Creaking doors that squeak even though they do not move, harmonica tunes heard in the still night in my otherwise silent home, and our dogs staring into an empty corner of a room are only some of the sounds and occurrences that my family and I have confronted and learned to live with these past few years.
We live in a modest home that we probably will never be able to outlast the mortgage to own the place outright. The people we bought the house from were regular folks except they liked the color gray. They liked that grim color gray so much, they went out and covered every wall with it.
They were not a happy family. Some believe houses and places take on the characteristics of those that live in them. Thankfully, their attributes did not have lasting effects. For no sooner had a new colorful paint been applied on these walls I could almost feel the house come alive.
In fact, with every change we made to undo something they did the air within the house became lighter. This turnaround also brought a renewed drive within me to go back to my writing. Here too is a strange, yet wonderful development, as I have never written any better in my life. Even when I am tired, the words flow.
What’s more, I have to smile with the thought that maybe when I write I am not alone in the room where I do my work. That might sound strange. However, I have no other explanation for what takes place. How else could you explain, subconsciously directed to go back a few pages and to look at the very spot where a word or a line needs changing.
Then there is the clanging metal pull chord of the desk lamp in the room. That first came into play when I took out an old friend that I had forgotten all about…“Reign of Valor.” Here was a work that I thought I had successfully completed. Why I decided to rewrite the entire tale was unthinkable for any time until I moved into this house.
Within this house, with the end of every night’s writing, I could not mistake hearing that chord clanging against its metal stem. That in itself is not strange. After pulling on the chord to shut off the light, you would expect a clang or two to follow. Yet, you should not expect to hear a clang a minute after you left the room – clang…clang.
Now, I cannot make anyone believe my house is haunted. Instead, allow me to say I try to remain sensitive to the unseen world. So have my dogs – a German Shepherd, and a hound. They are both about a hundred pounds – Let me say, they are not afraid of anything or at least I use to think so. They will no longer go into one room in the house.
One day, I found them in that room both staring into an empty corner growling as if they had cornered someone or something that should not have been in the house. I had to pull them away to settle them down before ordering them outside. Outside, they quickly settled down, leaving me inside scratching my head wondering.
I do not believe they were in any danger. Also thankfully, we have had no repeat of the occurrence. However, that does not explain the harmonica playing in the middle of the night. No one in my household has one, nor does anyone in the neighborhood. Yet, there was that unmistakable sound of a harmonica playing in my bedroom in the middle of the night.
Even though my wife is a light sleeper, the tune did not wake up my wife. After a few nights I had enough…my wife heard the harmonica. Next morning, I remembered having someone telling me if you were to tell your unwanted guests to leave…they would go if they were friendly. Well, I tried it and I was somewhat saddened as all activities stopped…
At least they stopped for a while. If you believe as I do, that we are but spirits trapped in an earthly shell. What is to stop us from returning after we cross over? Our return might be as a simple reminder of who we are…not were…a familiar scent or smell, maybe even a friendly touch, or lend a helping hand with some hint on what could be done to head off some problem.
Do you think that brainstorm of an idea you suddenly came up with, was brought on by your brilliant mind or might there be someone watching over us…giving us hints, or direction? My writing is a case in point. Take for instance, my new novel “The Goat, the Babe, and the Maroons.”
I am a baseball and a football fan. For the most part, I do not go for frontrunners, although I have been a fan of the Green Bay Packers since 1963. Most of the time I root for the underdog, maybe that is why I joined the crusade to get the 1925 Pottsville Maroons their rightful NFL Championship back, thus the reason for writing the story.
The way I came about writing the story was strange enough. However, by my choosing Charlie Berry as the main character is the real story. Originally, “The Maroons Return,” was a screenplay. I even pictured the main character in my mind. This spring as I wrote the short story I found out the character I envisioned resembled Charlie Berry.
The third story in my novel “The Goat, the Babe, and the Maroons” is “Kiss the Curse Goodbye.” Here again is another unbelievable occurrence that I could not have dreamt up. It could only have truly happened to become a story. To start off, I am not a Red Sox fan.
However, what happened on the evening of October 20, 2004 might make you wonder. As I said, I root for the underdogs. On the evening of October 16, shortly after the Yankees slaughtered the Red Sox by the score of 19 to 8, I took up the cause of the Red Sox to not only to win the ALCS, but also to win that year’s World Series. Shortly after the seventh game began, I subconsciously heard three numbers 18, 86, and 104 and I knew the Red Sox were going to go on to win that year’s World Series.