What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

I’m All Alone in Here October 22, 2014

My mother’s house is across the street from a church. The congregation has been meeting there for 176 years, but the church was built in 1880. The original church burned down in 1878.

That was before the town had a real fire department. It was back in the days of ring a bell and everyone comes out with a bucket and hopes for the best. General Brown who owned our house in 1878, heard the bell and ran out to the church, helping with the bucket brigade and leaving his little girl in her room, watching the church burn through her window.

The little girl, Kit, was not pleased. She was not used to being abandoned in the house. So she took her chamber pot and threw it out the window screaming “I’m all alone in here!” Now, no one heard her over the noise from the fire, but Kit did discover that throwing china things out her window was indeed satisfying. She went and got her brother’s chamber pot and threw that out the window, again shouting “I’m all alone in here!” Soon she was taking everything she could find in the bedroom that might make a satisfying noise when it shattered in front on the house. “I’m all alone on here!” Crash!

But then there was nothing else to throw, so she went to the china cupboard and began hauling plates up the stairs and out the window. “I’m all alone in here!” Smash!

When she had finally worked her way up to the good china, something horrible happened. One of the men had run inside the church to try and save the candlesticks from the altar. He burst back out of the front doors screaming in fear and pain, flames streaming from his clothes.

And Kit didn’t like the fire anymore. She didn’t want to be alone. But no one could hear her shouting for help. So she grabbed her feather mattress from her bed and dragged it down the stairs, crying and mumbling, “I’m all alone in here” to the shadows. Her mattress caught on a nail, sending the feathers flying everywhere and floating down on her very angry father.

He had seen the broken china on his way into the house. And now, wet and tired, he was covered in feathers. He gave Kit a bucket and sent her in front of the house, telling her not to come back in until every piece of china had been picked up.

Legend says the every year on the 22nd of October if you sit quietly in front of the house, you’ll hear Kit cry as she picks up the shattered plates and chambers pots. “I’m all alone in here.”


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