NIGHTMARE FOUR: MARIETTE'S NIGHTMARE: LOST IN THE NIGHTMARE CITY WITHOUT A NAME
Mary Hazel Upton
BLOG POST FOR MARIETTE'S NIGHTMARE HOUSE PAGE
SEPTEMBER 4, 2017 MONDAY LABOR DAY FOR STORY IN PROGRESS
SUNFLOWER IN THE "SUNFLOWER HOUSE" YARD
JULY 12, 2017 WEDNESDAY
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON
I took this photo from the sidewalk beside a house in New Albany, Indiana. Whoever owns this house loves sunflowers. Hammerhead and I saw the house, with the yard almost completely filled with sunflowers and a small neat vegetable garden, as well as a few other flowers, last year when we were driving by that way on one of our small outings that I always planned for him. The sunflowers were fading by then, though, so I could not get any photographs of them. Hammerhead, who knew all the back roads and streets in this area, remembered where the house was. So we went back this year on June 27 and again on July 12 and I got photos of the sunflowers and also some videos. No one came out of the house any of the times we were there for me to tell them how beautiful their sunflowers were and to thank them for letting me enjoy them.
This is an entry from my diary for July 12, 2017 Wednesday, the last day Hammerhead got to see the sunflowers.
July 12, 2017 Wednesday
Hammerhead wanted to eat at White Castle today. We also drove by the sunflower man's house to see his sunflowers. I took some good videos and photos before lunch. After lunch we shopped at Community Thrift Shop. H. was getting tired by then and didn't shop long, but also stopped at Bakery Thrift store that plaza.
Here is the address of the main White Castle website:
Here is the address of the Community Thrift Store, which is its proper name:
Here is the address of the Bakery Thrift Store, which is actually called Butternut Bread Store:
MORE OF THE SUNFLOWER MAN'S BEAUTIFUL SUNFLOWERS
JULY 12, 2017 WEDNESDAY
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON
VERY OLD PHOTOGRAPH OF BERTHA AND CLAUDE HENSON, SR.
NO DATE ON THIS PHOTOGRAPH
I have chosen a few of the very old family photographs from one of Mama's books to illustrate this chapter. This photograph is of my grandmother (Daddy's mother), Bertha Henson, and Daddy's father, Claude Henson, Sr. They were later divorced and Mother, as my brother and I always called Bertha, since there were so many grandmothers on both sides of the family, came home to live with her parents, Phoebe and Abraham Roudenbush. She had three children by then, Claude, my Daddy, his brother, John, and sister Leona. Probably Bertha and Claude, Sr. are standing in front of the old Roudenbush house on Main Street in New Albany in this photo. It looks like the same house. I asked Mama once if there were any photos of the whole house. She told me that there weren't because nobody could get far enough back to take a photo of the entire house. All the houses on Main Street were tall narrow old houses set close together. The house on Main Street, which is now long since torn down, is the archetypal Nightmare House in Mariette's story. It looks exactly like the one on Main Street did, but in her story New Albany is called Old Albany.
If you'd like to find out more about the real New Albany, here is the address of the official town website. They have a lot on the website, including a link to the Culbertson Mansion, one of the historic mansions on Mansion Row, now a museum. There is also a page called "Historic Homes Digital Library" of photos of old houses in New Albany. I did not see the Roudenbush house there.
LOST IN THE NIGHTMARE CITY WITHOUT A NAME
The city had a thousand faces, each one different, but always the same. It was always the same city, dimly remembered, but that she was unable to put a name to. The streets were all vaguely familiar, as if she should know them, but strange. She was always lost in the maze of streets, trying to find her way back home, but becoming more lost the further she traveled. The houses were all dark and frightening and the people were all strangers in the Nightmare City Without A Name.
Sometimes Mariette was driving in the city, lost on its terrifying freeways, looking for an exit. Sometimes she walked those lonely streets. Occasionally she felt compelled to enter one of the dark houses. When she did, the house was always Nightmare House.
