The furniture is moved around, the Christmas tree is lit up but not yet decorated, the dog is curled up peacefully in her bed next to it. Snow flitters past the window and hot chocolate warms my throat.
Suddenly every hair on my arm stands straight up as I feel cold fingers brush along my bare shoulder. I look around. Nothing is there.
I take a deep breath and exhale reassuring myself I imagined it. I go get a robe and wrap up tight in it and pretend it was just a breeze.
Some believe everything is connected, that we are one with everything. We are one with the Earth, the grass, the animals and the air. If we are one with everything, are we one with the dead too? And what does that mean? Was that a gentle caress from a past lover or family member who has moved on or was it a spirit taunting me with a future we all face? Where did they move on to? Or are they still right here, just invisible to us? They may be living out another life right here, next to us undetected. Their days may be filled with work and play the same as ours or maybe they are on a loop, reliving one event over and over like all those reality ghost chasing shows suggest.
I sip some hot chocolate and call a friend to distract myself. My friend is great; she tells me about work and her kids and life seems normal again. I hang up and sit down to write some more. Was my mug there? I thought I’d put it down over here. I must’ve done it while I was on the phone.
Asdkfjad;pfijagdij Come Play With Me!!!
I didn’t type that. I erase it quickly.
Come Play With Me!! Come Play With Me!! Come Play With Me!! Come Play With Me!! Come Play With Me!! Come Play With Me!! Come Play With Me!! Come Play With Me!! Come Play With Me!! Come Play With Me!! Come Play With Me!! Come Play With Me!! Come Play With Me!! Come Play With Me!! Come Play With Me!! Come Play With Me!! Come Play With Me!!
I just stare at the screen for a moment then type, “ Where are you?”
The fear builds in my throat and I swallow hard to push a scream back down and I type, “What do you want to play?”
I hear something gently clatter on the tile floor. I get up to investigate. I walk into the kitchen and find jacks with a rubber ball. I look around. No one is there. I pick up the ball and blood drips down my fingers where I touch it. I drop it and it rolls underneath a cabinet. I look at my hand. It is clean. The jacks are still on the floor. I bend down slowly, glancing around the room. I reach for a jack. It burns my fingers and I toss it back with the rest. I stick my fingers in my mouth but they no longer hurt. I inspect them and they are just fine.
I hear a rustle next to me, then a soft whimpering sound. I can’t contain it anymore; I scream and run out of the room. I can hear a child’s laughter coming from the kitchen. Then it changes. It darkens.
I grab my coat and I leave the house. I go visit my friend. I tell her about it and she suggests I talk to a medicine man that she knows. She even calls him.
He comes to meet me at her house. He touches my forehead and says a prayer in his language. He has me write down my address and he waves his hand and says a different prayer over it and then burns the paper.
He tells me, it is ok now. I will not see them anymore and they will not appear in my home.
I thank him and my friend returns with me to my house. The Christmas lights are glowing warmly. I pour us a few glasses of wine. I deserve it after a day like today. The tree lights sparkle pink in the glasses as we sit and chat about all kinds of things.
Nothing strange happens. My friend goes home. I tuck myself in to bed and bring my little dog to cuddle with but I cannot sleep. I keep thinking about the events earlier. The medicine man said I wouldn’t see them and they wouldn’t appear. He didn’t say they were no longer there.