I believe there are things that happen which cannot be explained by worldly means, e.g., how rap and disco became popular, why the Chicago Cubs can’t win a World Series and many things involving politicians. (Where the sock goes when you put it in the clothes dryer and end up with one odd sock when you pair them up, used to be on the list, but I figured out the dryer is actually knitting a new sock from lint in the lint trap. You are not short one sock, but long one sock. You don’t have to thank me. It’s enough knowing I can clarify these things for you.)
I recently finished writing my first horror novel, The Almond People. In writing it I had to get in touch with the supernatural world. The supernatural world is not something you want to be friends with. It’s a lousy house guest. It finishes the peanut butter and leaves the empty jar in the cupboard, leaves the toilet seat up and never replaces the toilet paper roll when it uses the last of it. The worst part is, my wife blames me for all this. I try to tell her it’s our supernatural guest, but she doesn’t listen. Even when she can’t find her phone, which is most of the time, she blames me instead of the supernatural.
Over the course of my lifetime I have had some experiences with the supernatural. Once when I was fifteen, I was walking down to the river with my friend Franny to do some fishing. Somewhere during the walk and switching my rod from hand to hand, a Timex watch I had gotten for Christmas came off my wrist. I didn’t notice it until we were down at the river. Franny and I went back and searched the quarter-mile of pasture we’d walked through for two hours and couldn’t find it. Thirty years later to the day, Franny and I were walking through the same field to go fishing. I looked down at the ground and what did I see? You guessed it. A four-leaf clover! I never find four-leaf clovers. Even when I get down on my hands and knees and search for them I can’t find one, and this time I find one just walking through the pasture. Franny was amazed. The supernatural had to be responsible.
Sometimes the supernatural can be downright scary. Take the other night. I awoke suddenly in the wee hours of the morning, which by itself isn’t unusual. My bladder has become a three-hour alarm clock—they should call it the wee wee hours of the morning. But this time something was different. An icy chill crawled up my spine. I removed my wife’s cold feet from my back and the shiver went away, but still something wasn’t right. In the bedroom a thick white haze hung low to the floor like a fog in a cemetery on a humid night. I made a mental note to tell my wife to turn her aroma mist diffuser down a notch or two.
Suddenly I was gripped by an eerie feeling of foreboding. I knew something scary was going to happen, because it always does in horror novels after you have an eerie feeling of foreboding. I sat up in bed, and looked around. Then … I SAW IT! A creature silently watched me from across the room. It had a ghastly pale face with wild, unblinking eyes that glared at me. Its mouth gaped open. Tufts of stringy hair stood up on its head at severe angles like the snakes on Medusa. It was a monster without a hint of simple intelligence on its subhuman face.
I shook and whimpered in fear. A tear ran down my cheek. I didn’t have to pee anymore. It was the most terrifying moment of my life. We had to get out of the house before it came after us.
“Honey, wake up,” I said shaking my wife. “There’s a horrific beast in the room with us.”
“Does that dog have gas again?” she mumbled and rolled over. “I keep telling you not to feed her table scraps.”
“I’m not talking about the stupid dog! There’s a real monster in the room!”
She rose up on an elbow and looked around. “Where?”
How could she not see it? “Over there,” I said pointing at the hideous creature.
“Where,” she asked again, looking where I was pointing. “Over by the mirror?”
I looked closer at the monster … It was wearing my pajamas.
“Never mind,” I said. “Go back to sleep. You’re dreaming.”
She laid back down. “Am I dreaming the bed’s wet, too?”
“Yes, you are.”
That’s what I hate the most about the supernatural. It can do that shape-shifting thing and suddenly turn itself into a mirror.