Ghosts of My Ghost

gideon-in-tolovana-2Today I’m pleased to feature fellow Oregon coast author, Gideon For-mukwai. Gideon considers himself a Story Warrior because he is tireless and restless in the pursuit of helping emerging authors, presenters, and coaches to tell captivating personal stories for profit or for entertainment.

His book, The Science of Story Selling: How to Win Hearts & Minds for Profit and Purpose, provides easy to use tools, techniques, and strategies for using storytelling to captivate, connect, and persuade. It is only for those who want to use their stories to sell more and persuade more by coming across as likable, relatable, credible, and memorable.

Want a copy of his book? You can get it here. If you buy it, he’ll throw in a free audible version, worth $17.

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You can also download a copy of How to Connect and Persuade with the Power of Storytelling.

I usually ask guest authors to share a scary story. Gideon has one, but it’s not about the supernatural–which makes it even more frightening. Here’s his story:

 

You never know when a disaster would strike! You never know when you’d stand face to face with a moment of terror that could destroy your life.

A few times in my life, I’ve faced life-threatening moments.  As a child growing up in the dusty fields of Africa, I survived two lightning strikes in two years; each of which killed nearby animals and destroyed the buildings in which we were taking refuge.  Later on in life, as an adult in Singapore, my kayak capsized in the volatile waters of the South China Sea. What was I doing on the South China Sea? Ask me, why were you there?

Of all that has happened, nothing compares to the terror I felt one night in Orlando, Florida. It was drizzling in Orlando late that evening around 10.35 pm, when I got into my car to drive across town to my friend Watson’s apartment. Watson lived barely four blocks away from Universal Studios Orlando. At the back of my car, I had my luggage, my powerpoint slides, the script of my speech in Toronto, my sleek laptop, grey suit, and yes, my gold-plated nail clip.

As I drove across town, I rehearsed my speech out loud in my car with my hands on the wheel.  I could see myself on stage in Toronto, Canada in two days with a  fine smile. I had lofty dreams of of getting multiple requests to fly in again to conduct more presentations.  As those beautiful thoughts swirled through my mind,  I pulled into into the parking lot.

Unbeknownst to me, as I stepped out of my beat-up 2003 Nissan Sentra, I saw two young black teenagers wearing basketball hoods rushing toward me. As they got closer, I heard one of them saying in a low pitch, “Get down! Get down!”

“OMG, OMG! Why are you doing that?” I asked. Without saying a word, the other skinny teenager pointed a pistol directly to my head, at very close range with his fingers the trigger. I was petrified, horrified, and terrified with unspeakable fear. In my desperation, I offered a plea, “Guys, take my wallet, take my wallet!” As I handed my wallet to one of them, I pleaded, “Take all the money, but please return my driver’s license.”

One of them grabbed the wallet, the other shoved me to the side. In a split second, they both jumped into the car, backed out, and sped off into the drizzling darkness. I stood there speechless, hopeless, and clueless!

My car was gone, and all that mattered to me and my professional success was gone in a less than seconds. I was so broken. It all happened too fast. I did not know what to say or do. I was clueless. How was I going to travel to Toronto the next morning, why is life so unfair? This is disgusting!

As the young thugs backed out they crushed my laptop bag with my white Acer 13-inch laptop.  It crushed my heart more than anything else. All my data, all my files were gone. In less 60 seconds, they had dispossessed me of all that I had worked to acquire.

In a trembling voice, I called 911 to report the incident. For the first time in my life, when a police officer arrived at the scene and asked my name,  I said, “They were black kids wearing basketball hoodies.” He said, “No, I mean what is your name?” I was blank for over four seconds before remembering both of my names. I was still hyperventilating.

Three months after that incident, one evening at sunset,  I went into a  Haitian bakery to buy some bread. While standing at the counter, I turned around saw two black men with basketball hoodies standing by the door.  I felt a sudden thunder bolt of fear striking through my heart. Even though I had paid for my bread, I turned around and jumped out and started galloping on my way to my apartment like a stallion. I ran all the way back to my apartment without ever looking back.  With every single step I took, I felt like the hoodie men were chasing and closing in on me. That night, even the fastest Nascar drivers could not catch me!

After I bolted my door, I was sat at my table breathless for several minutes.  That night, I slept hungry.  Throughout the night, I kept thinking those men were standing by my door. It has been over eight years, since that incident happened. Each time I get out of my car in a drizzle, I still get sweaty palms and flashbacks of terror.  Each time I see someone on TV with a basketball hoodie, my blood pressure skyrockets. That incident taught me that what scares you most, is often not a ghost. In my case, what scares me the most is not my ghost. Very often, it is the ghosts of my ghost.

 

Thanks for joining me today, Gideon!

© Melissa Eskue Ousley 2016

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