Welcome to the secret side of my personality where the cheerleader dances with the Devil.
If you like supernatural elements, you’ll enjoy reading You Can Never Leave about a surfer on a road trip down the Baja where nothing is as it seems. Shhhhh…
I was born into a generation where secrets were kept, really kept, released only when your knees hit in the darkness of a confessional or by the side of a lonely bed. Confidence in client confidentiality was lacking as much as the funds by those who most needed it.
And so the wheel turned…
And then it was my turn.
A GIFT AND A CURSE
There is a gift that runs in the bloodlines of my mother’s side, a gift that is as much of a curse.
It is a strong sensitivity, an awareness of a world that parallels our own which brings the knowledge all is not as it seems and people are not who you think them to be.
I’ve known this before I can remember. It is not as strong in me as my mother yet I sense it all the same.
Shadows hold meaning for those who are aware.
Perhaps you’ve seen them yourself? The Shadow People you catch out of the corner of your eye, the Sentinels who stand guard at the four corners of the lawn, the Stranger sitting by the fire in your living room.
SECRETS OF THE PAST
Sometimes I watch my new husband sleeping and I remember he does not know how it once was…
Not all of it.
I love him all the more for not asking those questions
I cannot answer.
I kiss his cheek and he mumbles something only he understands as I move quietly into the next bedroom which doubles as a library.
On the velvet lounger where many a story has commenced, my little niece now curls on
Her blond curls fall over the pillow, her long lashes curve against the softness of her cheek. This is the only time she is still.
When those blue eyes open, she is as tireless as the waves of the sea, throwing herself into them again and again to catch a ride home to the shore. This is likely the reason my husband, the man she calls, Haha, is fast asleep, too.
We exhausted God’s playground today, insurance against any bad dreams tonight.
Checking the glass slider in her room, I ensure it is locked tight.
I love her with a ferocity that scares me.
Kneeling beside her bed, I pray God to keep her safe from all harm, safe from the mistakes I made, safe from the darkness.
I would take a bullet before I let my past touch her or my husband.
All I can do to protect them is remain vigilant and pray they never know the woman
I once was.
When I was very young my Dad worked the Graveyard shift, which of itself was enough to spook me having no idea what that meant.
The origin of the word comes from the 1800s when a watchman would literally keep watch in the graveyard from the hours of midnight ’til dawn in the event someone had been buried alive.
Gruesome as it sounds, medical knowledge of the time did not account for comatose patients and it was only when coffins were dug up to make room for more occupants that this grisly discovery was noted by clawing marks inside the coffin.
Thus, a systematic webbing of the graveyard and its occupants with string and bells was put into place. A ringing bell would alert the watchman on the graveyard shift if the dead were stirring. Hence, the saying evolved: “Saved by the bell.”
In the airline industry we now call this the Red Eye which has far less eerie connotations. Still, our ancestors had a reason for naming the hours between midnight and dawn as such and just because the name has changed doesn’t take the underlying meaning away with it.
Airplanes too, transport the dead. This is not generally known by the traveling public (or the flight crew) unless crossing international borders where it’s mandatory information listed on the accompanying cargo manifest.
Just one of the many reasons I don’t fly Red Eyes. I know all too well what stirs during the Graveyard Shift.
With Dad gone during those hours, I often wondered why my Mom wasn’t more fearful and one night I asked. She took me to the window of their bedroom and pointed to the lawn out front, waiting for me to see what she did.
Maybe it was a child’s imagination or the faulty memory of age but there seemed four shadowy figures posted on the four corners of our lawn.
She said simply, “I pray for protection.”
It was the way she said it, so matter of fact as if it was to be expected when I knew it was not.
That scared me more than anything.
Now, I’m the night watchman. The house is still. Up here on the windy sea bluff we have good neighbors, kind neighbors, neighbors who keep watch on what can be seen while I keep watch on what cannot. It is no longer the shadows I fear–
I fear what walks in them.
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