Tonight when Mariette dreamed, she walked the streets of the Nightmare City Without A Name. The houses on both sides of the street were impossibly huge mansions. They all stood close together with tiny yards. Mariette knew that she must be in the better section of town. There were no lights in any of the houses and Mariette saw no one on the street, either walking or driving. She continued on for a long time on the sidewalk on this street. She felt that if she could only get downtown, she could perhaps find a bus stop and take the bus back to her own home. She knew she didn’t live in this city. Someone she knew did live here, but she couldn’t remember who. She wasn’t sure where she lived, but she knew it was a nearby city and that there was bus service between the two cities.
The mansions started becoming spaced farther apart, each one larger and more grotesque than the last. Mariette had the feeling that she was getting further and further from the downtown area. She picked a side street and went down it, hoping that it would lead to downtown. She walked for what seemed like miles without seeing anybody. Then suddenly she was downtown. She was still lost, though.
She continued walking past facades of decaying stores. She had the feeling as she passed those stores that they weren’t really real, that if she stepped inside one, she would step through into nothingness in the same way as she would if she tried to enter one of the cardboard buildings on a stage. There were crowds of hurrying strangers here.
Mariette continued walking, sure that she almost recognized this street and that she would see a bus stop sign soon. As she walked, the neighborhood became gradually, almost imperceptibly seedier. She passed a bar with neon lights. Raucous music and loud drunken laughter came from its open door. Mariette hurried past it, not liking this neighborhood, not quite so sure anymore that she was on the right street. She didn’t know what else to do, though, except to keep on searching for a bus stop.
The stores thinned out now and gave way gradually to rundown apartments and dilapidated houses. The sidewalk was cracked. Weeds grew up in the cracks. There were no streetlights here. The hurrying crowds were gone. Mariette was alone again. She wanted to go back, but a horrible compulsion drove her on. Finally, at the end of the street Mariette came to the last house on the street standing alone. It was a two story wreck, tall and narrow. It was empty. It had been empty for many years, Mariette knew. It was Nightmare House.
Mariette woke up in a cold sweat, reaching for and finding Curt’s sleeping body beside her. She lay awake for a long time, too scared to go back to sleep, afraid if she did, she’d find herself back on that street. Afraid that this time she’d go inside Nightmare House. The clock beside her bed said 2 A.M.
In Libertyville that night, Nettie Hensley woke up from the same terrifying dream. The clock beside her bed said 2 A.M. Roy was asleep beside her. Cold terror possessed her, but her terror wasn’t for herself. It was for Mariette, her baby girl, as she still thought of her. Nettie was afraid to go back to sleep for a long time also, but her fear wasn’t of returning to and entering the archetypal Nightmare House that was the house on Main Street in Old Albany that Mariette always dreamed of. That house seemed to be the last house on the street, but Nettie knew now that there was another house just after that one. Even though Nettie hadn’t seen that house yet, and was sure that Mariette hadn’t either, not yet, she knew it was there. That last house, more terrible than the archetypal house on Main Street, was the one in Carrollton Location. Nettie knew also that the last house wasn’t empty. The ghost of the hunched man lived in that last house. He was eagerly awaiting Mariette’s arrival so he wouldn’t have to be alone anymore.
VERY OLD PHOTOGRAPH FROM MAMA'S BOOK
LEONA HENSON AND EITHER CLAUDE OR JOHN HENSON
NO DATE ON THIS PHOTOGRAPH
Leona and either John or Claude in this photograph may be standing somewhere else other than in front of the house on Main Street, possibly in front of one of the neighbor's houses. It looks as if they are standing on a brick street or sidewalk outside the house, wherever it was. I remember a concrete sidewalk in front of the house on Main Street, but not a brick one, but perhaps it was brick then or there was no sidewalk, just a brick street. I remember a few brick streets still in existence in New Albany for a number of years. I do know that the house on Main Street is the only place I remember my great-grandparents living, although Mama said that before they bought that house they lived in the country.
