field where my horse resided...and I made excuses about how I couldn't feed my horse for weeks because I believed an old evil hand was in that glove, waiting to take hold of me (4th grader).  
One day after school, I staggered across that swinging bridge...and as I reached the end I looked across to the front porch of that old, dark house...and there was something different...on the handle of that old screen door was perched a hand...a hand without a body.  On that cool autumn evening, I crumbled into a terrified heap at the foot of that bridge (4th grader)...I sat there sobbing as the sun left the sky at an early hour and there was not a soul for miles to help me in my situation.  I remember how cold it was on that bridge, the feeling of the air swinging around it, and hearing its old cables creak as my home, my solace was guarded by some disembodied appendage. I was stuck between two evils, but I chose the lesser of the two.
I'll never forget seeing the headlights of my brothers jeep thrashing across the creek as he drove into the yard, I was absolutely certain that in his haste, he was coming to rescue me from that God-forsaken hand. He disappeared for a moment and I heard his evil, maniacal laugh as he approached me with that stiff beast with 5 fingers. As I stood there shaking and wiping tears from my cold face, he stomped onto the bridge and threw that hand at me...I quickly grabbed it, realizing it was rubber... while my brother violently pushed me toward the house saying, 'get inside, stupid'

bridge image via SouthernVisions


  1. You are Truly gifted in the art of storytelling...and the entire time i kept thinking of how Beautiful it must have been (& is) there..sigh

    i Love your blog, it's Wonderful!.. :)


    1. oh, it was/is so beautiful there :)
      i swear, i think about it daily...

      and thank you so much!