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Sunday, 30 October 2011

Halloween Tales - Part 2

My earliest paranormal experience happened when I was pretty young, and sorry to disappoint the horror fans, but it was anything but scary.

I'm not sure of my exact age at the time, but my folks reckon no more than five. I came down with some bug or another - kids that age always seem to have something, but considering it knocked me into bed for a couple of days it must have been nasty - and I remember lying in bed, under the covers,  feeling unbelievably thirsty.
My head hurt, my body hurt, my mom had left the room, and all I could think about was a glass of water in my plastic Skippy cup, with little beads of liquid running down the sides, and that my throat would feel better once I'd taken that first sip.

Since I was too sick to even try climbing out of bed, I squeezed my eyes shut (the wallpaper pattern was dancing when I looked at it, and it made the headache worse), and just whimpered a little.

When I felt a woman's hand touch my forehead, and then a pair of lips kiss the top of my head, I thought my mom had come back in.
But when I opened my eyes, it was somebody I'd never seen, wearing a pink dress, and smiling at me. I remember she had dark hair, and I thought she was pretty, and I liked her perfume.

I wasn't scared - considering my past history of happily wandering up to strangers and chatting to them if my mother took her eyes off of me for a second, that's not too surprising - and when she smiled at me, and said she'd come to see how I was feeling, I didn't actually think twice.

I told her I was thirsty. She went into the bathroom and came back with my water, and then she said she couldn't stay long but it was lovely to see me. And then she left.

When my mom came in a few minutes later, I asked her if her friend would be coming back, and to please say thank you for the water, because I'd been too busy drinking it to say anything.

Mom asked me what I was talking about. I told her. The now empty Skippy cup sat beside my bed, and I showed it to her.

I'm fairly sure my mom freaked out at that point, since a few minutes later she was on the telephone to dad, who came home early from work, and I'm also fairly sure they searched the house.

There was nobody else there. My mom hadn't had any visitors, her friends were at working, and the doors were locked.

I do know I was back on my feet the next morning, and that I never forgot the lady in the pink dress, who visited me and was kind.

Every now and then I would mention her while I was growing up, and my parents would exchange uneasy glances and change the subject.
A couple of years ago, my parents came out to the UK on holiday, and we took a trip up to Windsor to see my dad's cousin.

Halfway through the visit, Stuart hauled out a stack of very old photographs he'd found, and we were happily looking through them and passing them around, with my dad excitedly pointing out faces of family and friends from fifty odd years ago.

Stuart passed dad and I one particular photo and said: "You might want to take that one, cuz."
Both of us looked at it. Both of us got very quiet.
It was a picture of a pretty young woman with dark hair, and although she wasn't wearing the pink dress, I recognized her immediately.

I looked at my dad and realised it was a picture of his mom. She'd passed away when he was a teenager. I had never seen a colour photo of her.

We stepped outside for a cigarette, dad still looking a bit melancholy.

"She was beautiful," I said.
"Yes," he agreed. Then, added: "You looked a bit strange in there."
"Yes, well. You remember telling me how you wished we'd met your mom?" I asked.
He nodded, and took another draw on his cigarette.
"Dad, the pink lady, when I was sick. That was her." I glanced at him and he nodded, slowly. "She's the one who brought me my water. So technically, I reckon I met her."

My dad flicked the last ash from his cigarette away, and cleared his throat.
"She had a pink dress she wore a lot when I was little," he said. "You're sure?"
"Yes," I said. "It was her."

When we went back inside, my father was smiling.


J H Sked is the author of WolfSong & Basement Blues.
You can find WolfSong on Amazon, Sony  e-bookstore, Nook, iTunes &  Smashwords. Basement Blues is on Amazon, SmashwordsiTunes  and  Nook