THE FAIR STORE ON BANK AND MARKET STREET IN NEW ALBANY
PHOTOGRAPH BY CLAUDE B. HENSON
Mama has several books of photographs of just old buildings, many of them no longer in existence. She and Daddy took a lot of photographs of the old buildings and if they heard that one was to be torn down, they immediately went and got photographs of it. This was in the book of New Albany buildings. By the date on the photograph, I assume that Daddy took and probably also developed this photograph. He usually took black and white photographs. The Fair Store was evidently in business still at the time this photograph was taken, although I doubt if it is now, although the building may still be there. Back when I was a little girl, Mama did most of her shopping in New Albany, as Clarksville had few stores then. The stores were all old-fashioned stores, individually owned, and run by the owners. The Fair Store dealt mostly in clothing and had a basement, a main street level floor, and an upstairs. The upstairs was where the yard goods was, and was my favorite part of the store.
HOUSE ON MAIN STREET IN NEW ALBANY
OCTOBER 10, 1977
PHOTOGRAPH BY HAZEL FERN HENSON
This photograph is also from the book of New Albany buildings. There is a row of old houses on Main Street, further down than where the Roudenbush house was that have been preserved. Many of them are probably historic landmarks and some are museums now and some of them are private homes. They are all beautiful old mansions. So this house, wherever it was on Main Street is probably still standing.
The Culbertson Mansion, which is also on this street, has been preserved and is now a museum. This photograph is not of the Culbertson Mansion, but is probably a private home now.
I have many more old photographs from Mama's books and will publish more later, but better save room on the blog for a few other photographs also. There will be many more creepy nightmare chapters, most of them Mariette's nightmares, but some for other characters also, who share her nightmares. She will visit the Nightmare City Without A Name again in future chapters and I have many more old photographs to illustrate those chapters.
MAMA ON STEPS OF OLD ODD FELLOWS HOME
PHOTOGRAPH BY CLAUDE B. HENSON
This building is no longer standing either. It was a nursing home for awhile. Bertha Henson, Daddy's mother, was there for several years, and Mama and Daddy drove up to Greensburg as often as they could, usually about once a month, to visit her.
DADDY IN HIS COMPUTER ROOM
NO DATE ON THIS PHOTO
PHOTOGRAPH BY HAZEL FERN HENSON
MARY HAZEL'S DIARY
SEPTEMBER 4, 2017 MONDAY LABOR DAY
Just a quick note on this diary post before closing down for tonight. I fully intended to finish this post today, but, as Hammerhead and I used to say, and Mama and I also used to say, my time "evaporated". We could never figure out how it went so fast, but it did. It is after 7:30 tonight already, and daylight fading quickly. We are losing more daylight everyday now. And I have already used up my day and my energy. So I am making this quick entry now in case anyone reads this post before I get time to finish it tomorrow. I only have the diary entry, and a few more photos to post, and then proofreading everything, and will do that tomorrow, but am too tired to finish tonight. So if you read this before I get back, please come back. There will be a little bit more, including what is coming up next in Mariette's book, some beautiful rose photos, some links, and another photo of Hammerhead.
Until tomorrow. And thanks for reading my blog.
SEPTEMBER 5, 2017 TUESDAY
A ROSE FOR HAMMERHEAD
MAY 4, 2017
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON
It is just after noon now as I finish up the September blog post. I was too tired to finish yesterday, especially as there were several links to look up for this month. I just finished doing that, and also bookmarked them so that I can go back to them later when I want to. I found some interesting links for you this month, and although I never have time to completely read the websites I share on my blog, I always bookmark them so that I can go back again later. If I took time to read the whole website of all of them before I shared the link, though, I would never get anything but research done!
