I've lived in New Orleans for years, now. I never met my father, and my Mother and I were very poor. We lived on Dauphine Street in the French Quarter for the longest time. Though the French Market is a big tourist attraction, thanks to the voodoo dolls, NO T-shirts, etc., it does sell things like Creole cooking should (i.e. spices, peppers, etc.).
One day, I was about five or so, and I saw this pink (my favorite color at the time) voodoo doll on one of the stands in the actual tourist attraction part. It was one of our last day (we were moving out of NO), so my mother paid the man a dollar so I might have something to remember the only home I had ever known by. We finished up our browsing and headed out to home, finishing loading our stuff into the little car.
Just shy of a half hour later, my mother and I stopped at the Mississippi Welcome Center by the bridge. A little bit of background: my mother's parents had lived in Mississippi for the longest time. They moved from Hattiesburg to Pass Christian with my mom when she was about sixteen (plus or minus). When they died, my mother buried them in a graveyard in north Mississippi, just on the outskirts of Hattiesburg, where it's pretty deserted and quiet- my grandmother(who died first)'s dream. My grandfather died less than a two months later.
My mother turned to me and said, "Sarah, do you want to go visit your grandmother and grandfather?" I nodded, clutching the dolls till in my hand. After stretching our legs, my mother became pretty upset at how I kept carrying the doll around. I hadn't let it go since we left the market. She took it from me and threw it on the ground. In her defence, she had been taking pills for depression, and her hormones had been incredibly active. I cried for about an hour after we left. We went to the graveyard, and we said our prayers.
My mom needed to use the restroom in the funeral home, so while she was gone, I went exploring. It was pretty windy- the effects of Hurricane George. There was hardly anything worth telling about, as it wasn't too bad. I gradually sauntered into the woods and looked around, bored out of my mind. I stopped and did a double-take when I thought I saw my voodoo doll hanging from a tree, suspended by the neck, with a large bird by its side (strange, yes, I know).
I have no cordial relationship with birds. I neither like them nor dislike them. I don't know much about them at all. But I don't think I've ever seen such a large bird. It a little bigger than a vulture, but it probably wasn't by much.
A few years later, my stepdad and my mother were gone from the house- a completely different house. They were both out to have a romantic dinner by themselves. It wasn't my first time being alone. I was laying on their bed, watching TV, when I heard something at the door. By that time, we had two dogs in the backyard. I went outside and walked around, one dog (a jack Russell) in my arm, the other dog (a chocolate lab) being dragged there by the collar. I looked to the window. Nothing. I turned back around, and my breath was taken. It was that bird again. Clear as day. I looked to the ground instinctly, and I saw my voodoo doll. I took a step towards it, and it flew off, disappeared, whatever when I blinked. The voodoo doll was gone as well.
Once again, we skip time to the house I am currently living in now. We finally got a computer with Internet, and my mother and I put it by the window (dad's outta the picture again). We just moved in, and the previous owners had put miniblinds on the windows. It was a pretty nice day; it had blue skies, sunny... I went to the computer and started instant messaging my friends. I know this sounds weird, but I was so interested in my friends, I didn't even notice the sky had gotten darker- not much, just enough. The computer's in the corner of the room, where there are two windows against my left wall, two windows on the north wall. Wouldn't you know it, guess where we put the computer? Right in between them! I took a breath, leaning back in my chair. One of them (the fast/normal-speed typist) logged out. I looked to my window and (literally) jumped out of my chair, scrambling on the floor. There was the shadow of that bird. I screamed, and it flew off. I ran outside as hastily as possible and walked to the window where it was. I bent down and picked up my doll in the grass. To this day, it's resting on the counter in the kitchen.
Stranger still, my mother swears I'm crazy. She doesn't see it. Nor does anyone who comes over. I'm the only one who can see it. Yet I can feel it...
Thanks for reading. I think I'm going to step away from the computer now, as I am hearing some rather odd things by the window...