A Real Haunting

A REAL Haunting

Okay. It’s taken a while for me to digest it. I’m not sure…but I think I had my first encounter with a ghost.

I was sleeping, dreaming of struggling with a scene in my next book, when I felt the mattress jostle. At first, I thought it was the dog getting down. She weighs 65 pounds and she would definitely jostle the mattress. But, she gets down from there every night and it seldom wakens me. So, I shifted my pillow, pulled the quilt up, and settled back down. This time, something pushed against my feet. I pulled my head out from the cover and looked at the foot of the bed. There, in the light bands from the moon shining through the blinds, sat my best friend, Mary, who passed away a year ago.

“What!” I croaked (pardon the term, but my voice come out a bit froggy).

Her response was to raise her finger to her lips, then point to my sleeping husband lying next to me.

I squinted and reached for my glasses. I’m as blind as my husband is deaf and, if I was going to have a ghostly encounter, I damn well wanted to see it. Mary’s response was to smile and give a soft, throaty laugh—her laugh.

“Got a minute?” she asked.

“Are you kidding,” I squeaked. Again, she put her finger to her lips. “You know he’s deaf,” I added, “but you’re right, we wouldn’t want to give him another heart attack.”

I pushed the pillow up behind me and scooted back to sit up. I kept staring at her. She looked great, not like I’d last seen her. “How are you?”

She held out her arms and smiled. “Never better.”

Mary looked like she had maybe ten years or more ago. She wasn’t young even then, but she was in good shape and great health. I wondered if she chose that age.

“My book got published,” I blurted out.

“I know. And you dedicated it to me.”

I know I blushed in the dark. Here I was with someone from “the other side” sitting before me and all I could do was want her to be proud of me. “I’m proud of you,” she added as if reading my mind.

“Thank you.” I felt the tears shimmer in my eyes and wiped them away.

“It’s okay. I miss you, too.” I felt a slight pressure where her hand seemed to pat my leg.

“Will I get to see you again?”

“I don’t know.”

“What’s it like?” At last, my brain was starting to function.

“You’re not going to like this… but I don’t know. I can’t tell you why I know about the book or how I got here. I can’t even tell you what will happen when I leave or how I’ll leave or ‘if’ I’ll leave.” When she saw the shock on my face, her eyes crinkled and she laughed again. God, I missed that laugh.

“Then why are you…?”

She shrugged. “I love you. Just want you to know.”

“I love you, too.”

I could smell fresh coffee coming from the kitchen and heard my husband closing cabinets. I looked at the foot of the bed. It looked like it had last night before I’d gone to bed. Sitting up, I reached for my glasses on the bedside table. They weren’t there. Damn, I’d knocked them off onto the floor. I’d have to call Andy to help me find them. Then I noticed the pillow pushed up against the headboard and a dark shadow at the bottom. My glasses lay on the mattress. A tear rolled down my cheek.

“Thanks, Mary.”

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