I love reading fantasies – The Chronicles of Narnia was one of my favorite books as a child. I dreamed of finding a hidden world all my own in the back of my wardrobe (and we used to have the type of wardrobe they had in the movie – a separate piece of furniture, though not quite as elaborate, so I could climb in and pretend.) I am a fanatic about Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings world. His world building is incredible, right down to new languages (well, no surprise there he was a linguist) Which is why I find myself drawn to paranormals and fantasies still – though some of the themes I’m starting to find overdone. But that’s a blog for another day.
When I started writing, I naturally gravitated toward the fantastical realms. Still do. I wonder about the mermaids the sailors used to see – no, I can’t believe they really thought manatees were beautiful maidens – have you seen one? Werewolves, dragons, vampires, elves, witches … why couldn’t they have existed. Maybe not the way they’re portrayed today, but maybe, just maybe … and so most of my stories are slightly off center from reality. Or maybe my reality is not so off center as you’d think.
You see, in real life I’ve seen a UFO. No, I wasn’t drunk, nor was I using drugs. Nor was I alone in seeing it. Gizmo Guy was driving me home one day and as we drove along the highway at the highest point in the county, the car in front of us slowed down. We wondered why until we realized that something huge was hovering over both cars. And when I say huge, I mean bigger than any blimp, bigger than any plane. It glowed from the inside but didn’t seem to have any specific light source. Neither of us could hear any form of engine, but this was definitely something solid, not a reflection on a cloud. And suddenly, without a sound, it zoomed away at lightning fast speed. Now if it had just been me alone in the car I would have thought it was my imagination. But Gizmo Guy and I were discussing it as it hung over us. And the people in the car in front of us saw it too. There was ‘something’ there. And there were other sightings that night too. The same night, my sister’s boyfriend claimed he saw one too – and described a similar ‘phenomenon’ yet he was 30 miles away. No, I don’t buy the claims of ‘swamp gas’.
I’ve seen ghosts or felt them anyway. In the last house we lived in, I often felt the presence of an older man – especially in my youngest son’s room. Sometimes I’d feel him standing behind me totally disgruntled if youngest son was fussing. I put up several crucifixes in the bedroom, another over the door outside the room. I hung up a tiny basin of holy water in the hall and everytime I walked by, I’d dip my fingers in the water and flick droplets about the doorway and say a prayer. (Can you tell I’m Catholic?) I even moved YS out of that room and had him sharing Guitar Hero’s bedroom for four years. But I never said anything to either boy, nor to Gizmo Guy. Too embarrassed they’d think I was a flake, I guess. The day we moved out of the house, Guitar Hero told me he was glad we were moving as he’d always been afraid of that house – because the house was haunted. He told me how he’d lie in bed at night and watch the ghost of an older man walk up the stairs and stand on the landing, look down the hall at GH, then walk into YS’s room. Yikes! He described the ghost exactly how I felt it. But I’d never told anyone. So ‘something’ must have been there.
In Mythology – dating back to the days of King Arthur – if you see a white stag, you are supposedly fated to go on a spiritual quest. And now in real life, a photograph has been taken of a real white stag in the Scottish Highlands. Thankfully they’re keeping the location a secret to stop poachers from seeking it.
But when I read stories like that, I often wonder just how many of the myths are based in reality. And return to my writing, my lips curved into a slight smile of vindication.