I'm a ghost. I live within four walls, married to a man, mother of three children, but I do not exist. I possess no credit card, no driver's license, I have not adopted my husband’s name, and there are many more tiny discrepancies. Some of this is by design, some of it was due to circumstance, and some of it...
is because my husband is a police officer.
We hide in the open. We're cognizant of our surroundings. He never wears his wedding ring at work and his vocation never whispers past my lips in casual conversation. His job makes us a target. You will not find our last name within this blog, or any insinuation of our residence. I've learned to hide in plain sight; ghosts in an effort to stay alive.
So you can imagine my horror when an intruder stepped onto my newly bought property. His shadowy figure looming large through the glass French doors. I held my six week old daughter tight to my chest as midnight slithered into life.
I'd just finished watching television. The baby slept soundly within my comforting arms. I stepped towards the back of our house -- the easiest route to our bedroom. My attention was solely on her sleeping form. My movement was tentative and quiet. Smoothly I glided towards the stairs. I stuttered to a stop when I became aware of him. I strained to see in the gloom, the dark morphed and oppressed my line of sight -- or so it seemed at first.
We stood mere feet from each other. Both frozen in indecision--at least I hoped. I wondered why he remained so still and why he continued to stare without action. He didn't move, not even a hair's breadth. A pane of glass is all that stood between us and I was painfully aware of my home's security risks. I slid my eyes towards the phone base, but didn't dare turn my head. I couldn't risk tipping him off. Another half a minute passed - he never wavered.
It was then I realized I couldn't make out his face. Not one feature. He was darkness personified. A shadow within a shadow. I swallowed hard and broke the spell. I reached for the phone, juggling my still sleeping infant, and in that second the man turned abruptly and walked towards the end of the deck.
My heart beat so hard I would swear my daughter moved in rhythm with it. I dialed my husband. The nervous intonation of his voice betrayed his usual calm -- I never called this late. I inched towards the doors, while my terror soared through the line and spurred my husband to immediately dispatch a patrol car. He talked me through. I turned on the porch lights and extinguished the night that threatened to suffocate me. The man was gone. The gate was locked. And the deck...was still full of boxes, furniture and impossibilities.
In that second it dawned on me...
He could not have moved across my deck without making a substantial amount of noise. He could not have exited my yard without my witness. He had disappeared into thin air and my terror took on a new dimension of fear.
In my rush to tell the story I wrote with abandon. I blogged our location, I blabbed the scenario, and I even posted our neighbourhood. "Ghosts" I said because it was all that made sense.
In the light of day I felt silly and moved to delete my post-- it was dangerous and stupid to have revealed so much. It was then I noticed one lone comment. It was from a neighbour. A neighbour who said I wasn't alone. She claimed to have met this shadow man within her own bedroom. She swore our neighbours had seen him too. I checked her trackback. She'd found my blog by googling our neighbourhoods name and the word "haunting..."
|Image © Jason Jam. Image Source:Doctor Fong's House of Mysteries|
He stalks our community and spies on those who live within his "territory". He's cognizant of his surroundings. He watches silently. He does not hide.
A ghost more real than me.