Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Freaky Tale of Frank

As a child, I developed a fanatical love for horror, and science fiction films and books. My first horror film was Alien with Sigourney Weaver as Ripley. At tender age of six, my love for anything that oozed slime, spat acid, ate flesh, roared, screeched, and morphed into unworldly creature was born. I constantly read horror books. Remember R.L. Stine's Goosebumps? I watched scary movies. I fantasized that I was Ripley fighting off acid-spitting creatures. I dreamed that I fought zombies. I imagined Chupacabra with the glowing red eyes in the middle of the night. When X-Files premiered on TV, it was only natural that I became fascinated with the show, and often loved to watch Scully working with Mulder to investigate freakish incidents. Nothing scared me.......Until I saw Frank.

Alex and I were sitting on the sofa, munching on the popcorn, and X-File show came on. I tapped Alex on his shoulder to ensure he was really paying attention. Mulder and Scully appeared on the screen. Scully, as a dubious agent, and Mulder, as a fanatical believer in anything supernatural, went to a sewerage facility to chase after some hideous creature of the day. Suddenly, this creature appeared: 

The creature itself did not scare me. HOWEVER, what scared me shitless, as a child, was the fact that this creature loomed in sewerage. Soon, it was time for us to go to bed. Dad tucked us in and kissed us good-night. As I laid on the top of the bunk, my overactive imagination began to whirl into thousand possibilities. I imagined that this creature swam up to our toilet, climbed out of it, and crawled to us in our bedroom. I took a brief luxury at the fact I was laying on the top of the bunk which meant it was harder for the creature to get to me. Relief washed over me for a moment. Then guilt set in. 

What's about Alex? I certainly did not want Alex to be eaten by this creature! I bit my lower lip and wrung my fingers. Oh, what to do! In the darkness, I swore I saw glistering eyes that belonged to this sewer monster. My heart beat faster. Heat washed over my face and body. I felt itchy. No way, I was letting this monster eat Alex! But...oh, I was so afraid. 

With partial sheer madness and partial bravery, I climbed down the bunk and allowed my toes touch the carpet. I tensed up for a moment, waiting for an attack, but nothing came. It affirmed my bravery. I crept to Alex. For a moment, I thought about crawling into the bottom bunk and to snuggle next to Alex. After all, two was better than one. It made harder for the monster to attack us. But the idea of snuggling with Alex was not appealing especially at the fact that he drooled and kicked in his sleep. After all, I was the oldest. He was supposed to be afraid! Not me! Angry at myself for being so frightened, I crossed my arms and furrowed my eyebrows in determination. 

I stepped out into the dark living room. For a moment, I swore I saw a figure limping across the dining room. I imagined it was growling at me: 

My heart pounded. I curled my hands into fists. My throat began to burn. I trembled slightly. My bladder felt...full. I had to pee! In order to pee, I had to go into Fluke-man's territory.... toilet. The idea of sitting on the crapper, leaving my butt vulnerable to be bitten didn't sound appealing to me. But I had to pee. Badly. Oh, what to do! I wrestled with my fear and frustration. My full bladder shouted at me. I had tears in my eyes from such a terrible conflict. 

I crept slowly, oh ever so slowly, across the living room. I had to be extremely quiet. I kept my eyes peeled and wide. I slouched, ready to pounce or run in case if I had met Fluke-man. I thought about returning to bedroom to wake Alex up so he was able to stand guard when I went to bathroom, but quickly dismissed that thought. After all, I was the oldest, thankyouverymuch. I entered the bathroom......the evil area where Fluke-man resided. 

My fingers scrambled to find light switch. It felt like an eternity. I twirled around constantly to lessen my vulnerability. No way in hell I was going to let my back to be exposed for an attack. Of course, by twirling around every 2 seconds increased my time in the darkness because I kept losing my spot to find the light switch. Deaf and blind, I was extremely vulnerable. I did not like it. With an act of Divine blessing, I found light switch. To my horror, the toilet seat was up! 

I grabbed the toilet brush and held it across my chest. Fluke-Man was somewhere! Perhaps, he was behind the shower curtain. I was going to be damned if it attacked me while I was on the toilet! At the arm length, I prodded the toilet brush against the shower curtain. Nothing pushed back. But I was not convinced. Using the toilet brush, I opened the curtain to find....nothing. 

My bladder was about to burst. I really had to go. Don't let me get sucked into the toilet! Don't let me get bitten! Don't let me get attacked! I chanted while sitting on the toilet. I peed as fast as I could. Looking back, I probably broke the record time in Guinness World Record book. Feeling pretty relieved, I jumped off the toilet and flushed. I dropped the toilet brush, and washed my hands as quickly as I could. 

My heart was still pounding against my chest as soon as I realized I had to return in the darkness to the bedroom. No way, no hows, and no ifs I was planning on turning off the bathroom light! 

With a courage I didn't think I had, I decided to stay up all night to stand guard, and that meant sitting on the sofa in the living room with a clear view to the bathroom. I grabbed a warm blanket and wrapped around myself then sat on the sofa. To my right, I had a view to the bedroom where Alex slumbered on. He was safe. To my right, there was a view to the bathroom where evil Fluke-Man resided.

Suddenly, Dad appeared. For a moment, I thought he was a Fluke-man! I was prepared to attack, but saw it was Dad. Relief flooded over me. Dad asked, what are you doing up?

I replied, There is a monster! 

Dad laughed and said, well, I'll be on look out for the monster. But it's time for you to go back to bed, okay? 

So Dad tucked me in. I felt better, knowing Dad was on the look out. Nonetheless, I was still afraid. I had no idea how I fell asleep that night. Every time I used toilet, I was on watch out for the fluke-man. I often flushed 4-5 times to ensure it was not coming up. I kept the toilet lid close to prevent it from crawling out. 

A few weeks later; Alex and I shared our fear of Fluke-Man. Dad said, you know, it does have a name. We sat back with wide eyes. It had a name?! 

Yes, his name is Frank. 

So Frank was born.

And it lost its power.

I was no longer afraid of Frank. How can you be afraid of a creature named Frank?!

And I am happy to report that I am no longer afraid of toilets after that.