By Jonathan Urban

Copyright March 7-8, 2000

"I can't go there, mommy told me not to. The Red light, it's so scary...and the noise," little Tina said to her young friend Sara. Tina was five, short reddish hair, rosy cheeks, and dark eyes. Sara was a year older, a little taller, with blond hair and blue eyes.

The noise and the red glow seem to always happen at the same time. Tina lived in a large house with her mother and father--too large for just three people. There were several rooms never used or occupied. The Red Room, as Tina called it, was one such room that her parents told her to never go in. It was always locked, Tina knew, because curiosity got the better of her numerous times--afterall she was young and curious.

She couldn't stand the fear anymore--she and Sara retreated back to her bedroom to play with her large assortment of dolls. But the noise could be heard even in her bedroom. It was a frightening noise, loud, but brief. She jumped when she heard it, but continued to style her doll's hair.

Soon she and Sara heard voices in the hall not far from the Red Room. She thought it might be her parents, so she looked out her bedroom door. It was her parents, "Young lady, get back in your room, " Her dad smiled and pointed.

She went back in and saw Sara styling her doll's hair. "Hey, that's my doll!" Sara threw the doll back to Tina. "Thank you very much," Tina smiled, and continued styling the hair. She was curious about what was going on in the hall though.

The curiosity got the better of her, she opened the door slightly and peered out. She saw a man in white walk by and stop before her parents. She couldn't hear what they were saying. But from the looks on her parent's faces she could tell it was not making them happy.

That night, all snug in her bed, Tina heard the noise again. She crept out of bed and walked to the door. The noise was louder, more scary than usual. She opened the door and walked into the hall. The noise became even louder and the glow under the door was red as usual. She slowly, with heart beating fast, walked towards the Red Room. She was scared, but very curious. The noise stopped, and so did she. She stood and waited, but it was quiet. She walked a little closer to the door.

She reached for the doorknob and turned it--for once it was not locked. The door opened slowly and the glow became less as it filtered out into the hallway. She walked around the corner to the bed and saw a large contraption next to the bed--looked like a monster to her, but down below it, she could see a very old lady lying in the bed. The old lady looked so peaceful and angelic, so content. She moved closer, but then felt a hand on her shoulder--she spun around with heart racing. It was her dad.

"Tina, how many times..." He was cut off by Tina's mother.

"I think it's time she met her grandmother," Tina's mother smiled, and reached for Tina's hand. She walked with Tina over to the bed. "This is your grandmother, Tina, she has been in a coma for years, and will probably never wake again. She would have loved you."

"But the noise mommy?"

"It is to help her breath and continue living." The red glow emanated from the machine, as it pumped air into Tina's grandmothers' lungs. "It's ok Tina, don't be afraid, we should have introduced you to her long ago."