I worked on the blog post until around 1:30 yesterday afternoon. Norm came down on his way home from his daily walk then, to visit for a few minutes as he does several times a week. I had told him that I would walk down to his house on Monday afternoon so that he could show me about feeding his cats. I promised to feed Winnie, his indoor cat, and Skye, his stray outside cat that he also feeds, while he and his girlfriend, Denise, are on vacation. They are planning to go up to Bloomington soon for a few days as her birthday present to him. I started walking over to his house around 2 o'clock. figuring he would have had time to finish his walk and get home by then. He was out helping another neighbor when I got to his house, cleaning out her gutters, so I sat on the porch and visited with Winnie while he finished working. Then he gave me the "tour" of his house and showed me where Winnie's food is kept. I told him I could walk home, but he insisted on driving me home.
By the time I got home it was close to 4 o'clock and time to feed my cats. By the time I had Storybook Hour for the Creatures (my stuffed animals and dolls) and ate my supper, canned spaghetti and meatballs, salad, peach pie filling, and milk, I was out of energy. And I still had dishes to wash and the laundry to finish! So rather than doing anymore on the blog that evening, or even working on Hammerhead's book, which I do most days, sometimes just from 7 o'clock until 7:30 in the evening when I would ordinarily call him, and sometimes for a half hour in the morning and evening both, I just called it a night. I could have possibly worked on the blog if I hadn't had housework left to do, but I did not want to leave that to do the next morning, since I planned on walking up to Williams Bakery for breakfast. I don't do a lot of housework--no more than I absolutely have to--but I seldom leave any unwashed dishes, not so much as a single spoon or glass overnight. I certainly didn't want to get to eat breakfast out, with someone else cooking it and washing the dishes, and then come home to last night's supper dishes still to wash! When Gain was alive, and we went out to eat, I always made sure every single dish was washed too, making him give a few minutes to wash them if he had decided on the spur of the moment to take me out to eat. I have always figured that if I come home from eating out to unwashed dishes or unfinished work, then there wasn't a lot of benefit to getting to eat out. I appreciate getting to go to McDonald's or one of the other restaurants so I don't have to cook and also for an outing, but I have always considered that not having to wash the dishes after the meal was the main benefit of eating out!
There was rain last night and by the time I left to walk up to Williams Bakery for breakfast, 2 glazed donuts and a large cup of coffee, it was raining. I heard a little thunder too. I decided to go anyway, especially since I could not have done anything on the computer anyway if it was storming. I took the umbrella and walked the 3 blocks in the rain. It was done raining by the time I got there. The sun is trying to come out a little now, but it is still dark and may rain more later. While I was at Williams I looked at all the cakes and other baked goods in the store as I always do. When I used to take Mama there to eat they had one of the tables by the glass case of cakes and I always chose that table so that I could admire all the fancy cakes while we ate. They have rearranged the tables now and are using that space for more shelves of cookies, bread, etc. So now I pick one of the other tables where I can still see out the window. Williams is a very old bakery, specializing in quality old-fashioned baked goods of all kinds. They always have special things for each holiday. While I was there I saw that they are putting out a few Halloween cookies. They had zombie cookies, some with green icing and some with grey icing. So cute! So one day when I go up there for dessert after supper at home, as I do sometimes, I will be sure and get a zombie cookie. The zombie cookies and others they had on that shelf were marked at $2.50 each on the sign, but they are large cookies, and like everything at Williams they use only the best quality ingredients. Williams used to have lunch when Mama and I went there, but they said they did not sell enough sandwiches that they could keep the fillings fresh to use up. They have sweetening of all kinds, though, including donuts, pastries, muffins, and desserts, as well as coffee and milk.
Here is the address of Williams new website. The link to their original Facebook page is on this new website.
