Thursday, December 27, 2007

Party Line

Calling home, with speaker phone on both ends, I can't tell one voice from another. I think it's Andy who asks about the food up here.

"The tomatoes fucking suck." I say. "So does the salsa."

I start to say something about potatoes, but her two-year-old cuts me off with a blood-curdling scream.

There's a voice I don't recognize. "Everything changes."

Is her mom there? Did I just say fuck in front of her mom?

"Ms. Patton?"

"That's my maiden name, honey," says Andy. No one else responds.

"Sorry, I thought I heard your mom or someone."

The conversation continues in its confusing stereo until I hear someone whisper, "It all goes to shit."

"Well, someone's feeling cynical."


"Who's talking about everything going to shit?"

"Girl, you are losing your mind."


I leave the room and let my husband do the talking. I'm reaching into the fridge for a bottle of water when I smell burning hair.

"HALLELUJAH!" screams the space behind me. "HERE I COME!"


(Yes, I sound like an idiot when I scream. My ohmigoditsaroach scream is more convincing.)

Static fills my ears and I am certain something is coming up from behind to get me. Then Stewart hangs up the phone.

Breaks the connection.

It's on your end, Andy. There's something in your house.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Drink of it

Nica imagines herself making an omelet. Breaking a few eggs and all that.

She taps an hourglass against the side of her bowl until it cracks. She reaches her fingertips into the glass, pulling it open, pouring sand into the Tupperware. Take this and eat of it, this is my body.

The splinters dig into her skin. Drops of red on the sand. Take this and drink of it, this is my blood.

Whose blood? No, not hers.

She opens her eyes, walks to Alan, and quiets him. "You go with Albert now, baby. Everything's gonna be OK."

Judas and Pilate take communion together. No one else could possibly understand.


Friday, December 7, 2007


Apparently, I'm considered a "paranormal news outlet." This fills my email inbox with all sorts of interesting press releases and promotions.

Crystal Stephens of Electric Artists writes to tell us that the new A&E show, Paranormal State, will premier on December 10th at 10 PM ET. They'll air two cases back to back, featuring a young boy whose story is similar to "The Sixth Sense" and a single mom whose home is haunted by a history of brutal murder.

David M Kriegher writes to announce his website Dark Stories, a collection of true and truish ghost stories presented in both French and English.

Thanks for sending in your paranormal stories. I apologize if your event passed before I got around to sharing it here.

For frequently-updated and all-encompassing paranormal news, try the Debris Field. Lesley has this news outlet thing down.


Monday, December 3, 2007

Papery and pale

The continuing tale of Nica & the Timers

Over the last few hours, Alan's skin has gone papery and pale. He's coughing so loudly they can barely hear the small, polite knock on the door. It doesn't need much force behind it. Our heroes freeze.

Albert lets himself in. "You can't even open the door for a crippled old man?"

Alan stifles a cough.

"Sweetheart," says Albert. Nica looks him in the eye. "You have two choices."

"One. You can let Alan keep deteriorating. I don't give a bloody hell if he dies, I have nothing to do with it. I only help decide what it accomplishes."

"Two. You can end his suffering. Do some good with it."

"You can't run, Nica. You will only run out of breath."

She briefly considers arguing. Alan begins a new coughing fit.