It is my weekend with the kids. I have enough beds for all of us. However, they prefer to pull mattresses out of the bedrooms. We place them on the living room floor. Blankets and pillows. The mattresses and couches. It’s like camping. I love it. We stay all together, up all night. We watch movies and Disney and Saturday Night Live. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Saturday morning Philly leaves for work. Grant is asleep on the big sofa. Raeleigh is on the mattress in front of the television. I forget what is on. During a commercial she turns to me and asks for bread, lightly toasted with butter and sprinkles of sugar and cinnamon.
It is a mere two bedroom apartment. In the kitchenette I pull the toaster from the cupboard. I drop in slices of Italian bread. I get the butter from the fridge, the sugar and the cinnamon. Before I begin to butter the first two slices, I drop more bread in, lower the level. I realize that toaster settings are there just to appease consumers. Set it to light or dark, doesn’t matter. The bread comes out toasted however the toaster feels like toasting. (Someone once said, “Toasters don’t toast toast. Toast toasts toast.”)
Anyway, out of the corner of my eye I saw a shadow –that I thought was Raeleigh– pass from the living room toward the hallway. I heard the bathroom door close.
I buttered and seasoned the second set of toast, and then called out, “Grant, do you want toast, too?”
Raeleigh answered. “Dad, Grant’s sleeping.”
I peeked my head into the living room. Raeleigh had not moved off the mattress, and Grant was still asleep on the sofa behind her. “Who just went into the bathroom?” I said.
Raeleigh sat up. “No one.” She pet Luca, the cat, who was curled up beside her.
I smiled. Tried to hide what I was thinking. What I thought.
It did no good. My kids knew all about Jenny. Stories of my old ghost intrigued them. I had to retell the tales often. They believed every word, as they should. Every word was true.
I did not think it was Jenny. I had not seen her since I was nineteen. (I am nearly 43). If she found me once again, then she’d taken her time.
This is the most recent paranormal activity to happen in a while, not twenty-four years, but weeks.
One night at work, must be nearly a month ago, now, I sat with my back to another employee, and read. In my ear, someone whispered. The voice said, “Kill me.”
I placed the bookmark between the pages and turned around. The person seated behind me, was no where near me. He was at the opposite end of his area, clearly engrossed in what he was doing. The hairs on my arm stood erect.
“Did you just whisper, ‘kill me,'” I said.
He turned to face me. He shook his head, laughing. “What? No?”
He hadn’t. It had been a female voice. A woman whispering. Unfortunately, everyone around us had heard what I’d asked. It became quite the topic for the next six hours, and the next few nights at work.
My position was, I’d fallen asleep. Figured, I’d rather get written up for sleeping on the job, than Mental Health Arrested for hearing voices.
Truth is, I hadn’t been asleep. I’d been reading. Wide awake. Engrossed in the novel, annoyed that someone had whispered in my ear.
But had someone? Or something? Yes. Yes. It had.
If you don’t know the background — the story of Jenny, read the earlier blog. It’s not all inclusive, but will give you some flavor for what I experienced growing up. Jenny may be part of the reason I write the type of books I write. Suspense, with a splash of the supernatural. Maybe not, but I assume she is partly my inspiration.
I am open to questions. I’d love to hear your ghost stories. Either email me with them, or leave them in the comments section below.