Finally, before closing the blog out and putting in the rest of the links and then proofing everything, here is what is coming up in future blogs. First, I will be putting in more entries from some of mine, Mama's and Mother's (Grandma Bertha's) diaries that I have and possibly parts of old letters from them and also from Daddy. I have many many old diaries of my own, a whole bookcase of them, here in my office, what was Daddy's Computer Room and is now my Computer Room and office. Actually, they are journals, not diaries, as a diary is just to write your private thoughts down and a journal is to regard events and to possibly share with others. So I think they may be of interest to other people too. Especially since some of them are very old. Mother's diaries are very very old, Mama's go back to the '60's and '70's and my oldest diary of mine and Gain's fishing trips to Rice Lake in Canada go back as far as 1982. The Florida diaries that I kept for the five winters Gain and I spent down there before he died in 2005 would be worth posting especially, I think, as I put in lots of descriptions of places in Florida and details of the things we saw down there. Mother also has a Florida diary that is even older than mine. So I will continue posting a current diary entry each month, but whenever I have room, and can get it typed, I will post excerpts from the old diaries, letters, etc.
I am still trying to get material ahead for future blog posts too and will start planning various interesting links to look up information on and share here too. I had just been looking them up as I needed them, but I could find much more interesting information to share if I looked up some in advance.
I am just posting to my blog and Upliterate now, but also hope to get some time to find blogs that might trade links with me so that maybe more people will be able to find my website. If I do get more readers, maybe eventually, if anybody is interested, I could make a mailing list of people who would like to receive an e-mail when a new blog post is published. It would be an actual personal letter, not spam. But I need to find out more about that before I do anything about that idea. I have started telling a few people about my blog and I think they have read parts of it. As most people, who are not writers are, they were very impressed that I even had a blog. Whether they will find time to read more of the story chapters or come back each month, I don't know. But I might start my e-mail letters with them if they are interested, and if it does not get to be more than I can handle, expand the mailing list from there. I'll let you know more about that and maybe later include my e-mail address here if you want to write to me. If anyone does write, I will answer.
Here is what is coming up next month and for the next few months in Mariette's book. Next month's chapter is titled "Thomas Frostman Feels A Touch Of Winter". This will be a fairly creepy chapter, foreshadowing more of the secrets of the old house. Thomas Frostman is the realtor who sold the Carrollton Location property to Curt and Mariette. This will be his first chapter, but he will later become one of the regular characters in the story and have more chapters. In this chapter it is May and the lilacs are in bloom in front of the old house. I have photos of me with the lilacs that Mama took and will use them to illustrate this chapter. I will also try to get time to look up some information about lilacs, and how to grow them, and where to buy them, and include links next month.
After that chapter there will be 3 more chapters for some of the extra characters before the book moves back to Curt and Mariette. They will be, "Leonard Sanderson: Shadows Of The Past", "Harrison Arone: Season Of Evil", and "Jack Simpson: The Dark Store". These are the three men who found Simon LaGrange frozen to death that long ago winter when Simon lived in the old house. These will be their first chapters too, but they will continue to be important characters in the book. After those chapters, when the book returns to Curt and Mariette, they will at last be moving to Carrollton Location in their next chapter. Just after Jack Simpson's chapter and just before the chapter when Curt and Mariette move to Carrollton Location there will be another nightmare chapter. That nightmare chapter will be titled "Mariette's Nightmare: The Dark Store" and Jack Simpson will share that nightmare.
As I was typing up the chapters, as needed to publish, from my long ago handwritten notebooks, I noticed as I was looking over these chapters that in Curt's and Mariette's last chapter (last month's post) it is April. In the next chapter belonging to Thomas Frostman, it is May. But then the chapter after that for Leonard Sanderson moves back in time to the same April Easter weekend as Curt's and Mariette's last chapter I published. Then in Harrison Arone's chapter it is January of that year. And in Jack Simpson's chapter it is still that April Easter weekend. I guess I didn't notice that when I was writing the book, but I don't want to change it. I was much younger then and did not know quite how to write such a long book with many different characters and viewpoints, and although I have changed minor things in the book as I was typing it, and added a little bit occasionally, I don't feel I have the "right" to rewrite my younger self''s whole book. That part of it belongs to her, not me, and the book won't be "mine" until I get all of her part written and start adding my own chapters to the story. Besides, after looking over the time shifts, I decided that makes the story creepier. In one of the previous chapters, Nettie, Mariette's mother, noticed how the old house took time and twisted and turned it until it had no relation to the time told by the clock or the calendar, and that scared her even more. So by the chapters moving back and forth in time this way, that may add to this theme in the story. I don't know if there are more chapters that move backwards and forwards in time or not--I haven't reread the whole book, but just type up chapters a little before I need them. Even if there aren't, when I write new chapters, I may use this idea some more, not all the time, as that would get confusing, but enough to make the story more creepy. The whole book's theme is basically time and money, so that would help reinforce the time part of the theme.
Finally, since next post will be for Halloween, I may be able to get time to post an extra Halloween story in the blog. I don't promise, but if I do it will be for Earon's Page, and labeled as such. If I don't get time to post it next month then I will as soon as I can. This story was previously published on Writers-Network, but I think they are definitely out of business. I haven't been able to find out yet, so haven't removed the link from my website yet. If I get time for an extra blog post the story is called "Paranoid Delusions" and takes place at the fictional insane asylum called Arcadia, the same place the companion story called "This Side Of Madness" takes place. "This Side Of Madness" is already published on the blog for Earon's Page. The new story, called "Paranoid Delusions" was also previously published on Writers-Network. Both stories were originally published in hard cover anthologies by The Henson Press, which is no longer publishing. My brother owned the Henson Press a number of years ago, but is now retired. Both stories are set in Arcadia, which is based on the real Logansport State Hospital, also called Longcliff, where I worked for almost three years back in the '80's. Arcadia looks just like Longcliff and I have numerous diaries from that time which I will also eventually share and use for stories. Arcadia is real--only the vampires are fictional!
If you get time and want a good Halloween long short story to read, there is another story on Earon's Page, his main page, called "The Corn Moon". September and October would be the time to read it especially. I was going to repost it to Writers-Network this month, but now the only place it is published is on Earon's Page on this website. I wrote it for him, and we never published it anywhere else, just wrote it for ourselves. He was Harrison and I was Marie.
Regardless, Mariette's book always comes first, so if there is only time for one blog post next month, it will be the next chapter of her book, "Thomas Frostman Feels A Touch Of Winter".
Going on nine o'clock tonight, but just finished one final proof of the blog post. Have worked on it off and on for two days now. Always takes longer than I think it will, especially since I remember what Gain always said, "Do it right or not at all", so I try to make sure that's what I do, checking and double checking for mistakes. The blog looks good this month, especially the photographs, and was definitely worth the trouble, especially since it shouldn't ever need anymore work and will be available for everyone to read without me doing anything else. So the blog is finished for this month and ready to read now, so hope someone finds it while surfing the Internet and maybe enjoys reading it.
Until next month. Thanks for reading my blog.
HAMMERHEAD WALKING ON THE OLD RAILROAD TRACK AREA ON BELL AVENUE
JULY 1, 2017 SATURDAY
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON
ANOTHER ROSE FOR HAMMERHEAD
MAY 4, 2017
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON
Both of these roses were taken just after a rain with the raindrops clinging to them outside the office where my storage building is. I had gone over to pay my storage building rent and took the photos that morning. The name of the storage building business is Clarksville Mini Storage. It is privately owned, and either the owner or his son are always there during regular hours six days a week. They are closed on Sunday. The people who rent the buildings have 24 hour and 7 days a week access to their buildings, though. The owners are very good people, and I have done business with them for a number of years. You can go over to the office and pay in cash in person if you want to and they will also let you pay as many months ahead as you want to. If you need a storage building in Clarksville, Indiana and would like to deal with a man who offers personal service, not a storage facility owned by a large company with no onsite employees, check out Clarksville Mini Storage.
Here is the website of Clarksville Mini Storage: